What do we believe about Millennials? That they're lazy, spoiled, entitled? That they aren't socially conscious? That all they want to do is take selfies and binge-watch Netflix? If we believe those things, it's because we only believe the stereotypes. And that's a massive problem.
In the 88 office, there are quite a few Millennials, and by and large they did not fit under the stereotypes slung over them. That got us to thinking about those very stereotypes. More often than not, we'd see them unattributed to research. Words like "lazy," "spoiled" and "entitled" were usually contained only in some anecdotal account. It became evident to us that there was a massive gulf between what we actually knew about Millennials and what we believed about them. Only intensive research could overcome that gulf.
Most research on Millennials concerns the Millennial relationship to consumer packaged goods, technology or their employers. We went at it from a different angle. First, we aimed to find out if those many stereotypes were truly apt descriptors of this generation, or just that--stereotypes. Second, we sought to find answers for a question that many businesses face on a daily basis: How do Millennials interact with service brands? We knew that there wouldn't be a one-size-fits-all solution, because the Millennial generation is too large and too diverse for a single answer, but we felt that the proper research could consistently point us in the right direction.
Together, QNA Group and 88 Brand Partners set out to set the story straight about Millennials. In our research, we interviewed nearly 1,000 Millennials, across diverse backgrounds and economic classes. We asked them a series of questions, beginning with how they view themselves and how they believe others view them. We inspected their buying patterns, their advertising preferences and how they feel about institutions such as religion and government.
There were several different ways in which we directly examined the Millennial relationship to service brands. We proposed various buying scenarios of products and services in order to see how Millennials act when forced to make a purchase decision. We used a weighted scale to determine the things they most want from their brands as well as the things they most value in the marketplace. This gave us a much more penetrating view into what Millennials think about service brands, and what they want to think about them.
The research, as a whole, took months to conduct, compile and make sense of. We weren't exactly sure what sort of results to expect, but we still found ourselves surprised time and again. We believe that, when used correctly, these insights into Millennials will be of the utmost usefulness to any organization that markets to this valuable consumer segment.
Over the next few weeks, we will be exploring different aspects of the research, as well as sharing both our quantitative and qualitative findings. This should help to do away with some of the stereotypes, and get everyone thinking the right way about Millennials.