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Millennial Tensions: A Story of Change

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Tired of hearing "Millennials have been decoded, debunked, everything you need to hear" then "everything you've heard is wrong"... This isn't that at all. See why we think this generation deserves more than a few statistics and bold claims to tell their story. There’s a lot contradictory info on this generation, but that’s because they’re full of contradictions themselves.

Published in: Marketing
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  • @Maitreyee Patki Thanks for checking it out Maitreyee! Glad it was helpful. If you're interested in a more Indian-centric understanding, I'd be happy to connect you w/ the head of our Mumbai office. Always happy to help our friends at Leo. Feel free to shoot me a note: liam@thesoundhq.com
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  • Very well written! Helpful for sure
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  • Thanks Scott! It's a constant evolution and very interesting to witness.
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Millennial Tensions: A Story of Change

  1. 1. 1 MILLENNIAL TENSIONS PREPARED BY THE SOUND www.thesoundhq.com A story of change
  2. 2. MILLENNIAL TENSIONS THE SOUND 2 UNDER THE MICROSCOPE The size and influence of the generation is one of the few things everyone agrees on. As such, they’re been relentlessly “solved”, “decoded”, “debunked”… We’ve been sold “everything you need to hear” then “everything you’ve heard was wrong.”
  3. 3. In our experience, their story is too complicated to be told in a few stats and bold claims. To tell our version, we’ll start where they did, at the beginning… OVERSIMPLIFIED Though there is no lack of opinion, there seems to be a lack of consensus. MILLENNIAL TENSIONS THE SOUND 3
  4. 4. MILLENNIAL TENSIONS THE SOUND 4 WHAT MAKES A MILLENNIAL? in our humble opinion…
  5. 5. CONTEXT SHAPES A GENERATION’S TRAITS, VALUES AND WORLD-VIEWS - IT GIVES THEM THEIR COLLECTIVE IDENTITY. MILLENNIAL TENSIONS THE SOUND 5
  6. 6. LEADERSHIP THE MILLENNIAL STORY CAN BEST BE SUMMED UP BY CHANGE 6 MILLENNIAL TENSIONS THE SOUND CHANGE IN TONE CHANGE IN TOOLS CHANGE IN TOTAL
  7. 7. LEADERSHIP Boomers took a massively optimistic and involved approach to parenting (often called ‘helicoptering’), empowering & protecting Millennial youth But then… High expectations met harsh realities - economic recession, crowded job markets, crippling loans and no sign of the many guarantees promised in youth. Change in Tone THE REALITY CHECK 7 MILLENNIAL TENSIONS THE SOUND
  8. 8. LEADERSHIP There is no way to overstate the importance of tech in this story. It shaped how they learn, love, create, share, socialize, identify… Born too late to be intimidated by it, tech took the driver’s seat to both the cause & solution to the majority of their problems. Change in Tools THE TECH REVOLUTION 8 MILLENNIAL TENSIONS THE SOUND
  9. 9. LEADERSHIP Millennials had a front seat to the fastest pace of change the world has seen yet. Entire institutions rose & vanished in fractions of the time it used to take. The only certainty has been the lack thereof, and the generation has grown to expect shifting sands year to year. Change in Total THE CONSTANT FLUX 9 MILLENNIAL TENSIONS THE SOUND
  10. 10. LEADERSHIP 10 MILLENNIAL TENSIONS THE SOUND This recipe of opportunity & crisis, being fueled by tech and living in continuous flux led to a generation widely considered to a a walking contradiction… 8 KEY TENSIONS…
  11. 11. LEADERSHIP 11 MILLENNIAL TENSIONS THE SOUND 1MASSIVELY INFORMED CONNECTION FATIGUE Unprecedented Ease of Access to Information ‣ Highly aware of local & global issues ‣ Quick “experts” on most topics ‣ Far reaching network of personal & professional lives Constantly “On” and Living in Constant Comparison ‣ Guinea pigs for the tech-fueled life ‣ Learning impact of overstimulation ‣ Brand new social struggles (ex: unrealistic online personas)
