Quirks of the Millennial demographic

millenialmenToday, marketers want to learn all they can about Millennials – the group born between 1980 and 1995 that’s set to dominate both the workplace and economy. Millennials, often described as being adept at technology and overly confident, are considered by some as high maintenance, in terms of what they want and need.

Recent studies on Millennials have shown they’re less likely to have a full-time job, own a home or car, or even use a credit card – goals that older Americans strove for and often accomplished when they were the same age. That said, however, Millennials are up against some tougher challenges: massive student loan debt, low wages, and unaffordable housing.

Modern Millennial Men

As the economy has changed, so, too, has the modern family. Not only is there a higher divorce rate, but it’s now quite common for traditional roles to reverse; a husband may lose his job, leaving his wife to be the sole breadwinner while he takes care of the home and family. A recent study found the number of stay-at-home fathers has almost doubled since 1989, which means that men now play a bigger role in buying decisions. Forward-thinking companies who plan to market to the so-called “Millennial Man” need to know exactly who he is (or close to it).

William Reihl, of the NYC-based Ketchum ad agency, is well aware of mens’ greater role in household buying decisions. His survey of 18 to 35-year olds revealed some important differences within the group – information that’s particularly beneficial to marketers. The study showed that “younger” Millennial men (18 to 25 years old) tend to hold more conservative views than the “older” (26 to 35 years old) men, on topics including relationships, health, and careers.

According to Ketchum’s study, the younger, so-called “New Traditionalists” are:

  • More likely than older Millennials to believe that a man should be the provider and protector in the home (23% vs. 15% of older Millennials);
  • More likely to say it matters that men are the breadwinners in a marriage (40% vs. 33%)
  • More likely to think the “strong, silent” stereotype still applies to them (28% vs. 24%); and;
  • Less likely to think it’s OK to be vulnerable about their looks with friends (67% vs. 74%).

Although the “New Traditionalists” seem to mimic the old-school stereotype, they’re also open to modern ideas, such as asking for purposeful work, flexible hours, and more time with family and friends.