Why Millennials and Gen Zs will be the greatest generation since the ‘Greatest Generation.’
Some stereotypes might allow us to assume that they are ‘lazy,’ ‘social media addicts,’ ‘purposeless,’ and ‘entitled,’ but the Why Generation, comprising of millennials and Gen Zs, might just be the greatest generation to ever exist.
Brands, educators, and parents of this demographic might not realize that these individuals, aged between 5 and 25 (Gen Z) and 26 and 37 (millennials), are shaping our future with their constant urge to question and explore. In fact, Scott Robert Cullather, the co-founder and CEO of INVNT and co-author of the Amazon best-selling “Challenge Everything: The Battle Cry that Blew Sh*t and INVNTd Live Brand Storytelling,” believes the Why Generation, who in 2019 comprised of 2.43 billion millennials and 2.46 billion Gen Zs, are the ones to watch.
An advocate of the Why Generation, Scott Cullather emphasizes the importance of making them a central part of every brand’s growth strategy in 2020 and beyond. “This digitally-savvy, experience loving generation is not only booming population-wise, but they are also gaining more spending power as they enter the workforce and make their way up the corporate ladder. They are fast becoming our key decision-makers,” he explains in the Forbes article, “We're Entering the Decade of The New CEO -- Embrace It or Get Left Behind,”
The secret to brand success? Engaging the Tech Savvy, Change-Stirrers of the Future
In the aforementioned book, Scott Cullather and his wife, Kristina McCoobery, discuss how live brand storytelling is essential to every marketing strategy today. One of the biggest reasons is the fact that the world’s population is dominated by the Why Generation, who prefer to spend their money on experiences over things. These tech-savvy consumers seek out live events; because they aren’t simply experiences for them, but a lifestyle. They attend live brand experiences, curate and document their personal highlights and then share them with their social media networks in real time. This trend increases the reach of the physical event far beyond time and place, as it enables those not in the room to tune in virtually – whenever and from wherever in the world they may be.
In his Forbes article, Scott Cullather says: “When millennials actively engage with live events and spread the word, its impact dwarfs that of an executive promoting their brand… This is key to brands’ success today.”
Moreover, he discusses how the prominence of live face-to-face experiences are expected to rise exponentially, which is why brands and marketers need to add the position of a Chief Experience Officer to their c-suite.
Scott Cullather states, “A Chief Experience Officer that is dedicated to developing an event engagement strategy will not only up your live presence, but they’ll also ensure these experiences are carefully tailored and targeted in a way that creates an emotional connection between a brand and consumers, an organization and its employees, a product and journalists… I could go on and on, but you get the point: there isn’t a more powerful way to drive engagement than a sharable live event. The position of the “New CEO” is a no brainer, really.”
A framework that combines digital storytelling with live events can work wonders to bring different cultures together. Instead of cutting the wings of this influential generation, companies need to connect with them, and a live/digital – or physical – approach is the way to do so.
Future Leaders with a Mindset to Innovate & Create
Millennials and Generation Z are not followers of trends but innovators. Most of these individuals are inclined towards creating their personal identities and setting up their own businesses, instead of working for employers who force them to mold into a system they do not fit in. It is due to this reason; this generation is more about starting their own businesses, which they can run as per their wishes. It not only contributes to economic buildup but proves that this generation is different from the preceding generations.
Instead of molding into the company’s structure, these individuals search for a workplace that aligns with their lifestyles and allows them to grow and thrive. They seek out employee-first cultures. As per Scott’s article in Forbes, this is the reason that the position of Chief Human Resources/Chief People Officer now serves a strategic role. Scott states, “the position is no longer confined to hiring, firing, and payroll, forward-thinking leaders have recognized that they need an exec dedicated to fostering a culture that both attracts and retains high performing talent.”
With this generation effectively changing company culture and the way brands market themselves, it’s clear that the Why Generation is the greatest generation since the ‘Greatest Generation.’
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