What Millennials Want – 7 Things That Set Their Generation Apart

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Because there is unquestionably a lack of resources on the web concerning Millennial (aka Generation Y) interests and behavior, and as a person of Millennial DNA – born between (roughly) 1980 and 2000 – I feel the need to share my findings based on over 27 years of ethnographic research, in-depth observation and qualitative experience.

This is the comprehensive, official, no-holds-barred, GIF-infused list of what makes Millennials tick. As you’ll see these 7 things distinguish the mysterious Millennial from Homo sapiens of any other generation.

1. Food

Survey after survey, administered by and to the author, has shown that Millennials love ice cream. From double-fudge-moose-track-mint-cookie-dough to simple vanilla, ice cream has the power to attract and sell a millennial on almost anything, especially on a summer day (see item #6).


2. Happiness

Millennials tend to desire improvements or ‘upgrades’ to their life and the world. They want things to be better, and their generation is known to pursue people, experiences, and material objects that will improve happiness, joy and fun.


3. Technology

Technology that improves quality of life, gives greater access to information and allows humans to connect more deeply, weighs favorably in the life of a Millennial. They generally prefer newer technology over older technology. Example #1: A cell phone is preferable to a portable phone. Example #2: A smart phone is preferable to a flip phone.


4. Stories

Millennials much prefer the structured medium of a story rather than the haphazard stringing together of information. A good story is a sure-fire way to convey your point, sell your product, or generally please a Millennial.


5. Music

The Millennial enjoys rhythmic beats. Music reaches deep into the limbic system within the brain of a Millennial, responsible for emotions, and will likely generate a significant response.  In particular they are endeared by music released after the year 1980 (see item #7).


6. Sunlight

It turns out, Millennials require vitamin D, sometimes referred to as sunnyDlite, which improves their health and happiness when it’s sunny outside. Note: there are upper limits to this rule; Millennials will overheat if left in hot sun for long periods of time. Add water and ice cream (see item #1) for best results.


7. Good things


As a general rule, Millennials have a special interest in things that are good and that were invented or released during their lifetime, after 1980. Certainly there are exceptions, but this rule of thumb will aid your efforts to give the Millennial in your life the optimal gift or experience.



Millennials love being referred to as Millennials. When talked about, they much prefer being grouped together as a generation, rather than thought of as unique individuals. They love reading about their generation, especially when it is written by someone from an older generation. Their preferred medium for this research (and one of their favorite words) is the listicle. To that end, they would appreciate more studies and research that would help others better understand their habits and accept them for who they are.


Make this definitive list even better. If you are, or know, a Millennial, please contribute your observations in the comments section below.



Author: John Abdulla

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  1. 3 wonderfu books that will help you millennials to discover yourselves:
    Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
    The Blank Slate, The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Stephen Pinker
    What Art Is by Louis Torres
    What Art Is by

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