Are Generation Y-ers Different? Do I follow the Stereotypes?

Are Generation Y-ers Different? Do I follow the Stereotypes?

I was reading an article today titled “Serving Gen Y Now: Advice on branding, service and capturing Gen Y – and its assets – now” in the August 2010 edition of Investment Advisor and it got me to thinking do I follow the mold of what people perceive Generation Yers to be?  Generation Yers are those born in the mid 70s up until 2000.Generation Y Readers

According to Alexa, I seem to have a lot of Generation Y readers, so I figured I’d bring my thoughts to everyone.  The article provides some interesting quotes stereotyping the generation:

…Gen Y’s view on wealth is different from that of their parents and grandparents: “Their value proposition has shifted from the single bottom line of profit to the new bottom line of ‘planet, people, and profit,’

Gen Y clients are also actively seeking financial advice, she says, yet advisors and institutions have not really caught on to this and the space remains grossly underserved.

First and foremost, advisors must understand the importance of the Three Ps—planet, people, and profit, Nickles says. She says that most members of Gen Y won’t take jobs simply because they want to make money, for example, and they would readily shun companies that are not socially or environmentally responsible for their actions, she says. The same applies for the investments a Gen Y person would want to make with her money, so “any advisory or investment program must take into account that the motivation is not money alone and must be constructed around the idea of social responsibility.”

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, advisors and institutions must pay attention to the idea of branding. “This is a quick-shifting generation and if you haven’t connected with them on a brand level by the time they are 30, they will leave your brand,” Nickles says.

I actually don’t agree with the plant and profit part of it.  I understand that stereotypes don’t apply across the board, so I went searching for a different article generalizing people born in 25 year bands.  I found a recent Huffington Post article that had some “great” generalities that I do agree with (and I usually don’t agree with Huffington)

Unlike other generations, Gen Y never really rebelled. Many of its members listen to their parents’ music, love the movies their folks grew up on and use the same products.

Its members may communicate differently – through social media and texting instead of phone calls and email – but they want to be spoken to as adults not “young people.” Old world values matter to them.

One major area in which Generation Y differs from its parents is its focus on experiences as opposed to material things.

These seem to fit me better.  I love Billy Joel, I go bananas when someone talks down to me, and I care less about rocking out a house in the right town as compared to my parents do.

Which stereotype article is more your speed?

For those not in the generation do you think these all apply to “us” people?

6 Responses to Are Generation Y-ers Different? Do I follow the Stereotypes?

  1. I think the whole rebellion thing is huge. Gen Y is a generation that is totally overrun with media. They didn’t see war like previous generations or social issues in the same way. Not sure if this has an impact on their finances though.

    The Y’s had the grunge era which was quickly absorbed by media (remember fashion designers running lines of grunge clothes?). Compare this with Woodstock or Elvis in the 50’s.

    But I think the key to the Y’s is reaching through branding and the media.

    Of course it’s a generalization. You whipper snappers won’t listen anyway with all your gadgets and doo-dads and light up thingamabobs!

  2. I agree way more with the Huff post bit. There is a TON of Eco friendly planet blabla politically correct people around now, but I feel like that’s not only Gen Yers, but also the 40-70 year olds running our country.

  3. Ugh. I hate stereotypes. As a dinosaur gazing at Gen-Yers through eyeballs created in the Pleistocene, I’d say the men and women of my son’s generation are individual human beings who don’t conform to much of any stereotype. The ones I’ve met…

    * Will take a job to make a living, since they recognize that’s what they have to do.
    * Sometimes (but not always) find their passion rather late in life.
    * Sometimes never find a passion to follow and so spend years plodding to jobs they hate.
    * In that case, they develop a realistic view of work as something that puts food on the table, and they do a pretty effective job of finding other ways to bring meaning into their lives, usually through friends and intimate relationships.
    * Care very much about their friends.
    * Are comfortable with and use communication technology but are not as techie as the media would have us think.
    * Are pretty smart about money.
    * Are flexible about changing careers.
    * In many cases got caught in the housing crash, not because they tried to buy more than they could afford but because everyone in this country who bought homes more recently than about 10 years ago has lost equity.
    * Are no more nor less environmentally sensitive than anyone else — environmental sensitivity of one degree or another has become a societal norm.
    * Want to make good lives for themselves and their loved ones.

  4. Being part of the Gen Y, I think that the first article points out important priorities to people of my generation. It’s true that money it’s not the most important factor to many, also being socially responsible and involved with the community really makes a difference with the newly educated professionals. The factor that if your brand can’t connect with someone by the time they are 30 is partly true, because with so many brands and products out there, and access to the internet, shoppers are now more savvy and loyal to those brands that provide the best bang for their buck ;)

  5. I would have to agree more with the second article as well. The “planet, people and profit” idea is a bit idealistic. I agree with the statement that Gen Yers never really rebelled and like a lot of the music that their parents do.

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