In recent years we have been learning all about the millennials, how they prefer experience over ownership, how far they go to avoid debt, and of course how much they love avocado on toast.
We are used to seeing article titles that identify millennial trends and habits, or others that are placing blame on them for certain phenomena (like not believing in retirement or distrusting franchises). Millennial architypes are often disliked because of ideals that differ to what their parents had in mind for them, but that has not stopped them from doing what they do best, forging a new path for themselves based on transparency and community.
Born between the early 80’s and mid 90’s, millennials have already become targeted consumers with some sense of buying power and influence in the marketing world. But soon a new generation will step up and take the mantle of social scrutiny from them, forcing marketing and business models to adapt accordingly; the iGens.
The next generation that the world needs to become aware of is the iGen. They are born between the late-90s to the mid-2000s. They are the next large consumers that are about to flood the markets, and brands need to care about them, while of course not forgetting about the millennials.
The iGen is an example of the internet generation that already has technology integrated into his or her life (but will, for better or worse, never know what a rotary dial telephone or dial-up internet connection is). They are consuming media from a young age and are living lives focused on multiple screens.
They are soon going to be having some form of influence with their buying power, and as such, it is highly important that brands prepare themselves for a new generation, and a new way of communicating with it.
Why Are They So Important?
It is important that we learn from changes brought about by each new generation, and assumptions can be dangerous. iGens need to be communicated with on their own terms, and in a way that resonates with them.
Continuing with business as usual, and with no foresight for changes brought on by coming generations, will do little to help you avoid brand mishaps while wasting your resources on misguided advertising.
iGens will be entering into the world of work soon and will have a large financial pull within consumer markets. So marketers and business owners need to understand that their whole philosophy on life is completely different to that of millennials, and technology will be the centre of it all.
This generation is focused around the self, and how their external world works towards helping them meet their needs and wants. They are a generation concerned about the environment, who, having grown up in the digital age, also value their privacy.
They are constantly and actively working on their person as a brand; a group of people prepared to work and centre their lives around professionalism, while aiming to build memories with their loved ones.
They are embracing local culture and they are looking for more worldly life experiences. They are looking for a life where they are enabled and understood for who they are, and they are not afraid to let new brands into their lives.
The Key Differences Between Them
Information Processing & Information Bias
The iGen generation, having grown up around digital media from day one, are more accustomed to consuming and analysing content, making them masterful information processors by their very nature. This means that marketing campaigns focused on them need to pay attention to delivering engaging and interesting content.
These waves of content that they constantly engage with have resulted in a lower span of attention than in Millennials, who tend to retain focus more easily, but struggle to engage with vast quantities of content.
The Multi-Taskers & the Specialists
A lowered sense of focus in the iGen generation is not necessarily a sore point for them, since it has given them the ability to be better multi-taskers than any previous generation.
Having grown up engaging simultaneously with various platforms, screens and projects, they are able to concentrate in the face of multiple distractions.
When compared to the easily side-tracked millennial who generally focusses on one task at a time, it is easy to see how the iGen generation may have demands for more content, more consumption and a busier lifestyle.
Bargain Hunters & Impulse Buyers
Millennials have grown up in the midst of a recession, the result of which is an attitude inclined towards penny-pinching and bargain hunting. They conduct careful research, scour reviews and look into the entirety of a brand’s history and impact before making even the simplest purchasing decision.
While a good price and value for money is a major concern for Millennials, the iGens are less inclined to scour for promotions and niche deals, and put far less cognitive effort into purchasing decisions. They know what they want to buy, and buy it without much prior research.
The Individual and the Community
While the community at large and a sense of social inclusion define Millennials and much of their thoughts and actions, the iGens tend towards a focus on the individual.
They seek uniqueness over belonging, which has an effect on their opinions regarding which brands they interact with, what types of jobs they do, and how they interact socially and professionally with others.
Right Click Media
We should learn from the millennial mistakes, and not ignore or stereotype this generation from the get go. It is important that brands know how to talk to and with the different audiences and generations so that they can create meaningful and lasting relationships with all of their consumers.
Thankfully, digital marketing agency, Right Click Media, is here to help you build those relationships in the digital space, perfect for the iGen, the millennial and anyone else.
What makes us so sure? Well for starters, this very article was written by a hard-working, screen-surrounded iGen, and edited by an avocado-on-toast-eating millennial.