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Builders Union is a privately held investment manager based in London and Singapore. Combining long-term demographic insights and deep fundamental analysis, they invest behind the rising spending power and changing consumer behaviour of the millennial generation. Chronicle was commissioned to find a millennial who represented the Builders Union spirit and tell her story across multiple platforms, including online video, social media and copy.
#Millennials: why you just don’t get them & why you should
Working with investors globally, many of whom are over the age of 50, we’re frequently interacting with a group of experienced, knowledgeable, smart people who tell us they just cannot understand one very important thing: their own children. Millennials.
‘Millennial’ is the term given to people born between the years 1981 and 1997. They currently account for almost 30% of the global population and will make up 75% of the world’s workforce and 60% of its spend by the year 2025. Millennials run some of the most successful and exciting new businesses and start-ups on the planet, and handfuls of them are becoming multi-millionaires and influential leaders of commerce every second quarter. So it’s hard to deny that they contribute a crucial demographic chunk to current and future economic success.
We’ve spent a considerable amount of time analysing how this driven but often misunderstood generation ticks, and it’s pretty clear why they think -- and spend -- so differently to their baby boomer parents.
Millennials grew up in the most peaceful time in history, when the Berlin Wall, the Cold War and the price of Ryanair flights to international destinations were falling in quick succession. The world became a ‘global village,’ which also meant a boom in consumerism and cheap manufacturing. Millennials grew up with an excess of choice in everything from shampoo brands to cars and sneakers. Those choices have extended to education, too, and they’ve accumulated more college degrees than their parents could ever have dreamt of. Most crucially, millennials grew up in the age of the internet -- and that changed everything.
Where boomers bought the same products from the same stores for years, millennials order anything and everything online. Food, movies, clothes, electronic equipment -- even companionship. They travel by phone (Uber, Lyft), they live by phone (AirBnB), they date by phone (Tinder). Where boomers kept up with the Jones’s by buying homes in the suburbs, station wagons and record players, millennials rent, swap and share -- and stream their music on Spotify.
Where boomers walked the middle of the road in an effort to be as homogeneous as possible, millennials, eager to stand out in an increasingly populous and noisy world, seek nuance, uniqueness and self-actualisation at the edges. Their world has and is changing so fast that there is no time or space to be average, online or off.
The result is the barbell - a society more open to diversity -- of views, tastes and ways of spending. Upcoming companies run by the aforementioned multi-millionaire millennials understand that; and their businesses are quickly outstripping their old school competitors in sales and growth. The Facebooks, Ubers, Teslas and Tinders of this world already dominate all facets of life. We plan on being part of the millennial movement -- and Ma and Pa, if you’re as smart as we think you are, you will too.