Millennials are now the dominant generation in American demographics. Those Millennials aged 26 this year are the largest group of any age cohort today. That makes them the most sought after customer group by businesses. But it turns out, some businesses are having to educate Millennials on how to use their products, because unlike the previously dominant Baby Boomer marketing cohort, Millennials haven’t spent much of their time doing the things their forebears did. Gardening? Nope. Fixing things around the house? Not really. Assembling furniture? No. Millennials, it turns out, have spent more time playing video games than developing life skills, so if businesses want the youngsters to buy their products, they need to educate them.
Ellen Byron reports in the Wall Street Journal some the businesses are setting up remedial education for Millennials so they will feel more comfortable buying products. She writes:
Companies such as Scotts, Home Depot Inc., Procter & Gamble Co. , Williams-SonomaInc.’s West Elm and the Sherwin-Williams Co. are hosting classes and online tutorials to teach such basic skills as how to mow the lawn, use a tape measure, mop a floor, hammer a nail and pick a paint color.
Lawn-mower engine maker Briggs & Stratton Corp. built a professional studio inside its Milwaukee office last yea
r to make how-to videos. Power-tool maker Andreas Stihl AG calls these new consumers “Willie Wannabes,” compared to their elders, who are “Eddie Experts.”
Millennials as a whole are America’s latest demographic bubble, overtaking the baby boom generation and, like them, transforming popular culture, retailing, media and lifestyles. They make up about 42% of all home buyers today, and 71% of all first-time home buyers, according to Zillow Group . Some 86% of millennial home buyers reported making at least one improvement to their home in the past year, more than any other generation, Zillow says.
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Companies like Home Depot can win by targeting these Millennial do-it-yourselfers. Home Depot is set to pay a dividend 29% larger this year than last. Home Depot regularly increases dividends, with a bump every year since 2008 when it briefly held its dividend flat during the depths of the housing crisis.