  12. 12. LEADERSHIP 2INFINITE CHOICE DECISION PARALYSIS 12 MILLENNIAL TENSIONS THE SOUND Trained to Expect Unlimited Options & Ability to Choose the Best ‣ Food, music, TV, movies, amazon ‣ Rise of online dating (Tinder) ‣ Only know the world of total, unfiltered, often free access Unlearned the Art of Making Tradeoffs ‣ “Want it all”, but struggle with the reality of too many options ‣ Need for curation and tailored recommendations (of everything)
  13. 13. LEADERSHIP 3JACK OF ALL TRADES MASTERS OF NONE 13 MILLENNIAL TENSIONS THE SOUND Have Desire & Ability to Try Their Hand at Almost Anything ‣ Empowered by Boomer parents ‣ Easy access to DIY-everything (YouTube, Pinterest, Etsy) ‣ Value creativity, ingenuity, etc. Breadth of Experiences Without Depth & Commitment ‣ Generalists vs. Specialists ‣ Multi-tasking extraordinaries ‣ Search for perfect fit vs. diving in ‣ Contributes to identity crisis
  14. 14. LEADERSHIP 4EXPLORE THE WORLD CRAVE STABILITY 14 MILLENNIAL TENSIONS THE SOUND Lives are in Constant Movement with Few Things Certain & Static ‣ Take longer to reach steady ground (marriage, own vs. rent, car, kids) ‣ Most expected milestones put off or completely redefined Attempt to Consume As Many Experiences as Possible ‣ Most common (but accurate) insight - not possession driven ‣ Exposure to a broader world ‣ Value adventure & spontaneity
  15. 15. LEADERSHIP Before Midlife Already the Most Reminiscent Generation Yet ‣ Reemergence of youth pop-culture (barcades, adult summer camp) ‣ Pace of change leads to idealized simpler, more stress-free times Highly Motivated to Achieve the Benefits of Adulthood ‣ Strong desire to be taken seriously ‣ Driven by extended youth context, uncertainty of reaching goals ‣ Respond to experience messaging 15 MILLENNIAL TENSIONS THE SOUND 5NOSTALGIA OVERLOAD MATURITY STRIVING
  16. 16. LEADERSHIP 6ACHIEVEMENT OBSESSED DRIVEN BY PASSION Future Oriented & Fixated on Achieving Lofty Ambitions ‣ Witnessed success of Boomer parents, believe it’s self-made ‣ Set big life goals and value reaching them over most things 16 MILLENNIAL TENSIONS THE SOUND Refuse to Settle for Less Than Their High Bar for Success ‣ Means “doing something I love” ‣ While offering me all the things I’ve been told I deserve ‣ Reality is chronically stressful
  17. 17. LEADERSHIP 17 MILLENNIAL TENSIONS THE SOUND 7EXPRESSIVE & OPEN FLUID IDENTITY Most Accepting & Comfortable with Sharing ‣ Brought up in a wold constantly creating, sharing, & defining yourself ‣ Most progressive generation to date (drugs, social issues, etc.) Struggling to Find a Rooted & Real Sense of Self ‣ Big investment of time, energy, and effort spent curating self-image ‣ Yearn for a steady and defined identity, real not digital
  18. 18. LEADERSHIP 18 MILLENNIAL TENSIONS THE SOUND = = 8RIGHTFULLY FRUSTRATED RELENTLESSLY OPTIMISTIC Hold Contempt for State of the World They Were Handed ‣ Feel their generation inherited the problems of their parents ‣ Angry at the way many things were (and still are) done Despite Setbacks, Feel Things Will Improve (and They Can Help) ‣ Strongly feel “everything will work out 
 in the end” ‣ View themselves as heroes, and refuse to believe they’re helpless
  19. 19. TENSIONS ARE GREAT We often seek them out in our studies. Life is messy. People are confusing creatures. Finding a tension is a good indicator of stumbling on some truth. EMBRACE THE CONFUSION A tension means an opportunity to say something interesting. It affords brands the chance to step in and ease the struggle (be a hero!), or at least show a bit of empathy by recognizing & admitting it exists. KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING A final note on “solving” Millennials - they’re constantly shifting and evolving (much like their world). We speak to them every day, about nearly every topic. Reach out to info@thesoundhq.com for more information and specificity on the generation in your category! MILLENNIAL TENSIONS THE SOUND 19 CLOSING THOUGHTS
  20. 20. V A N C O U V E R | N E W Y O R K | L O N D O N | T O R O N T O | C H I C A G O | M U M B A I W W W . T H E S O U N D H Q . C O M
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