Everyone, not just the housing industry, is fixated on defining every single minute detail of what a Millennial wants.
Sounds exhausting, especially given that Millennials are still asking themselves the exact same question. The bottom half of Millennials have barely had a chance to move out of their awkward teenage years.
A recent article in the New York Times brings to light just how obsessed marketers are with Millennials.
Not since the baby boomers came of age has a generation been the target of such fixation.
But this has a 21st-century style of urgency — with 24/7 micropandering, psychographic analysis, a high-priced shadow industry of consultants and study after study. (A few from recent days: how luxury brands can connect with millennials; what millennials think about restaurant loyalty programs; and which emotions most influence the purchasing decisions of millennials. Answer: anxiety and empowerment.)
Even HousingWire has its fair share of Millennial coverage.
So why the crazed obsession with this age group?
It’s because we are officially the largest generation, and while we may not have the greatest purchasing power at the moment, that doesn’t mean we won’t eventually.
“Why you’re seeing the fervor now is just where millennials are headed — out from the younger part of their life stage to where they’re in their first profession, they’re getting married, having children and influencing more spending,” said Christine Barton, a senior partner and managing director at the Boston Consulting Group.
As a result, businesses are terrified that if they don’t snare them now, they’ll miss the chance.
The problem is that everyone from around 1981 to 1997 is getting lumped into one giant, over-generalized group.
Take our own HousingWire Editorial team as an example.
Ben Lane recently wrote a blog on Rewired titled, “Hey CNBC, shut up about Millennials already.” Here is an excerpt from that piece.
Here in our newsroom, I sit across from another millennial, our own Brena Swanson. She and I rest at opposite ends of the millennial age scale. We have different interests and different political views. We took different paths to get here and we’re in different places in life in general.
But according to our friends at CNBC, Brena and I are exactly the same person.
For starters, Lane owns a home, and I don’t. And that’s just scratching the surface.
Yes. There are areas, like technology, that millennials have a preference for. But all these reports seem a little extreme.
It’s OK to talk about Millennials and trends, but stop talking like people from the ages of 18-34 all have the same likes and interests.
It’s not accurate. We’re trying to move away from the world of stereotypes.
Side note: And it wasn’t even the Millennial generation that helped kick start that campaign with movies. Props to you generation X.