Generation Y: the Millennials Types and their relationship with brands in social networks

Interest to generation Y has been actively exploited in recent media, discusses this topic in terms of marketing and branding, in the context of sociology, psychology and HR. And thanks to the media, many of them formed a kind of muddled idea about these people. The genius and stupidity, self-centeredness and love of neighbor, entrepreneurial skills and infantilism as the characteristics of “Millennials,” we are condemned, we are encouraged, but always cause of much comment — indeed, in the descriptions, someone is sure to hear yourself, your friend or colleague. We decided to break it down. To clarify contentious issues and to explain how the theory of generations helps to build on the work in social networks.

One of the main points on which there are differences not only in media but even in materials of significant explorers — the boundaries of generation Y. Someone refers to as “Millennials,” people born from 1980 to beginning of 1990-ies. And those born in the late 90s according to representatives of generation Z. Other move the border to 1985-2005. In search of truth refer to the source.

Generational boundaries clearly defines and justifies the so-called theory of generations, was developed in the early 90-ies of the last century, Americans Neil Howe and William Strauss.

Later this theory was adapted for other countries. According to the theory, the duration of one generation is 20-22 years. Every 20 years a new generation of people whose values are fundamentally different from the values their parents and grandparents. It is interesting that the generational change occurs only four times, forming a single 80-year cycle.

Four generations in the cycle of change, like the seasons, again and again. This happens for many hundreds of years. The research of Howe and Strauss describes this pattern from the late 16th century, the time of the birth of the United States, but the researchers argue that this pattern was relevant long before that. The 80-year cycle represent the four archetypes of generations. “Artists”, “Idealists”, “Nomads” and “Heroes”.

The identity of “Artists” is formed in the epoch of reaction and rigid authoritarian control by external forces, whether government or parents. “Idealists” are growing in the era of economic recovery and stability. “Nomads” — in the days when starts to blow the winds of change, and old values are crumbling. “Hero” appears in the crisis, to the ruins of the “old life” to create a new world. As told by Franklin Roosevelt that some generations much is given, from others — much is expected.

And what archetype are “Millennials”?. The archetype of the “Hero” in the 20th century was embodied in two different generations. This so-called “Greatest generation” — people born from 1900 to 1920-ies. “Heroes” in the truest sense of the word, defending, changing, building a new world. Born in an unstable era of regime change, revolution, global shocks, the representatives of the “Greatest generation” passed through at least one war.

80 years later the cycle repeated. Heroes of our time — “Millennials”, or the millennial generation. Coworking, smoothies, startups, beard, whiskers, all of it. But no, not all. The archetype of the “Hero”, of course, is manifested differently than 80 years ago.

The heroism of “Millennials” — the denial of authority. In believing in yourself and your abilities. The unwillingness to spend dozens of years in a boring job. In dynamism, the thirst to explore the world. In the predominance of spiritual values over material.

In the entrepreneurial spirit. The Millennials grew up in a period of momentous change. Perestroika, the collapse of the USSR, liberalisation and the transition to a market economy, globalization, the rapid development of digital technologies, the rapid spread of the Internet and the global financial crisis. Hence the willingness of Millennials to change, disbelief in the long-term prospects and the denial of authority. Cynicism, arrogance, immaturity and optimism.

“Millennials,” caught during the relatively prosperous 2000s. The information revolution makes the youth free and confident. Technology allows one person to compete with large organizations. Hackers are against corporations, bloggers compete with Newspapers, the terrorists with the States that YouTube users — with film studios, producers of applications with entire industries. The “Millennials” immunity to advertising, traditional marketing tools are ineffective with them.

“Millennials” dont watch TV, hardly listen to the radio, dreaming of working in the Bank and dont believe the propaganda. Five years will pass, and “Millennials” will be in the most economically active age. They will produce the lions share of GDP, spending money on quality clothing, travel, invest in the education of children and to take on the mortgage. A business that does not learn to communicate with them, will not be able to be successful.

The situation is complicated by the fact that “Millennials” are many and varied. The Millennials are considered the most “promiscuous” generation in history. Hence the contradictions in the characteristics of Millennials, which we mentioned at the beginning. In Russia today, 30 million Millennials.

It is obvious that, in addition to General traits of the generation as a whole, there are some features that can be segmented. In 2012 The Boston Consulting Group conducted a study entitled The Millennial Consumer. It was attended by four thousand Millennials aged 16 to 34 years, as well as representatives of older generations. Not surprisingly, the responses varied among Millennials of different ages, social status, income and gender.

