July 28, 2020 Vanessa Niragira
Let’s start by defining both of them, shall we?
Starting with Millennials (Generation Y) because … well… They were born first! This generation was born between the years of 1980-1994 and has been the topic of many articles (some good, most bad).
This generation was really shaped by things like 9/11, the great recession, and of course the switch from the internet being for government/scientific research to personal use. They’re very comfortable using their phones and prefer the convenience of things like Netflix over traditional tv, however, 95% still watch TV and 32% still use computers for online purchases.
Just because it’s a whole generation doesn’t mean you should think of them as the same. Though those facts above are correct, something you should keep in mind is that you should split the generation into two categories Gen. Y1 and Gen. Y2. Their priorities, overall culture, and financial lifestyles are different. The latter half is just getting started in their financial journey, with their careers, and merely thinking about their next financial steps (buying a house, starting a family, etc.). Whereas the earlier half is a lot more confident in their career choices, they’re paying off their mortgages and raising little ones.
This young, fun and informed generation was born between the years of 1995-2015. There’s a chance you’re thinking that this generation has literal children in it, and it might seem weird to start keeping tabs on them now, but they’re only getting older and you may as well get ahead so you can stay ahead!
While some of this generation hasn’t had any shaping moments yet, most of this generation has been shaped by things like smartphones, social media, and seeing the struggles their parents (Gen X) faced financially. It comes as no shock that this generation is tech-savvy, most if not all received their first phone around the age of 10 and prior to that used their parent’s phones.
Similar to Generation Y1 and Y2, there is one portion of Gen Zs getting ready to learn who they are and what they’d like to be and the other half is busy being a kid and thinking about nothing more than childhood tribulations.
While these two generations seem pretty similar, both should be approached differently when trying to reach them.
For example, Millennials care more about products/features and have very little patience for bad service and inconsistency. So the way to get through to a millennial (if that’s your target) is to demonstrate & uphold your superior product/service history. Don’t rely on brand loyalty with this generation as they’ve come to realize they hold the power in their purchases.
Moving onto our young Gen Zs, as you probably could’ve guessed this generation spends a lot of time on their phones, at least 3 hours a day to be specific. Many take this information and run with it, thinking as long as they’re online and their brand looks good then you’ll grab this audience which is incorrect. It’s true this generation spends a lot of time online, but the advertising needs to be tailored to fit them specifically.
You may be thinking this is true for everyone, which is correct; however this generation is especially good at sniffing out messages that come off as insincere or desperate. This generation knows when they’re being sold to and will only spend a very limited amount of time deciding whether a brand is worth their time, so take the time to meet them and start a meaningful conversation.
I hope this gave you a good peek into the generations on everyone’s mind!
Vanessa Niragira, Oakville, Ontario, July 2020