Millennials' Bad Wrap - What You Don't Know About Them, And Why You Should Love ThemTue, 10 Oct 2017 12:23:10 CDT
At the Texas Cattle Feeders Association Convention this week in Amarillo, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays had the chance to speak with guest speaker, Jason Dorsey of the Center for Generational Kinetics, who spoke on the generational differences in buying and decision-making habits among consumers in the marketplace, currently. He told Hays, there are a lot of myths surrounding the younger generations and insists these demographics are incredibly important to the economic success of the beef industry, and every other segment out there for that matter. You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
First and foremost, Dorsey believes it is important to define exactly who makes up the two generations currently that are in or about to enter the workforce. He begins with Millennials, who he says are actually a bit older than most people realize. According to Dorsey, the Millennial group is comprised of people age 20 - 39. Most have arrived at adulthood and are working, buying homes, getting married and starting families. They are in fact the largest generation in today’s workforce - contrary to the typical impression that most are unemployed.
“The truth is, not only are Millennials the largest generation in the workforce, they’ll actually outspend every other generation, this year,” Dorsey said. “That’s really important for anyone in this industry.”
Dorsey says that while Millennials do tend to experience what he calls “delayed adulthood,” which he describes as their desire to be an adult without all the responsibilities associated with that life stage, and pushing them back down the road a bit further. But, he says the entire generation is actually approaching the time when they are all beginning to accept those responsibilities. This is significant he asserts, because now is the time when industries should be connecting with them as consumers and should be helping them form an impression on why - beef, for instance - should be engrained as a product they want to raise their families on.
Another misconception about Millennials, is that they are tech-savvy. The fact is, they are “tech-dependent.” They do not understand how technology works, all they know, is that they can’t survive without it.
At the same time, now, Gen Z is coming of age and beginning to enter the workforce - those at 20 years of age and under. This group is in fair contrast to Millennials, raised more conservatively by their parents who are members of Gen X and taught to be more self-reliant. They are more conservative in their purchasing decisions and believe they will need to work harder, for longer, to achieve success - compared to Millennials.
As an industry made up of predominantly private business owners tending to their own concerns, Dorsey says the ag industry is not accustomed to reaching out to a large consumer audience, like a major company or brand would. In this communication void, he explains that minority interest groups under self-proclaimed labels like “organic,” “natural,” “non-GMO,” etc., have taken it upon themselves to tell consumers their version of the ag’s story, for the industry. Being the only thing they are hearing, Dorsey says Millennials have taken these messages to heart. He argues, that those in the industry can only combat this, by communicating their own message directly to the consumer. When it comes to telling ag’s story, Dorsey asks, who better to tell it then the producers?
“Millennials want to know where their food comes from,” he said. “I think the main message is not to give up on Millennials and not to treat them like everyone else. If you’re willing to adapt - they will be willing and open minded as buyers.”
For more information of Millennials, Gen Z and other generational groups, check out GenHQ.com
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