Millennials are greedy and self-absorbed … say Millennials

We all know the Millennials are coming (which sounds like the plot for a a 1950s sci-fi film, but I digress) and that the industry needs to find new ways to attract them.

So I’m not going to talk about that today, but I am going to share some interesting data from a recent Pew Research Center study on generational attitudes.

There’s lots of great insight in there and it is worth reading in full if you’re a stats and demographics geek like me, which I’m just sure you all are.

But what was particularly interesting is that Millennials tend to think worse of their generation than other age groups do of their cohorts. In fact, they seem to be sharing the thoughts of what you hear many a Baby Boomer say about them.

Self-absorbed? 59 percent of Millennials said it applied to their generation, compared with 30 percent of Generation X, 20 percent of Baby Boomers and 7 percent of Silent Generation.

Wasteful? 49 percent of Millennials versus 29 percent of Xers, 20 percent of Boomers and 10 percent of Silent Generation.

Greedy? 49 percent of Millennials, 24 percent of Xers, 19 percent of Boomers and 8 percent of Silent Generation.

(See the full chart here.)

I may be wrong, but follow my thought process here. I see that and I think this.

Those three characteristics in particular point to a feeling that their generation is obsessed with material goods and money. And if they’re saying that it’s a bad thing, we need to appeal to them with messages of positive experiences and a social responsibility. Marketing that focuses not so much on the conspicuous consumption aspect that still dominates some boating advertising.

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