Financial Times have taken a look at millennials, a generation proving to be a challenge for the financial industry as they rewrite the financial rulebook and change the economy.
Millennials, a marketing term for 20-somethings, are the digital generation. They are the future of both the workforce and the economy, and their financial and consumer behaviour differs vastly from previous generations. They are described as entitled and their financial perspective is decidedly short-term. Millennials prioritise short-term spending over long-term saving, and would rather go on a holiday than put money towards their pension.
Redefining financial success
For millennials the definition of financial success is being debt free. When Facebook surveyed the financial conversations of US millennials they found that almost half of them considered being debt free the number one indicator of financial success. Millennials are wary of services that are branded as an investment. As few as 1 in 10 considered being able to retire an indicator of financial success, which speaks of the immediacy that is characteristic for this generation.
Millennials are the future of the economy, and according to Financial Times they are rewriting the rulebook. They are a powerful consumer group with low brand loyalty and they consider digital presence and provision crucial. Millennials are frequent users of services such as Spotify, Uber, Netflix and Airbnb; they have discarded the ownership model in favour of “sharing economy”, a model where providers and consumers are not so clearly defined. Millennials are not attached to things, but they do expect high quality services for less money.
Cracking the code
Businesses in general, and especially the financial industry, have to figure out how to sell their services to millennials. Millennials have an increasingly digital consumer behaviour and when asked they felt they had no one to turn to for financial guidance. When tailoring financial services to the millennial generation, digitalisation seems to be key.
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