The millennial generations have been the subject of too many stereotypic categorization. Not quite long ago, many media houses usually depict the millennials as lazy, entitled, and brats that are obsessed with social media and technology. This mis-characterization and stereotypic views about the millennials are now mostly debunked by recent research and findings. The millennials now made up of more than a quarter of the entire US population. Any company that aim for success in the 21st century must embark on a quest to understand millennials do what they do in order to leverage their economic and political power. Many books have been written on the psychology and thinking of the millennials. Here are four things I still struggle with in my quest for understanding the why millennials do what they do.
Why They Travel
Although millennials are less likely to buy a car or a home, they might even take a pass on marriage and child bearing, they still spend more on travel than their parent. And the reason they love traveling is not just about vacationing it is more about experiencing another culture. According to a study by TopDeck Travel, experiencing new culture and eating local foods are the main reasons millennial want to travel. They want to embrace new cultures and dine with the locals of their place of visit. Millennials are the kind of people you will mostly see signing up for tequila tastings in St Lucia Resorts and colonial heritage view in the Caribbean.Unlike what many people believe, millennials don't just travel for the sake of having fun, it is mostly for the experience.
This is further evident in the sudden influx of millennial RV buyers. They are willing to invest in the best travel trailers mostly for the joy of experience gained through road trips. In general, millennials are more interested in using travelling as a tool for gaining experience.
Millennials weird Opinions about Guns
The research is already settled that the millennials are less likely to own a gun. What is surprising however is the PEW research that shows that the millennials still rate protecting gun rights more important than controlling gun ownership or reducing gun violence. This seems like an oxymoron. According to a PEW Research study conducted in 2013, only 16 percent of millennials claimed to own a gun. The figure is more than 30% for their parent (the baby boomers). A peek into the similar research by the same PEW research indicate that the millennials support for gun rights has been on an upward trend from 20% in 2007 to 54% in 2016 while the millennials support for gun control has been on a downward trend from 74% in 2007 to 45% in 2016. It seems that even though millennials tend to be more liberal in their general political view, their stand on gun control measures are far more conservative than I could imagine. In a recent conversation with Casey Hoyer, a DUI Lawyer in Utah, he made the submission that there are many millennials with car gun safe than most people will expect.
Their affinity for Fitness & fresh ingredients
The issue of fitness and wellness is probably one of the most prominent common denominator among the millennials. The Millennials are not only exercising more than previous generations, they actually like going to the gym, take more classes offered by gym and health clubs, more goal oriented with their fitness, invest more in health and wellness, and show more interest in fitness and survival training related issues. Fitness and wellness is a daily and active pursuit for them. The millennials affinity for fresh food has caused a lot of changes in the food and restaurant industry. Most restaurant (e.g. Subway) now make the issue of freshness the center point of their marketing campaign. The desire to avoid chemicals/treatments is probably the reason millennials place higher emphasis on food that are fresh, simple and healthy, even from fast food chains!
Why They Use Less Insurance
Many people tend to associate millennials apathy for insurance to the fact that they are likely they have relatively few assets or dependents to protect. But I don't buy this. The baby boomers at participated more in the insurance and financial industry when they were at the same age. There many other factors driving why millennials don't care much about insurance industry and why they are the most underinsured generation alive today. Their love for sharing economy might be one. For instance, instead of owning a car a typical millennial will prefer to use UBER, instead of buying a vacation home they will use AirBnB, and instead of owning a DVD millennials will go for a Netflix. The downside of sharing economy is that it makes consumer driven insurance of little use.
Another reason that might explain millennials lack of interest in insurance in the kind of distrust they have for financial advisers. Even those that might consider taking up an insurance policy among the millennials will likely hire a public adjusters to advocate on their behalf when negotiating or settling a claim.