Nearly every company in America today has a crush on the Millennial consumer. You can't blame them; with Millennials making up the largest segment of the population, who wouldn't want to woo them?
But many seem to be forgetting one basic fact: Millennials will do what every generation before them have done.
Currently, Millennials are poised to enter the prime spending years. LinkedIn's Caroline Fairchild illustrated this in her recent essay "I Just Bought a Car and Everyone I Know Freaked Out." In it, she acknowledges that companies like Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb have empowered Millennials to maximize their income and only spend money on what they feel brings the highest ROI. But for Fairchild and other Millennials, that empowerment now begins to take a different form.
In her words:
"So why did I buy a car? Like my co-workers and friends who feel empowered not to buy a car, I feel similarly empowered to buy. Buying a car is both something I wanted to do and something I felt financially secure enough to do. There are certain trips I want to take sans Uber driver, and going to and from Avis every weekend that you want to get out of the city gets old pretty quickly.
I am not alone in this decision: More Millennials are buying cars now than in the immediate aftermath of the recession. This clearly has to do with the improving economy, but I would argue that it also has to do with this shift in attitude. I might be singing a different tune come next year when I have 12 monthly car payments behind me, but for now I am confident in my decision."
As Millennials enter the next stage of life, how will their thoughts and opinions change? Will we see a surge in auto sales over the next decade or two? How about home sales? If more Millennials decide to tie the knot, how will that influence the economy?
Goldman Sachs has put together a beautiful infographic highlighting the data behind some of these details. How will one of the largest generations in history change the ways we buy and sell? Answering that question effectively may be the key to future success.