Q: What’s the difference between a boomer and a millennial?
A: A boomer went to the moon and took five photos, no selfies. A millennial went to the mall and took 37 photos, all selfies.
Every generation looks at the one behind them and wonders “what’s wrong with those kids?” Baby boomers are no different. They’ve been complaining about millennials since they were in diapers. Millennials are young adults now, and they are continuing to exasperate their elders.
Growing up, they were coddled in every way. Everyone got a trophy, even those who lost at games or contests. They are a highly educated generation, yet many have stumbled into establishing careers. They are derided as entitled and lazy. They have more debt and less wealth than earlier generations but they manage to find the money to drop on a pricey white mocha frappuccino.
But, as boomers retire, millennials are moving into leadership positions. And they have very different ideas about what’s important. They are deeply skeptical about boomers’ values and practices. They’ve grown up in a world in which information about anything and everything was available 24/7. They see their world as fragile and themselves as vulnerable.
As consumers, millennials are demanding that companies be transparent with their processes, their natural resources and their supply chain. Sustainability is their watchword; disposable is a dirty word. They want the items they buy to have a long useful life. In fact, millennials are on their way to being the most prolific consumers in the secondhand market.
From vintage clothing to certified pre-owned cars, millennials are demanding higher quality and longer usage from items they buy. Luxury manufacturers are scrambling to accommodate them with transferable warranties and free repairs. At FCG, we’re seeing more and more millennials. They’re shunning the cheap, disposable furniture that’s piling up in landfills. They want quality that lasts.
Maybe these young’uns actually have a lot to teach the boomers. Millennials seem to be turning back the clock to a time when products were made to last and every customer was special. And they are looking to protect future generations by protecting the world we all share. Sounds like a happy ending that all of us can appreciate.