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What Millennial and Gen Z Customers Can Teach You About Everyone Else

The youngest consumers are today's trend-setters

Millennials (born 1980-1996; 23-39 years old) and Gen Z (born 1997-2013; 6-22 years old) are increasingly becoming two of the most important customer demographics in the marketplace for two key reasons: 1) for their direct economic importance; and 2) because these younger consumers are serious trendsetters. Whatever it is they want from your business today, you can expect older consumers to start asking for tomorrow; their preferences and behaviors are spreading to, and being paralleled by, older consumers at a fantastic rate of speed. If you can please the first, you’ll soon be pleasing the latter as well.

So, what are the expectations of these younger consumers and how should your business adapt to serve them? Here are four things companies need to consider when adapting to this younger customer demographic.

1. These new generations are what I call “the enemies of stupid.”
To serve Millennial and Gen-Z customers successfully, your customer-facing technology needs to be intuitive and it needs to simply work. These younger consumers have grown up with digital devices that bundle communication, entertainment, shopping, mapping and education all in one. From an early age, smartphone use has been the norm. They’ve always had Internet at home and in school. MP3 players (initially) and streaming (most recently) have long offered them ubiquitous music options. Naturally, then, Millennials embrace and align themselves with technology.

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