November 15, 2018

Why the debate around millennials is more Snapchat than Shakespeare


The communications challenges facing the financial services sector are vast. Ten years on from the global financial crisis and many businesses are still trying to rebuild their reputations. New entrants have disrupted the status quo, leveraging a powerful combination of enhanced technology, enduring distrust and a new-found voice as platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook become embedded within our social structures.

Against such a backdrop there is one generation that has become synonymous with this transition. It is an audience that needs no introduction with the “millennial debate” already wide-ranging and pervasive.

And rightly so – millennials account for a quarter of the UK population. They represent the next generation of high-earners and consumers and have felt the winds of economic, social, political, cultural, environmental and technological change more harshly than any other. We should want to know what makes them tick and for businesses, understanding them is critical for growth.

Yet too often the debate that surrounds this audience is reductive and over-simplified. It is more Snapchat than Shakespeare, built on short-hand assumption rather than an appreciation of the wider plot.

It’s why today we’re proud to launch our latest thought leadership report “Who’s caught the millennial bug?”.

Just as the hysteria that surrounded the countdown to 2000 was built on misinformation and speculation, we wanted to stress test whether the millennial debate was being skewed by failing to take into account the complexities of this audience. We wanted to develop a richer understanding of the beliefs, ambitions and behaviours of this demographic in order to stress test some of the prevailing assumptions and examine the implications for our clients.

As an international communications consultancy, clients come to us for a variety of reasons. From creative brand building campaigns, to issues management, to supporting their corporate activity – our role is broad, varied and fast moving. To deliver real impact, this work involves navigating a complex stakeholder landscape in which data and insight are a vital compass.

For both established incumbents and industry disruptors, opening a meaningful and authentic dialogue with customers is fundamental to build trust, drive behaviours and shift perceptions. In a world where uncertainty is an ever-present, this has never been more important, and we’re delighted to share our thinking with you.