Millennial Update: Myths, Stereotypes and Everything Else!

millennials may recap

This month’s millennial update focuses on work, brands/marketing, moms, homebuying and most importantly, myths and stereotypes (this is a MUST READ!).


See below for more on what millennials are looking for from brands/marketers, how moms are blending real world and digital chat, homebuyers, and all the myths, stereotypes and exaggerations surrounding millennials.

This month’s update is based on large-scale millennial surveys from Fidelity, Nielsen, Deloitte, Harvard Business Review, Brand Index, Boston Consulting Group, Mintel, NPD, TripAdvisor. All sources listed at end of post.


  • They expect marketers to really know them and are comfortable with brands tracking all of their online activity and warehousing their information. They rarely worry about online privacy.
  • Slow response to an email or text is akin to having your call ignored or even hung up on.
  • Nearly half are more interested in receiving texts from businesses than they were two years ago.
  • Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are their most popular grocery brands with Kroger ranking third.
  • They feel a personal connection to their preferred brands.
  • Half agree that brands “say something about who I am, my values and where I fit in.”
  • 24% like limited edition, seasonal or special release packaging.
  • They’re receptive to high-end private label branding.
  • 55% won’t stay in accommodations without wifi, compared with 34% of boomers.
  • They travel more often on business trips: 5 x per year compared with 2 x per year for workers over 35.


MOMS: blending real world and digital chats

  • Walmart is the #1 most-talked about brand, followed by Apple and Samsung.
  • Amazon is the biggest gainer followed by Facebook.
  • The biggest losers were BlackBerry, JuicyJuice, Mary Kay, Cricket Wireless and Nickelodeon.
  • Pampers fell to #45 most-talked-about brand in 2015 from #10 in 2010. Huggies are down as well. (Experts note that if the purpose of conversation is ‘how do I make my life easier, better, more productive,’ Amazon has become the conversation vs. any specific diaper brand.)
  • Customer ratings and reviews are a “key piece of” online conversations.
  • 79% of millennial moms expect a response from companies within the same day



  • The largest group of home buyers was the millennial generation for the third year in a row.
  • 35% were younger than 35.
  • The most popular home type was the detached single-family home, making up 83% of all home purchases.
  • Buyers 35 years and younger are buying homes with a median purchase price of $187,400.
  • 75% of first-time home buyers bought homes that they plan to keep well into their future; nearly half of these first-time home buyers want to retire there.
  • In previous years, millennials were buying urban homes but as they’ve become too expensive, suburban homes are becoming much more appealing for their price range and services, making this a more favorable option.



  • The average 29-year-old has not graduated from college
  • 70% of 29-year-olds do NOT have a bachelor’s degree, only 30% do.
  • 80% of Black and Hispanic 29-year-olds do not have a bachelor’s degree.
  • The average American has more than 7 jobs before he or she turns 29 and about a third of those last less than six months.
  • The median income for 29-year-olds is $35,000.
  • Most 29-year-olds are either cohabitating or married.
  • Relationships that used to be marriages are now something else (cohabitation/partnerships); couples are putting off marriage and children.
  • For every 100 Americans between 25 and 29 that move into a dense city, 124 are leaving those cities and moving into what retailers now call ‘urban light environments,’ sort of suburbs that are close to the downtown but nonetheless clearly are not downtown.


  • Even the most widely accepted stereotypes about Millennials appear to be suspect.
  • Last year, IBM’s Institute for Business Value released a report titled “Myths, Exaggerations and Uncomfortable Truths: The Real Story Behind Millennials in the Workplace.”
  • Based on a multigenerational study of 1,784 employees from companies across 12 countries and six industries, it found that about the same percentage of Millennials (25%) want to make a positive impact on their organization as Gen Xers (21%) and Baby Boomers (23%). Differences are uniformly minimal across nine other variables as well.
  • Thomas C. Reeves and Eunjung Oh, two researchers at the University of Georgia, reviewed dozens of studies on generational differences. “Gross generalizations based on weak survey research and the speculations of profit-oriented consultants should be treated with extreme caution,” they concluded.



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