Here’s why Millennials are already old news and it’s time to focus on a new generation.
We are all guilty of using that word, clients mention it in every brief, we do in every brief, It has become disgustingly overused.
As a creative strategist, millennials are in every thought and make up a big chunk of my team, colleagues and millions of users.
Problem is in the perception of the users. The reason fact is that you don’t have to be born from 1980-2000 to live on your iPhone or embrace social media. And young people aren’t the only ones who seek out purpose in their career, not just a paycheck, or who want to make a difference.
The concept of Millennials is just too limiting we are missing the bigger picture. What we should talking about is Generation C.
What is Generation C?
They are the connected ones, anyone who integrates technology into their daily routine, regardless of age, shares certain qualities. The mother who is snap-chatting all day, the father who sings karaoke all day, the addicted instagrammer… It is how people embrace technology, from social networks to smartphones to intelligent appliances, that contributes to the digital lifestyle.
Gen C stands for connectivity.
What age groups make up Gen C?
It is NOT an age group. It’s a mindset. There’s no cut-off date. You can be 15 or 85 years old and still be a full-fledged member. Nor is it defined by socioeconomic status, ethnicity, geography or any of the classic demographic markers. Gen C isn’t necessarily rich or poor, urban or suburban, young or old.
What sets Gen C apart is connectivity, they’re active and engaged in online communities, from the familiar social networks to product review sites. They’re not just consuming content, they’re creating and curating it.
How does Gen C interact with the world?
Generation C lives on digital media. Television, print, radio… it’s all an afterthought, if that. They move seamlessly from laptop to tablet to smartphone, connected every waking minute, often on multiple platforms. More important than what devices Gen C are using, however, is how they’re using them: as tools for participation, not passive consumption.
Streaming video and social media dominate their time spent online. Rather than relying on traditional news sources, they get their information from social media feeds–algorithmic streams on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other networks that aggregate preferences from their friends and followers.
Responding and interacting–through comments, emojis, texts and tweets–is as important as reading or watching. Creating is as critical as consuming. Everything is curated, customized, personalized and optimized.
What’s the key to reaching Gen C?
Accessing Gen C (and I definitely consider myself a member) depends on reaching us where we live… and on our terms.
Traditional media don’t cut it. Even conventional digital ads and marketing fall flat for this savvy, ad-blocking audience. We trust, above all, content shared on our personal networks. For businesses, this is the Holy Grail and the highest stamp of approval: a word-of-mouth recommendation on Facebook, a creative meme that goes viral on Twitter, a thumbs up from a trusted Influencer.
Reaching Gen C means having a keen understanding of click-worthy, the art of creating shareable, entertaining, useful and highly visual content. In an era when information and entertainment sources are unlimited, hijacking attention spans with something as mundane as an ad isn’t going to happen.
Above all, connecting with Gen C rests on a deep investment in social media (both philosophically and financially). Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn… this is the neural network through which Gen C gauges and engages the world, both close to home and across the globe.
How big is Gen C?
The numbers are vast. Gen C is everywhere. Plenty of Millennials belong to this group, but so do lots of Gen Xers and Yers, not to mention lots of Boomers. The digital transformation and all the cultural changes that have accompanied this upswing in connectivity has cut across traditional demographics.
These changes are absolutely not confined to a single cohort of craft-beer drinking twenty-somethings.
We’ve tortured this Millennial concept enough.
Let’s give it a rest. For marketing, for hiring, for connecting: Age is increasingly arbitrary. The Millennial era is ending. Long live Generation C.