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New research reveals the truth about millennial small business owners

Gen-Yers aren’t the reckless, fearless technophiles that we’ve been telling ourselves they are. A new study dismantles some misconceptions.

New research reveals the truth about millennial small business owners

In Part 2 of our series, we explored “The Machine,” proprietary myth-busting technology from Cargo and neuromarketing firm BRANDthro. Now, we really get to see how The Machine’s output can change the way we think about—and talk to—Millennial Small Business Owners (or MSBOs).

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Myth #1: Millennials are fearless risk-takers

It’s easy to look at this confident, outspoken generation and mistake them for arrogant thrill-seekers. But Cargo’s study revealed that Millennials are actually quite cautious. Such an attribute makes sense when you consider that this is a generation raised by overprotective, New Age parents. They also watched helplessly as their parents suffered from the economic crash of the early 2000s, not to mention their own student-debt burdens.

So, their forays into small business ownership can be viewed more as risk-aversion than risk-taking. They’re putting their careers in their own hands, rather than counting on mega-corporations to pay the bills.

Myth #2: Millennials are neurotic extroverts

Cargo and BRANDthro’s study used The OCEAN Model to dissect the group’s most dominant personality traits. The surprising result: Conscientiousness came out on top.

This personality trait is characterized by mindfulness of others, consciousness of first impressions, and sense of duty toward others. These attributes are a far cry from the self-absorbed “me, me, me” stereotype that we’ve bought into for so long.

Myth #3: Millennials are overly emotional

Often dismissed as “social justice warrior snowflakes,” Millennials, and MSBOs, are actually rational. Sometimes, emotions come into play when making decisions. MSBOs have put their hearts and souls into their work, after all. But, tying in with their cautiousness, they make key business decisions only after doing their research and gathering key information.

So, what does it all mean?

This is just the beginning of the critical insights exposed in the Millennials Decoded study, but it is already clear that we have to change the way we communicate with this generation of achievement-oriented, cautious, self-disciplined, confident MSBOs.

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Coming up next: how to turn your brand’s language into MSBO action.

Want to read Cargo’s whole study now? Read the full study here.

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