If you’ve crossed any business or marketing site you’ve probably heard the news about how millennials are business killers, ruining once proud businesses with their own culture. Things like the golf industry, the wine industry, and even McDonald’s have seen a slight decrease in value in recent reports, leading most market experts to blame these events on the rise in Millennials coming of age. From some headlines (“Are Millennials Killing Credit?”), readers would not be remiss in considering this the end of days. Are 20-30-somethings really single-handedly ruining the country’s economy though? The answer to that is of course not.
First, the idea of any generation “killing” the industry or culture of another is hardly a new development. Millennials alone have been accused of ruining movies, cruises, department stores, and even vacations to the point where the complaint hardly has any merit. As new technology develops and the culture changes, some systems will undoubtedly change regardless of any time period or group of people. Look no further than the song title “Video Killed The Radio Star” released in 1978.
Likewise, millennials do not destroy industries out of pure spite or disinterest in the public market. The demographic, like plenty of groups before them, simply adapt to the circumstances given to them and choose to spend their money elsewhere. According to reports from both Forbes and Time Magazine, although this younger generation spends less money on wine or vacations, they are still well-represented in items such as technology and organic foods. They also appear highly adept at new technical developments such as Uber or same-day delivery systems compared to other generations. The millennial generation is still a force in the market following the latest trends and causing a boom for some companies. Those businesses that do not keep up with the times are usually the ones millennials leave behind.
Furthermore, the millennial spending habits seem to reflect the spending habits of their parents or the generation before them. Following the recession earlier in the century, many baby boomers were negatively impacted as thrifty spending choices did not serve long-term goals. Millennials ranging from young teens to college-starters often witnessed this effect first-hand from their parents, leading them to change destructive market habits. Also, with seven out of ten millennials saddled with student loan debt, the generation is less apt to make long-term, expensive purchases such as a house or a car compared to their parents. From that impact, many previous staples of life such as the 9-to-5 job or marriage are also altered or postponed as Millennials struggle to earn a debt-free life. While the millennial generation is spearheading this change in the economy and culture, the obvious source is their parents.
However, just because some businesses have seen a slight regression doesn’t mean the Millennials are a generation of ” business killers ” in the darkest sense. Their gradual rise and general impact on the economy simply prove the need for businesses to adapt to the times and that all companies should practice keeping up with their customers. As the economy improves, more people throughout all generations will be more inclined to spend their money on the things they choose. These are still factors beyond one group’s control and will likely continue to affect people for years to come as the generations and times continue to change. Although there will probably be plenty of factors to influence the market by then, the headlines will be full of just as much doom and gloom. Just remember that these same headlines were written about hippies in the 60’s and that turned out quite alright!
No matter what generation leads the market, one of the best ways to keep a business afloat is up-to-date promotion and a significant social media presence. Contact Velocity Agency to keep your company prepared against any potential ” business killers ” and get ahead of the market trends!