By Devlyn Lalonde
April has been a fun month for us here at Abacus. For the last 30 days we have been sharing our findings from Canada’s largest reoccurring study on Millennials, The Canadian Millennials Report. In our first week we learnt that housing affordability, access to good jobs, and student debt are the major concerns that are keeping Millennials up at night. Unlike their parent’s generation, where healthcare and the economy trumped their list of personal fears Millennials are hard pressed to find an affordable roof over their heads while their student loans and uncertain employment future has take its toll on their inherent optimism.
We also talked about the rising political power of Millennials. Millennial voter participation rose by 20 per cent in the last federal election and carried the Liberal Party to electoral victory. There’s no surprise why Prime Minister Trudeau appointed himself Minister for Youth. This follows trends in the UK where Labour experienced a huge upswing in support disproportionately coming from Millennials. Also in Italy with the rise of the Five Star movement, and it echoes the youth mobilization of the 2008 Obama Presidential campaign. Millennials have a different set of priorities than previous generations and they respond to different calls to actions, (e.g. more positive and direct). As they become the majority of the electorate, partisans will have to fight on a new battlefield for Millennial favour.
In week two we looked at Millennial concepts of identity. One thing we particularly examined was the Millennials’ perceptions of their own generation. The majority of Canadian Millennials are familiar with the term that describes their generation. Interestingly, the words they used to describe the Millennial generation were far from pleasant, “entitled, needy, and lazy”, were just some of the most popular words they used. And even more interesting, was that the majority (54%) of Canadian Millennials think that these words accurately describe their generation. So while most Millennials will answer to their generational name, they might not appreciate the negative connotations associated with it.
One of our pieces in week two got a little nerdy. You see, rare does a week go by where someone doesn’t ask us about the legitimacy of the claimed significant differences between generations. So our CEO David Coletto, took to the cyberspace to explain the environmental and statistical differences of the Millennial generation. What we found that there are some relationships that don’t make sense unless you factor in generation. From news consumption habits to home environments, a Millennial, Gen Xer, and a Boomer have differences that can’t be explained away by life stage. If you don’t want to get blind sided by generational change, this one is a must read.
In our third week we shifted our focus to Millennials and technology. We looked at why Millennials stay loyal to new tech brands but so willingly break ties to news providers and even financial institutions. It turns out, that if you put in the effort and speak to Millennials where they are, it doesn’t matter if you sell burritos or iPhones, loyalty is accrued. Nevertheless, Millennials do seem to cling to the fresh new Silicon Valley start-ups with an unusual persistence. We also took a look at the halo effect that surrounds the Valley and the residence within. Despite contributing, in some cases, nearly half as much as the old economy firms to charities and humanitarian work, Millennials still perceive the Amazons, Apples, Googles, and Facebooks of the world (even despite Zuckerberg’s recent row) as almost twice as ethical. Although we discussed a number of reasons, simply being the newest player on the block might just be the key to their success.
These were just some of our findings and if you would like to review all that Millennial Month has to offer, visit our main site. While Millennial Month might be over we will continue to research and report on generational change and technological disruption. The next wave of the Canadian Millennials Report will launch in May 2018. The Report is Canada’s largest reoccurring study of Millennials, providing insight on their use of technology, financial situation, political priorities, and societal outlooks. If you are interested in the Report, don’t hesitate to visit the Canadian Millennials Report site where we house all things Millennial.
And while you’re here, why don’t you check out our work on ONPulse. If you want thoughtful up-to-date analysis and the most accurate data on the upcoming Ontario election you are going to love ONPulse. A partnership with Summa Strategies, Spark* Advocacy, and Abacus Data you’ll be in the know before anyone else about the nuances of the Ontario political environment.
At Abacus Data we take understanding the next generation seriously. We are the only research and strategy firm that can help your business or organization respond to the unprecedented threat of generational change and technological disruption. If you want to know how your business or organization can succeed in the Millennial Marketplace Contact us to learn about our array of bespoke products and services that can make you an industry leader.