Their attitude toward technology, communication, media consumption, marketing and Outlook on life differ. The result of this research is the selection of 6 types of Millennials. Distinctive features of social behavior formed the basis of the conventional names of these types: We at the Agency “April”, perhaps one of the first in the whole digital crowd Runet began to seriously delve into the work with the audience on the basis of the theory of generations. The biggest concern is our approach for companies seeking to establish a dialogue with their audience, instead of “shooting from guns on sparrows”, increasing media pressure, and possibly merging the budget.

The correct approach to Millennials will allow for “rocking” the community in social networks, to find or grow their own brand advocates. Each of the above types of Millennials has its own characteristics of network behavior. Lets go in order and find out how, with whom, and what better to talk. Global insight this audience sounds like “I can change the world”. However they say much more than doing.

Among the “Knowledgeable” dominated girls. In social networks they are very active, would rather prefer to “like”, “charity” and comment than to write some of their own thoughtful (or not) lyrics. “Knowledgeable” is a very fertile ground for the spread of various viral activities. For example, from charitable organizations.

Remember, who often repost calls for assistance dogs, grandmothers and children among your friends, and you will find a bright representative of “Knowledgeable”. “Its great being me!” — immodestly, but they think so. These guys, mostly guys, tend to be independent, make good money and can buy at these money advanced gadgets. I think a large part of the audience learns in the “Advanced” yourself, and if you can reply that you are interested in Digital.

True, the main thing is not to be a slave and behave yourself. You create most of the content, seeking to emphasize their success and trend following. And you will be especially happy if the brand will show a special attitude personal attitude, will listen to your advice and will communicate with you.

Better yet, if among your friends (accidentally, yeah), will be found an “Evangelist” of the brand and I will talk about the top secret new products and share their promo code. “I love to play sports, travel and pamper my baby”. “Mom Millennials,” very active. The child is not only no reason to stop to do them, but, on the contrary, the driver of personal growth and development. As for behavior in social networks, they find enough time to produce just tons of content.

However, the topics of their interest, is limited to understandable terms. Travel, health, family, education. Politics and Economics are not interest “Mom” until then, while some events do not begin to touch them directly.

“Millennial moms” — a very interesting audience, which spends money by a factor of x2 on yourself and your child. If you want to get through to them, try to configure the communication via authoritative in their environment of bloggers and mom-celebrities. To communicate with them directly, but you need to earn the trust of. “I care not only about yourself but about the world that surrounds me” — they crowd around vegan and trailers are to take the lamp and batteries.

We called them “Green” that is absolutely true and “Fluffy” that sometimes is not quite true. Because sometimes they can be very warlike. It is necessary to touch to the quick, ready to catch a wave and feel free to get involved in a scandal on the pages of Facebook. “Green” will not be to trust you, until then, until you can prove that you have actually reduced emissions.

Hi, Volkswagen. In Russia the theme “greening” of advertising communication is not yet sufficiently developed, however, the most successful cases we observed in the segment of medium business. If you want to consolidate the reach of the “Green” — give them a free opportunity for you to work hard.

Bring batteries, inventing a new dish or will tell friends how good you are. “Im too busy with chores and family to think about something else” — Yes, they do not care about politics, ecology and social organization, and yet, in your “feisbuc” with “kontaktika”. Of course, they use the Internet, maybe they even have profiles on social networks, but they are what is called “empty”. Picture instead of avatars and 10-20 friends.

If your item is of interest to these harsh guys, they will subscribe, but involvement from them do not wait. “Social networking is too impersonal, lets meet up and get some coffee!” is “X”, which just pretend to be “the Millennials”. Well they love the live chat, I dont feel comfortable in social media, I dont understand how to call a taxi through the app. Perhaps some of them even have a home phone. And TV.

If “Anti-millennial” fall out of the classification, “Conservatives” are on the other pole in relation to “Advanced”. If your target audience “Conservatives”, try to use more classic media UN TV, Newspapers, magazines — otherwise there is a risk that you just cant get them. As you can see, six groups of millennial generation or “Millennials” quite aptly describes the main types of those who are now from 14 to 33 years.

The most useful theory of generations in two cases. First, when you are looking for a consumer insight of your target audience, and secondly, when you want to set up a dialogue with the audience through social networks. Just as accurately without illusions and describe the target buyer and find a definition under which it falls. Many of the answers will come by themselves.


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