Elizabeth just finished the book Millennial Momentum by Winograd and Hais. Millennials, of course, are a hot topic in marketing, and although this book is much more geared toward politics than marketing, it’s a really fascinating read and they utilize archetypes in a way that resonates with many of us at Olson Zaltman Associates.
The basic premise is that there are four recurring archetypes that describe generational attitudes (Idealist, Reactive, Civic, and Adaptive). The Millennial generation is what is characterized as a “Civic” generation. In the past, Civic generations have been responsible for great advancement and refashioning of American society.
In a nutshell, Civic generations tend to emphasize the value of the group and social norms over the purely individual. As adults, they tend to focus on resolving social challenges and building institutions. The polling data is pretty stunning when you compare their attitudes with those of Gen Xers (Reactive) and Boomers (Idealist). Millennials have a different set of values that suggests different ways to speak to them politically, but that could also be valuable for corporate marketers.
If you have a chance this is worth a quick read. You can pretty much get the nuts and bolts from the first few chapters. If anyone has any other good suggestions on this topic, please share!