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Meet the Millenials

Despite the headwinds their generation faced early in life, notably their emergence into a tough job market following the 2008 financial crisis, Generation Y are an optimistic group on average. They feel capable of navigating change and complexity, and feel good about their personal prospects for the future. Born after 1980, these young Canadians have been able to express themselves online for almost as long as they can remember – and their values register a strong attraction to creativity and self-expression. One way they express themselves is with the things they buy, own, and wear. This generation connects deeply to brands, especially brands they believe are genuine and have a strong identity or an interesting story. When they find a product or company they believe in, they’re not shy about promoting it to friends.

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Meet the Millenials

Despite the headwinds their generation faced early in life, notably their emergence into a tough job market following the 2008 financial crisis, Generation Y are an optimistic group on average. They feel capable of navigating change and complexity, and feel good about their personal prospects for the future. Born after 1980, these young Canadians have been able to express themselves online for almost as long as they can remember – and their values register a strong attraction to creativity and self-expression. One way they express themselves is with the things they buy, own, and wear. This generation connects deeply to brands, especially brands they believe are genuine and have a strong identity or an interesting story. When they find a product or company they believe in, they’re not shy about promoting it to friends.

Click on a segment to learn more about the values that define them.

Lone
Wolves

Engaged
Idealists

Bros and
Brittanys

Diverse
Strivers

Critical
Counterculturists

New
Traditionalists

Critical
Counterculturists

New
Traditionalists

Lone Wolves

Lone Wolves

Who They Are

Deeply skeptical of authority, and lacking strong social connections, Lone Wolves resemble the stereotypical Gen Xers of the 1990s. These Millennials are solitary, and favour keeping life simple and straightforward. They are seldom involved in community events, have little civic engagement and they don’t feel strongly connected to what’s going on in society at large. Still, whereas some people who feel disconnected from society feel angry or hostile to others, Lone Wolves are low-key: they are not xenophobic or sexist, for instance. If disaffected Gen Xers’ motto was “Whatever,” perhaps the Lone Wolves’ words to live by are “I’m not hurting anyone. Just let me be.”

Demographic Highlights

Least likely Millennials to live in Ontario
Most likely Millennials to be separated or divorced
Most likely Millennials tribe to live alone

Engaged Idealists

Engaged Idealists

Who They Are

Engaged Idealists are stereotypical Millennials on steroids: engaged, sociable, energetic, experience-seeking and idealistic. They believe in contributing as much as possible to their relationships, careers and communities—and the reward is their own personal growth and development. These Millennials believe that their actions matter, shaping their lives and the world around them. They recognize that their environment is complex, but feel confident in their ability to navigate it. They want interesting, meaningful careers that let them express themselves and use the creativity that is central to their identity. Money is nice, but the quality of their work experiences is a higher priority. They also try to make time for spontaneous fun, which they see as an important part of a happy, balanced life.

Demographic Highlights

Most likely Millennials to have a post-graduate degree
Most likely Millennials to earn over $100K
More likely to live in urban areas

Bros and Brittanys

Bros and Brittanys

Who They Are

Avid risk-takers who pursue thrills and excitement, Bros and Brittanys are Millennials who work hard to get paid and have the lifestyle they want. They are the largest segment of their generation and very enthusiastic consumers. These Millennials embrace technology and appreciate social connectivity. Looking good and being respected are important to them, and they make sure to keep up with the latest trends. These Millennials are not looking to change the world; in fact, they don’t always feel like they have much control over how their own lives are unfolding. This can make short escapes – beer and HD sports in the man cave, a girls’ night out, or a concert with the whole gang – an important form of relief.

Demographic Highlights

Most likely Millennials to be single
Most likely Millennials to work full time
Most suburban Millennials

Diverse Strivers

Diverse Strivers

Who They Are

To Diverse Strivers, ‘making it’ in life, and doing things that bring new and intense experiences are top priorities. These Millennials crave success and they push themselves to achieve it in a number of ways. They work hard in their careers and pursue personal challenges (like marathons or intense yoga sessions) in their off-hours. They try to inspire respect in those closest to them by doing their duty and being upstanding members of their families and communities. They take care to look good and have the latest gadgets and toys to maintain a sharp and successful appearance. Diverse Strivers report high levels of vitality—they love crowds and attention, and pursue intensity in everything they do—and they need every bit of their energy to keep pushing forward toward their goals; they never stop building their resumes to satisfy their own ambitions and impress others.

Demographic Highlights

More likely to live in Ontario
More likely to be male
Over one third were born outside of Canada

Critical Counterculturists

Critical Counterculturists

Who They Are

Millennials in the Critical Counterculture segment are the engaged, critical young people of the kind sometimes featured in news stories about 20-somethings building businesses, pursuing ground-breaking online activism, and otherwise shaking up the world. These Canadians share many of the same progressive values as their compatriots, the Engaged Idealists: they believe in gender equality, are at ease with diversity of all kinds, and reject discrimination and injustice. But while the Engaged Idealists see the world through a social and emotional lens—pursuing authentic relationships and experiences, and striving to express their true selves—the gold standard for Critical Counterculture is clear-eyed rationality.

Demographic Highlights

Most likely Millennials to be highly educated (university degree or more)
Most likely millennials to be students
Most urban Millennials

New Traditionalists

New Traditionalists

Who They Are

As their name suggests, New Traditionalists hold many values that would not be out of place in the 1950s—but their outlook also reflects some distinctly 21st century concerns, including an interest in environmental issues and a related commitment to buying green products. These Millennials are more religious and spiritual than others. Religion is an important part of their lives and central to their identity. They believe in staying true to the values with which they were brought up, particularly towards conservative family values and gender roles. The New Traditionalists also value traditional modes of etiquette and propriety: appropriate dress, good manners, respect for elders, a tidy home. They respect authority figures more so than their peers, report a stronger sense of duty, and a greater sense of identification with their family roots and ancestors.

Demographic Highlights

More likely to be female
Most likely Millennials to be married or common-law
Least urban Millennials

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