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Ambitions versus pragmatism: how Millenials are different from Centennials beyond technology

Born between 1980s and 2000, Millenials were the first so-called digital generation, while their younger siblings Centennials were the first born with smartphone in their palms. Access to technology and information has influenced their behavioral patterns globally. However, technological ‘native-ness’ is not the only trait that differs the two younger consumer age groups, a research by the Futures Company finds.

Desire for freedom vs. need for protection

These days both Millenials and Centennials value privacy online. However, there were the days when the former enjoyed the freedom of exploration as early Internet adopters. On the contrary, Centennials as mobile natives from early childhood have to deal with the variety of platforms and abundance of information, so they use tech cautiously. They don’t mind that parents monitor their online activities.

E-commerce vs. c-commerce

With the rise of Internet, Millenials witnessed the growth of online retail as an alternative to traditional stores. Centennials are lucky to live at the dawn of a new business era—the emergence and rise of ‘Consumer to Consumer’ economy. The youngest consumers are perfectly fine with purchasing some crafted goods instead of mass production.

Financial currency vs. social respect

The youngest consumer groups have different vision of success. If ambitious Millenials strongly believed that success was more about money and economic outcomes, Centennials are more pragmatic and do not measure success in commercial or financial terms—they rate influence in the social media higher than dollars.

Ambitions vs. realistic goals

This difference stems from the attitude to success mentioned above. Millenials who grew up with the can-do attitude and had high ambitions, have difficulties adapting to touch economic environment. While Centennials who were born in the times of austerity, have tempered financial and career expectations.

Intrapersonal intelligence vs practical mind

While Millenials enjoy freedom of self-expression, creativity and unique personal strength, Centennials possess ‘practical intelligence: they try to find the best fit between themselves and external demands in the society. Being naturally stress-proof, it’s easier fir them to adapt to the world of limited opportunities.

Fighting the system vs. creating new systems

Millenials use the power of Internet to change existing systems, unite people in communities and fight for their rights.  Centennials, vice versa, are quiet innovators, not fighters. Instead of changing systems, they create their own zone of comfort.

Of course, all these labels are conventional and may change as the consumers grow older. However, these trends will influence attitudes and behaviour of Millenials and Centennials as the progress through life, the Future Company’s analysts argue.

Figures and more data are available in the infographic here.