How Millennials are Changing the Market, DUH!

What is up OSC readers???  This post was originally titled "In between generations."  I identify with the genX childhood experiences, but I can also relate to the buying habits of millennials.  As a result I often feel stuck in between the two generations and wanted to write about my angst.


In fact a bunch of people beat me to it...but I digress.

I do feel as if I grew up as an analog kid but became a digital adult.  I was around when dial up happened and then gave way to dsl.  I remember brick phones, flip phones, sliders, qwerties, blackberries, flip touch, and then the almighty...

Image result for high def pic of steve jobs with first iphone

The point is that I've been around the consumeristic block a bit.  My in-laws and I have a great relationship as well and we love trading stories of the here & now v.s. the old day.  I also enjoy talking to my grandparents about consumerism (although my grandparents certainly aren't consumers!)

I know that a bunch of other people have beat me to this as well, but here are some reasons that the market has changed around me, and why millennials are driving the change.

1. Domino's:  I remember being almost done with college.  I was working a great job as a concierge at a fancy hotel.  I worked Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 4pm - 2am and student taught during the week.  Needless to say that I wasn't always in the mood to pack a dinner.  One night my stomach was growling and my co-worker was like "dude, you wanna get some domino's?"  

When I was a kid domino's sucked.  They burnt their pizza and wouldn't even put the plastic toppers in the box to keep the cheese off the lid.  I was hesitant.
Pizza Box Plastic Lid Supports – Pack of 100 - Kitchen Supplies - Pizza Tables | eBay
A simple device that saves so much heartache.

My co-worker insisted telling me to download the app.  I quickly installed the software and boom, in five minutes my order was ready.  In seven I watched it go into the oven.  In under fifteen it was ready for pickup.  The food was pretty decent too, but what hooked me was the ease of ordering.  

Domino's unlocked the world of online ordering, or at least to me they did.  Many other chains have followed.  As Millennials, we want stuff quick and to be exact.

When you put your order into a computer the likelihood of misinterpretation goes down.  The speed goes up.  The profit margin of the company increases.  Less hiring, less firing, less training.  For better or worse, traditional restaurants are going by the wayside...or at least chain restaurants are.  

As a millennial who is part of a DINK (dual-income, no kids) relationship my family doesn't have time to sit down for an hour plus "experience."  We want our food carside to go so we can consume it at home while binging...

2.  Netflix:  Yep.  We want to spend the night at home with our significant other watching what we want without commercials.  Goodbye movie theaters with your overpriced concessions and soda pop...we would rather enjoy an overpriced craft beer.  Goodbye cable and your oppressive fees with a side of terrible customer service.  I want shows instantly, in high def, and be instant transportation via phone, firestick, or xbox. 

Netflix isn't the only one to transition.  You are seeing a lot of companies offer a-la-carte programming.  Dish started recently with Sling and now has two versions called Sling Blue and Sling Orange.  Hulu is another option and many tv stations now stream episodes online.  Even HBO offers HBOgo or HBOnow.  I expect regular tv to take a major backseat to streaming options in the future as the older generation begins to transition or phase out.

3. Housing:  What?  You can't be serious.  Not the HOUSES!!!  Even the houses we buy are different than our parents, if we buy at all. I remember the 08 housing crash.  I lived through the recession and I vividly remember the pain that many Americans experienced because they overbought and were house poor.  So do a lot of my peers.  Many millennials value travel over owning homes.  You don't see too many van life or bus life youtube channels featuring older people.  (BTW here is a great channel to subscribe to if you like bus life!)

If we do buy a house it is a lot likely to be smaller and more efficient than that our our parents, even if it isn't a tiny house.  My house is 1200sqft and it feels huge!

4. Stores:  Along the same lines as restaurants, most of my peers aren't into traditional retail.  We know what fits us and so we order it online.  We've been raised online so we trust the process.  I almost never buy in a traditional retail store.  

Amazon prime is amazing.  2 days.  Free shipping.  It's on my doorstep.  No people of Walmart interaction required.

Traditional retail sucks.  We want deals and deep discounts.  We can't get that at Sears, but we can through offerup, Facebook marketplace, and eBay.  We grew up in the mall but the mall is now dead to us.  We have online malls.  I sure do miss Fannie's cookies though:/

Autopsy of America: Photos of dead shopping malls - Jun. 30, 2014

5.  DIY or Experts, please!:  We love to try things ourselves.  Youtube, Pinterest, google, etc... encourage us to be experts (or fakers) in every area of our lives.  Almost every single manual for almost every household item/appliance is available online and we will happily take on basic maintenance....

EXCEPT when we can't.  If we can't figure it out we are more than willing to hire an expert.  I tried laying a tile shower once.  Easy my a$$ Mr. Money Mustache!    I called in an expert when I saw the project headed astray and was more than willing to pay his hefty fee.  Most of my peers agree and we will pay for expert advice or help if it saves us...

6.  Time:  The last item on my list.  Time.  We, as a group, value time.  We value time so much because for our whole lives we have had to wait for nothing.  This has made us inpatient and often entitled.  We can't be bothered to wait for 3g when 4g is here...oh wait LTE...oh wait, something faster on the horizon.  Time is the last frontier, the unconquerable resource, the one that cannot be renewed.  Time is why we shirk traditional 9-5 jobs and why many of us read blogs on early retirement and strive for FIRE.

*Please note that I'm not saying any of the above experiences or changes make us better than the generation before us.  Every generation has pros and cons, I'm simply pointing out the differences and why they are currently driving change in the market place (imo).

What about you.  Are you a millennial?  What do you do that separates you from other generations?  What generation do you identify with and why?

OSC out.




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