Millennials: Consumerism Defines a Generation

As we approach 2017, Millennials have started to take over every part of every day life. Whether it’s culture, the workforce, or the consumer base, the Millennials are undoubtedly moving into their prime. The millennial generation, also known as Generation Y, is defined as the generation starting from people born in 1980 and going into the early 2000s (Dictionary.com) that have been brought up in a world experiencing a major tech boom and an ever-changing consumer culture. When it comes to the question of when a young adult becomes an adult, in general, I find it is related towards the consumer side of things. As millennials are starting to reach their “prime spending years” (Goldman Sachs), it is evident that the prime years are related to their promotion into adulthood. blog-post-1-pic

The graphic above shows how much influence millennials already have in the consumer market, and this is only expected to grow over the next several years. One in four millennials are parents and 53% of millennial households have children (Millennial Marketing) which shows the correlation of adulthood to buying more and more. The millennials are in the midst of reaching adulthood in the next few years. There are key differences, however, between millennials and other generations in terms of consumer shopping. First, price has mattered more than it ever has with the generation and that can be explained because of the economic downturn a few years back. Millennials also shop online more than they ever have before; this is an unsurprising statement due to the large tech boom that is happening. This definition of the millennial generation is an abstract way to think about how the world is changing and how the new generation is starting to become the adults. Consumerism is a big part of life through every generation, and the millennials prove to value it just as highly if not more than past generations.

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Dictionary. “The Definition of Millennial Generation.” Dictionary.com, 2014, http://www.dictionary.com/browse/millennial-generation.
Goldman Sachs. “Millennials Infographic.” Goldman Sachs, 2016, http://www.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/pages/millennials/.
Millennial Marketing. “Who Are Millennials | Millennial Marketing.” Millennial Marketing, 2016, http://www.millennialmarketing.com/who-are-millennials/.
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3 Responses to Millennials: Consumerism Defines a Generation

  1. Blake Small says:

    It is very interesting to look at those metrics to compare millennials to other groups. And just to help out of anyone is confused Consumer discretionary spending, means spending on non-necessities so it wouldn’t include: food, water, shelter etc. Which means Millennials spend a lot of their income on consumer spending, and other groups are not. Another note is that since to actually buy things, you have to have money, and the tail end of millennials is already starting college or is about to start college, the assumption that millennials are lazy and don’t work, is inaccurate and misleading. Though it can also be seen that we aren’t saving as much money, and we aren’t preparing for the future as much as other generations. Even though we are an important to the future of our country, and almost no one actually takes our generation that seriously and are just leaving us with their problems. So even though we are showing economic influence we really need to start developing political influence.

  2. Sarah Bowling says:

    Something I was wondering while reading this was, is it specific to Millennials that we spend more, or is it just that young people spend more? Something interesting to consider is how there are rises and falls in consumerism throughout history. An example would be the rise of disposable income and therefore rise of luxury items and pastime events in the 1960’s.

    I also thought it was interesting that Millennials tend to care more about the prices of items than their older counterparts. I actually find it quite sad that budget and capitalistic worries have become such predominate aspects of our lives. Rather than trying to find what is best for themselves, Millennials are more worried about having money. Why is this so? Could it be the ridiculous increase in the price of education, or maybe even that getting a college degree has become the social norm? Or rather, is it a status thing? Would a Millennial skip a meal just to buy a nice item? I feel this case would be much more likely for our generation than in previous ones. Perhaps Millennials are stuck between a rock and a hard place; Everything is too expensive, yet it is expected for them to have everything.

  3. Michael Farrante says:

    Nice post. It was interesting to look at it through a economic lens versus a social lens where everything is focused around drinking and making life changing decisions like joining the military. Also I find it interesting that we pay more attention to price. I wonder if it is because of the poor economy or are we just becoming wiser with our money and paying more attention to the market then the previous generations. Also what will happen with generations to come? Will they follow a similar track and become wiser with their money or are we millennial truly something special and are truly unique?

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