So apparently I'm a millennial. But so are lots of other people. My 35 year old neighbour, with a wife, 2 kids, a mortgage and a dog - he's a millennial. And my 19 year old sister, who spends her life on Snapchat - in some cases she's a millennial.
Millennial definitions vary drastically by region and researchers, some starting as early as 1976, some as late as 1982. The age range cuts off hugely differently for a number of demographers too. Deloitte has slightly more strict guidelines on what constitutes a millennial - "born after 1982 and represent a specific group of this generation: those who have a college or university degree; are employed full-time; and, work predominantly in large, private-sector organizations". Generally the category is marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies. But isn't that half the UK population by now?!
Now working in comms, I'm as guilty as most for using these definitions in my research, releases and features. But I really think it's time to move away from them. How can the stereotype stand up when looking at such a broad remit? My neighbour and little sister have little in common from a marketing standpoint. He opts for homemade Nespresso, whilst she loves Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes; he's the Economist, she's Buzzfeed; he was as captivated by the Taylor review as she was with Taylor Swift's new video.
In a world that now celebrates diversity and champions individuality - why do we continually hack away with these meaningless labels? I say we do away with them - or at least make them a tad more specific.
Millennials (also known as Generation Y) are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when this cohort starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use the early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid-1990s to early 2000s as ending birth years. Millennials are sometimes referred to as "Echo Boomers" due to a major surge in birth rates in the 1980s and 1990s, and because Millennials are often the children of the Baby boomers. The 20th-century trend toward smaller families in developed countries continued, however, so the relative impact of the "baby boom echo" was generally less pronounced than the post–World War II baby boom.