I'm a Millennial, but I'm not one of those Millennials. (Raise your hand if you have either said this, or this has been said to you by a shamed Millennial.)
As much as society (namely, anyone who isn't a Millennial) turns their noses up at our generation for a variety of reasons (Ugh, those kids and their phones! Ugh, those kids and their inability to stay in a job! Ugh, those kids and their avocado toast!), I am finding myself defending my generation and, now, beginning to defend Generation Z. I hate being labeled as one of "those" people of my generation, so I hope to not do that to anyone born a generation after me. Luckily, as a marketer, I have the research to help me make that a more informed decision.
In a previous job, we were hoping to tap into this "Millennial consumer" and one of the biggest data points for me was this: "Millennials are picky about where they shop and what brand they buy into. But once they buy into it - and believe in it - they are very loyal consumers." With the rise of Generation Z (people born between 1995 and 2010), this remains to be true with an added caveat: Authenticity.
Slick marketing isn't necessarily a thing of the past (I've recently lost jobs to fancier presentations and prettier, brighter graphics that give the "Ooooh Ahhh" factor), but as Millennials make up the majority of the workforce - and begin making those higher-level decisions, we are seeing a trend towards the authentic. It doesn't need to just look good, it needs to be real.
For all the faults that have been labeled to my generation (including our damn avocado toast), I am glad to see that our generation has built this shift towards a marketplace that favors authenticity. In fact, as much as I feel like I am an Old Soul with my herbal tea and checking physical books out of the library (yes, that's still a thing), I'm beginning to think maybe I was born a little too soon. Generation Z feels like my people.