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Breaking Up the Millennial Bloc
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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The group of 16–34-year-olds in America, commonly known as "Millennials" have been getting a bad rap. Older generations have called them the "Me Generation" and the "Lazy Generation." These young people have been raised in some very interesting times. First, they were the first generation to grow up with the Information Age. Then, many of them are coming of age during the Great Recession, one of the worst economic times in decades. And, as they have seen jobs disappear, the global economy increase, and student debt rise, they've also seen a lack of suitable mentorship of the older generation and the income gap between the rich and poor grow to its largest point ever.

With all this going on across the nation, can we honestly expect for 79 million people to have the exact time thoughts and tendencies? Can we generalize the most diverse generation this country has seen?

No, we can't. That's why the Boston Consulting Group, Barkely USA, and the Service Management Group released a report that divides the Millennial generation into six different segments. The report gathered responses from 4,000 Millennials and 1,000 non-Millennials in order to study their attitudes ahttps://secure.talentzoo.com/articles/article_all.php?action=edit&start=&row=13894&isDaily=0nd purchasing habits. The study is called The Millennial Consumer: Debunking Stereotypes.

Below is a quick breakdown of the six segments:

Now, will each Millennial fit perfectly into a specific segment? Of course not; there will be exceptions to the rule, and many Millennials will exhibit qualities for different segments. As we communications professionals know, humans are too unique to get a perfect outline on them. But as Carol Phillips from Millennial Marketing stated, this research brings to light that not every Millennial is the same. In fact, comparing the Anti-Millennial to the Gadget Guru, they can be quite different. For marketers, breaking up this huge demographic can help hone messaging and advertising campaigns. If the audience you are looking for is part of the younger Millennials, based on this matrix they are more than likely to fall in the "Clean and Green" or "Hip-ennial" segments. If you are trying to connect with the Old-School Millennial, targeting magazines or engaging in event-based promotions would be the best bet.

It's not perfect, but it's definitely the right direction. Like Gen Y isn't full of old, disconnected, computer-illiterates, the Millennials aren't a bunch of computer-gawking, do-nothing tree-huggers.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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