Social distancing and quarantining is tough on everyone, but it’s especially tough on Millennials. Here’s why:
1. They’re a group-oriented generation. When Millennials were growing up, it was all about the group. Their Boomer parents had Millennials scheduled in team sports and play groups as soon as they could walk. School was all about the group project and how many different groups or clubs they could join in order to look good to colleges. Millennials created social media to keep their groups together and their strongest influences on culture are group-oriented too e.g. brunch, festivals, community-oriented gyms and fitness, etc. And what are they doing today? Social distancing.
2. Unlike Xers and Zs, Millennials enjoyed a positive economic and political climate in their formative years. Gen Xers grew up expecting bad things to happen and that people would let them down. Gen Zs grew up only knowing recession, wars, terrorism, school shootings, mass shootings, natural disasters, and active shooter drills at school. Millennials grew up seeing the world through rose-colored glasses (through no fault of their own) and were told the world was their oyster. The psychological impact of this pandemic is especially hard-hitting for Millennials.
3. They were just beginning to turn the corner. 9/11 and the Great Recession drastically changed the world Millennials expected to be graduating into. The jobs, careers, and economy they thought they could count on never materialized. And just when they were getting their footing with a strong economy over the past few years, this happens. Many are saddled with student loan, credit card debt, and medical debt. Freelance jobs, side hustles, and gig economy jobs that are so popular with Millennials were the first go in this downturn. This pandemic puts many back at square one.
How should brands step up?
Millennials were the first generation to “friend” brands. If your brand is targeting Millennials, now’s the time to demonstrate your friendship. Create campaigns around the following:
How can you bring Millennials together?
How can you restore their optimism?
How can you relieve some of their financial pressure?
Someday soon Millennials are going to be back on their feet, and when they are, they’re going to remember the brands that helped them up.