Issue No. 47: The Mythological Millennial, Under Armour, Tesla, and Foursquare



If you were born between 1981 and 2000, you are considered a national treasure. You’re called a “millennial” and digital agencies are selling brands the dream of tapping into your collective psyche and buying power. Millennials are avid users of new, shiny social media platforms and they are all strapped with college and consumer debt. They can’t buy homes because they are underemployed and over leveraged.  They are selfish. They are the source of a record turn for the worst, achieving a 130 year high of Americans who live with their parents. Where is there room for this supposed, disposable income attributed to this subset?

I’m a millennial. And I used to believe that I was an exception to this archetype, but I’m not. Truth is, the millennial brand is not monolithic. And this is not a bad thing. What it does mean is that the accurate understanding of the 20-35 year old tribe will involve an incredibly complex data study. We have our similarities but more and more, this age group is being broken down into a collection of smaller groups. Sure, there are similarities between the groups but those similarities likely shift with the times and the public sentiment.

Marketing to “millennials” is great in theory. They can fuel $20B valuations but when it comes to swiping a card, it will take more than a slideshow to help brands turn eyes and ears into actual transactions.

Read: Global X Fund’s Millennial Thematic ETF (on page 12) for an example of a dangerous over-generalization. 

See more of the issue here.

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