Despite these shared beliefs and attitudes, U.S. Millennials are by no means homogeneous. On the basis of their responses to questions about technology, cause marketing, media habits, and general outlook on life, we identified six distinct segments within the Millennial population: Hip-ennial, Millennial Mom, Anti-Millennial, Gadget Guru, Clean and Green Millennial, and Old-School Millennial. (See Exhibit 3.) Each one exhibits Millennial traits in varying degrees and combinations.
For instance, Marcus typifies the Clean and Green Millennial. He’s a 27-year-old graduate student with his own blog on the benefits of green living. He spends a lot of time online updating his blog and uploading articles and studies that support his opinions. He is a healthy eater and sees himself as an expert on green products, often taking time out of his day to rate environmentally friendly products and services. Charity work matters to him. He not only volunteers his own time, but also encourages his friends and families to support his causes.
Another example is Amy, a 28-year-old Millennial Mom and brand manager at Procter & Gamble. The Internet is her go-to source for daily information. She relies on online publications and social media to keep current on digital-marketing trends. When planning the week’s dinners, she finds new recipes and menu ideas online, and she shops Amazon Mom for deals on diapers and baby formula. She cares about staying in shape and exercises at least three times a week—often using her Wii Fit—and uploads data from her Fitbit. She uses Google Maps on her iPhone to find her way around and dreams of visiting foreign countries with her family one day.
Understanding and recognizing these distinct segments and their nuances is essential for companies that hope to develop effective product offerings, marketing campaigns, channel strategies, and messaging. A one-size-fits-all effort will fail to connect with every Millennial segment.