There’s no shortage of discussions today about Millennials, particularly when the conversation topic pertains to technology. But there’s more—much more—to this young consumer group. In fact, now that everyone of this generation is of legal drinking age (LDA), retailers, restaurants and manufacturers have a new and powerful customer that they must get to know—one that now accounts for 24% of the U.S. population.

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Ten New Findings About The Millennial Consumer

Companies are fiercely competing for millennial mindshare and it’s only the beginning. There are eighty million millennials in America alone and they represent about a fourth of the entire population, with $200 billion in annual buying power.  They have a lot of influence over older generations and are trendsetters across all industries from fashion to food. Companies have been struggling connecting with this generation because many of the traditional methods of advertising have proven ineffective at capturing their attention. Furthermore, many companies believe in certain myths about millennials that are just plain inaccurate, including that they aren’t brand loyal.

1. They aren’t influenced at all by advertising.

Only 1% of millennials surveyed said that a compelling advertisement would make them trust a brand more. Millennials believe that advertising is all spin and not authentic. That’s why they use Tivo to skip commercials regularly and avoid banner advertisements on Facebook and various news websites.

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Source: Forbes

Brands: Why You Need Millennials

The Millennial demographic is quickly surpassing other demo’s on the most wanted chart –  not because Millennials have more money, but because they have another kind of power.not because Millennials have more money, but because they have another kind of power. They are self confident – they know how to move in a digital environment by nature and they are eager to express themselves.

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Source: BizReport 4/1/15

So How Many Millennials Are There in the US, Anyway?

Marketers tend to focus a lot of energy on Millennials. Their lives are deconstructed on many different levels, and there’s research to be found on anything from their media habits to their social influence, to even their alcohol preferences. Those analyses are all helpful in their own right, but – stepping back to the big picture for a moment – how many of these prized individuals are there in the US? The latest data out from the Census Bureau gives a sense of how large this coveted demographic is.

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Source: Marketing Charts