Think of yourself as a millennial
Millennials - what makes them tick?
First I have to make it clear: I am a Generation X child - Born: 1960 to early 80s. This generation only came into contact with the Internet in adulthood and they had to consciously grapple with the new technology and the possibilities that come with it. It looks very different with millennials. They use social media intensively and share photos, videos, music and their whole life in general.
And they start their working life and want more open, collaborative and flexible working environments for this step. Millennials are resourceful, out-of-the-box thinkers who believe they can do anything. They are more self-confident and less loyal to the company than previous generations because they recognize that their employers do not regard them as “part of the family”, but rather as a “production factor”. If their expectations of the work environment are not met, they move on. Millennials have forced us to rethink the way we work.
So far so good. I already pointed out in the introduction that there are two sides of the coin to be considered. Because I am also convinced that this generation is misunderstood and has sometimes also drawn bad cards. What do i mean? For this I have divided the whole thing into four areas.
(Child) upbringing: They have been told that they are special, that they can achieve anything, just if they want to. And suddenly after university or training, your self-image is shaken. On their first job, they quickly find out that they are not as special as they've always been told and that they can't have everything they want. In this sense, parents bear primary responsibility for this distorted perception.
Technology: We know that the endogenous substance "dopamine" (popularly it is known as the happiness hormone) is released when our cell phone, e-mail or social media make a noise or blink. It's the same chemical that is released (and temporarily makes us feel good) when we drink, smoke, or gamble. In other words, it is addicting and addicting and it is dulling. That is why there are also age limits for drinking, smoking and so on. Because we know that a young developing mind is not yet mature enough to deal with this potential for dependence.
But what happens? A whole generation grows up in exactly this dependency and when they are stressed, they don't turn to another person, but pick up their smartphone.
Impatience: Generation Y is growing up in a world of instant reward and satisfaction. If you want to buy something, go to Amazon and the delivery will be there the next day. Or if they want to watch a movie, for example, they do not have to consult the television program. You log in and watch the film. And it is precisely this aspect that runs through her entire life or in all areas of her life. Even on the job. They do not understand that our lives and careers are “journeys”. This systematic impatience does not make the starting position any easier.
Environment: Many companies still see people or workers as "numbers". And so these wonderful, smart young adults enter an environment where nobody cares about humanity. Nobody cares about their personal development, their personal goals or their careers. And especially in these times, companies have a decisive responsibility. You have to take care of this generation. Because they come with a deficit and wrong expectations - and that's not their fault.
A generation emerges that struggles with deep and meaningful relationships. You feel left alone. And actually the employer should stand by. But many companies fail on the whole line at this task. Difficult starting position for this generation.
I don't want to be too negative at this point, because that doesn't suit my temperament. Let's take a quick look at how this generation is changing my core topic of brands and communication.
Millennials are also changing branding and brand management
Of course, millennials' life plans also have an impact on branding. This is followed by findings that will generally change communication, including the understanding of the brand.
Branding is still necessary - but no longer sufficient. In order to have communication under control in the future, in addition to brand management, integrating disciplines such as “Engagement Marketing” and “Customer Experience Design” are required.
The aim is to generate attention and also to inspire an “intention to act”. First and foremost, it is no longer about awareness and consistency. Success is defined as follows: Establishing a (customer) relationship based on the brand promise including the conveyance of value.
Selling is bad - sharing and learning are good. This creates new patterns of how decisions are made. The focus is on learning, sharing and building a relationship. And credibility is earned with things that you do, not with things that you say. And authenticity is the basis for trust.
Personally, I am a big fan of this generation and hope that it will be better understood in the future. Because one thing is clear: these are not individual cases but a comprehensive challenge.
PS: Another pass template for football. This industry is arguably best for observing and analyzing this generation of employees. Because almost every current football player is a millennial or belongs to this generation.
- Business Life (interview with Simon Sinek) from British Airways, September 2016
- Study by PSFK Labs: "Millennials are transforming branding"
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