Millennials Are Killing These Industries. Or, Who Can Companies Blame When They Fail to Adapt?

It seems like hardly a day goes by that you don’t hear about Millennials being the downfall of cable TV, the taxi industry, Western civilization, etc.

What some people may call “killing” an industry is just a younger generation’s way of saying they prefer something else. Businesses adapt to changing times and market conditions when it’s necessary, if they don’t, they get phased out. Particularly interesting is the number of different things that media outlets claim Millennials are strangulating.

Examples such as:

To name but a few…

Many of the headlines are meant to grab your attention then throw at you a couple of facts about Millennials and perhaps a story from someone in the industry who thinks the younger crowd could be responsible for a dip in business.

In reality, it’s not that Millennials don’t enjoy many of those products and services, it’s that they are choosing to spend their money carefully.

Also not helping matters is the fact that home ownership and living independently is down significantly among Millennials. This is due in large part to crippling student loans (the average balance has reached nearly $30,000) and a high cost of living where many jobs exist.

On top of everything, even if a Millennial did want to buy a home, which leads to an increased consumption of consumer goods, many of them cannot get a loan. On average, their credit scores hover at around 680, barely enough to qualify for most traditional loans (you can see what your credit score is here).

Putting it bluntly: Adaptation in business has been the name of the game since Roman times. Companies and industries need to spend less time blaming their potential customers and more time figuring out how to prove their value to a younger audience, earning their business.