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The Millennial Workforce Shift Will Affect Your Revenue – Be Smart

Millennials are Taking Over the Workforce

It’s an interesting time to be in business.

For decades the workforce has been dominated by Baby Boomers, making up the majority income earners, spenders, and decision-makers across North America. That changed to people from Gen-X, but was quickly overtaken by the Millennials (Pew Research Center, 2018).

That being said, an article published by The Economist called “Generational Gap: Millennial Longing” (published on October 6, 2018) indicates firms are changing their marketing strategies to target millennials; recognizing them as tomorrow’s primary spenders.

“To many firms they (the Millennials) are a mystery. KPMG, a consultancy, reckons nearly half (of large firms) do not know how millennials—typically defined as those born between 1980 and 2000—differ from their older counterparts (the Baby Boomers).”

Research continues to reveal how important transparency and experience will be to the millennials, yet many businesses ignore this insight.

For the Baby Boomer Readers, Consider How This Changes Sales & Marketing

Short and simple, Millennials see through bullshit (probably greater than any previous generation).

Millennials lived through all the call-to-actions coming from television ads, radio, call now, “free consultations”, free guides, get-rich-quick, etc.

Millennials can tell when businesses make decisions on a whim, or suddenly attempt to flip their company into a cool slick brand the Millennials can connect with – this is a bad thing if detected.

Sure, Millennials are seen as lazy, needy, and having high expectations (to some extent, fair enough). A few senior managers I’ve talked to tend to carry the opinion of “well, this is how it’s worked the last 20 years, so we’ll keep doing what we’re doing”.

That’s not going to fly in 5-10 years. Ignorant business owners who refuse to adjust their operations will be in for a rude awakening.

The Gap in Annual Births & What it Means for Businesses

I wasn’t around when the war ended, but it must have been a good time. Soldiers came home, the bloodshed ended, and people could finally relax. In my mind, I imagine everyone being in a constant steady-state mood of happiness. I mean, they must of been. By the chart below, we can see everyone was having sex!

The population exploded between 1945 and 1964 giving rise to the Baby Boomers. Then things went back to normal; the birth rate corrected itself to reflect the traditional state of birth. Then a second anomaly happened – the Baby Boomers gave birth to the Millennials (born 1985-2004).

This left us with a little gap between 1965 and 1984; leading to my hypothesis that businesses are going to face a wild change in operations.

Businesses have traditionally served the Baby Boomers. They’ve learned their buying behaviour, how to market to them, sell them products, etc.

Now business owners need to leap 20-years forward.

And as already stated above in this same article:

“To many firms they (the Millennials) are a mystery. KPMG, a consultancy, reckons nearly half (of large firms) do not know how millennials—typically defined as those born between 1980 and 2000—differ from their older counterparts (the Baby Boomers).”

The Top Influential Brands for Millennials

Let’s look at a few of today’s top brands for Millennials and extract what things make their brand successful (and popular) for millennials.

Full disclosure, these brands come from Business Insider’s annual blog post “Millennial’s Favorite Brands”. They’ve done a great job listing 100 top-brands with a short blurb on why they’re popular amongst Millennials.

  1. Apple
  2. Nike
  3. Samsung
  4. Target
  5. Amazon
  6. Sony
  7. Walmart
  8. Microsoft
  9. Coca-Cola
  10. Google


Apple is known for their popular assembly of technology products such as the Macbook, iPhone, iPad, and iWatch.

These products have shaped modern culture and for millennials, have provided a world of convenience that I feel can’t be reverted.

Touch, tap, text, and call. These little devices are the means by which we communicate, buy, support, and sell. They relay social norms, dictate popular fashions, and culturally migrate us to being one in the same.

Millennial Brand Takeaway: Connectivity, Convenience, Social Status.


Nike is a massive sportswear store. Whatever the season or weather, Nike’s store feature apparel and equipment for hockey, basketball, hiking, running, and more.

For Millennials, Nike promotes a healthy lifestyle; promoting a healthy and active lifestyle to improve mental health and physical appearance.

Millennial Brand Takeaway: Exercise, Food, and Wellness.


Like Walmart, Target has a large number of retail stores scattered across North America. Their stores feature a variety of products that are available for reasonable prices.

But why did they rank higher than Walmart?

Target is perceived as a brand that offers higher quality products than Walmart. Their store layouts are sorted by consumer needs and achieve a slick interior design.

Millennial Brand Takeaway: Quality, Affordability, Interior/Exterior Design.


Amazon is an online marketplace where people can order everyday household items online. The thing that differentiates Amazon from other online marketplaces is its unmatched (and uniquely crafted) delivery speed.

Shopping on Amazon is quick, reliable, and affordable. Especially when it comes to their list sharing features and subscription products (arriving at your door every 30 days).

When shopping for products, Millennials enter Amazon already knowing what to type in the search bar. They choose items that are listed on the first few pages of the results page and read reviews to aid in their decision-making.

Millennials are aware that some vendors pay for fake reviews on their products. An all 5-star rating raises suspicions, which is why Millennials often take the time to read reviews.

Shortly written reviews like “Great product” are quickly marked as spam and filtered out. Instead, Millennials look for lengthy reviews that give greater insight and detail to the product’s function and reliability.

Millennial Brand Takeaway: Speed, Reliability, Thorough Reviews.


Millennials live in a world dominated by connectivity. They seek items that aid their health and appearance both online and offline.

When it comes to shopping, Millennials prefer brands that strike balance between quality and affordability. They care strongly about delivery speed, but only once securing a sense of trust in a brand or product (by reading lengthy reviews).

These brands have raised expectations for Millennials.

If your business operations don’t implement a combination of these elements, you will feel the pain down the road.

Be smart and plan strategically. If you need to remodel your business, do it gradually over time. NOW is the time to catch up. Don’t blow the doors off in your rebranding. Be subtle.