Millennials and Gen Xers Aren’t As Different As You Think!

Last time we left you in suspense as Tara and I were visiting the home of a millennial family.  Through our work during the past year, we have learned that Millennials and Generation Xers aren’t as different as you might think!


We have observed important similarities in financial attitudes and behaviors between millennials and Generation Xers that have significant ramifications for customer experience strategy.

  • Optimistic outlook: Despite the volatile economy, millennials and Generation Xers generally have a favorable outlook on their financial future and are confident that they can chart their own course.
  • Joint decision-making: Most married millennials and Generation Xers share financial decision-making, which means that financial service providers need to be prepared to work with both partners.
  • Similar financial goals: Saving for college and retirement are the primary financial goals for both groups, though they may be at different stages of the process.  Whether their children are 2 or 20, both groups worry about how to deal with the rising cost of college and have lots of questions about how to prioritize their financial goals.
  • Importance of social networks for financial advice: There is no 1-800 line that everyone is calling for advice.  The typical approach is to ask trusted family members, friends, or work colleagues and then check out on-line resources, such as blogs and websites.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mobile is king for both groups!  EVERYONE we talked to uses mobile banking, from 28 year-olds to 50 year-olds.  It’s time to set aside the assumption that millennials are the only ones using technology!
  • Channel preferences are driven by transaction, not age.  Millennials have developed a reputation for preferring digital to face-to-face, but that isn’t always the case.  Their channel preferences depend on the specific transaction.  For instance, while most would never go to the bank branch to transfer funds, they would prefer to talk to someone by phone or in person if they need financial advice or need help with financial products.
  • Financial literacy remains a challenge.  Most millennials and Generation Xers know very little about financial products, even products they own.  They don’t know what they don’t know and are looking to financial service providers to educate them.

This is just the tip of the iceberg!  Contact us to learn more about how to better understand your target market.

Our recommendations:

Book:  “The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business” by Patrick Lencioni

A must read to re-evaluate the role of leadership and strategy. The author argues that the key difference between successful companies and mediocre ones has little to do with what they know and how smart they are and more to do with how healthy they are. An organization is healthy when when its management, operations and culture are unified. How does an organization get healthy? Lencioni offers a blueprint of four disciplines: 1) Build a cohesive leadership team; 2) Create Clarity; 3) Over-communicate clarity; 4) Reinforce clarity.

This book is a phenomenal read. Give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.


Until the next time,

Jenia, Tara and Awk