Last week, the kind people at Titan invited me to be part of a round table discussing the Millenials, a generation I look on with awe and wonder and a smug sense of waiting for them to grow up and realise that they really don’t know it all, and that we forty somethings have been there, hoisted the flag and worn the tshirt.
Ergo, I took myself, blue sling, et al, to figure out how the millenials behaved. I learnt a lot of interesting stuff. Primary among which was the memory of why I flunked every group discussion I participated in because I wait until I am spoken to rather than jump in even if I have something to add or disagree. Which is also why I refuse television panel appearances. I learnt that Millenials have a hierarchy of friends, much like Maslow’s pyramid, and most of these in the socially networked era are costless friends. (though I believe that even so called costless friends on social networks do need the effort/cost of interaction and engagement and ‘liking’ ‘RTing’ ‘fwding’ etc for these friendships to sustain, and that some of my nicest friendships right now have happened when I’ve taken the online friendships offline). I learnt that the democratization of transport is going to lead to a change in the employed demographics. I also learnt that people don’t like to wear loud colours because they are considered down market, which makes me look sceptically at the bright trousers everyone seems to be sporting these days. So. I’m sifting through the findings, weighing them in, debating them in my head and discarding the ones that don’t fit in with what I’ve experienced. And yes, I agreed with the vodka. It does seem to be the millenial drink of choice.
Here are the findings, some paragraphs I found interesting.
“For India’s millennial generation (people born between roughly 1980 and 2001) it’s all about ‘me’. In fact, for this demographic group ‘me’ is not merely important, it’s the only opinion that counts.”
“India’s millennials would appear to be the most opinionated, uninhibited, independent-minded generation in the nation’s history; and this insight is endorsed by anecdotal evidence of millennial behaviours: the use of Twitter to connect directly with anyone irrespective of their rank or title, the disregard for traditional structures of authority and management in the workplace (if they have an opinion, India’s millennials will simply express it); and their opinion is as valid as the next person, whether that happens to be the boss or the Prime Minister!”
“According to the theory, Vodka is the perfect individualistic millennial drink; it leaves no trace on the breath, it can be transformed into an unlimited array of mixes and cocktails, or it can be drunk ‘solo’. In this sense, Vodka defies tradition and convention; it enables the drinker to choose his/her identity and adapts seamlessly.”
“Millennials are the World’s ‘exhibitionist class’, everything is shared, everything requires an
endorsement – whether that take the form of a ‘friend’ a ‘like’ or even a ‘retweet’. MTV researchers describe them as being ‘addicted to constant feedback’8; according to their research 58% of millennials surveyed felt more confident when they received feedback and 33% of those surveyed felt disappointed if others don’t respond.
And India’s millennials are no exception. 95% of them participate in social network activities at least once per day9, over half of them consider a mobile phone to be an ‘absolute necessary’ outstripping their debit/credit card (8%), bike (4%), car (2%) and newspaper (2%). India is home to over 61 million Facebook users, with 18-24 year-olds and 25-34 year-olds accounting for the biggest proportion.
According to Edelman’s 8095 research10, 74% of millennials believe that they influence their peers’ purchasing decisions; ‘Millennials seek recommendations from people they trust – They spend a lot of time on social media and are vocal about their likes and dislikes . . .’11 Facebook users, with 18-24 year-olds and 25-34 year-olds accounting for the biggest proportion.”
And here are some pictures from the event.