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How millennials can impact your business

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Anisah is the founder of 23 Code Street, a new coding school for women which, for every paying student, teaches a young woman in India how to code. In this article, she explains why businesses shouldn’t take millennials for granted.

The UK’s conference scene saw a new addition to it last week with the launch of Millennials 20/20, a conference aimed at understanding millennials and it’s effects on business.

A two day event, an amalgamation of panels and talks with a diverse exhibition showcasing the latest technology, startups and trends.

Move over millennials, there’s a new generation coming

According to the conference, an industry Generation Y is disrupting majorly is travel as millennials want, more and more increasingly, to collect experiences rather than goods.

Technology has a huge role to play in this with new startups and established businesses leveraging its power to influence and engage with this tech savvy audience.

One company speaking on the first day was FatMap, a company bringing maps into 2016 by using high quality 3D interactive maps. Their ski demo on their site is reminiscent of a 4D ride found at museums around the world.

Founder of FatMaps, Misha Gopaul, stated that “Millennials want more personal and curated experiences without having to do the leg work themselves. A demanding but lazy generation”.

He was in discussion with the Lonely Planet, Airportr and Visit Britain about whether virtual reality would soon replace the need for travel (Visit Australia were at the conference with a Samsung Gear S2, pouncing on passersby to experience Down Under).

The short answer was no, but it would enhance the experience and be a great pre sales tool, i.e. a test before you buy tool.

Virtual reality

Virtual Reality was a theme that resonated across the two days:

Along with Visit Australia, Accenture was present using Oculus Rift to detail Rugby analysis, Delta Airlines was using an Oculus Rift alongside a Leap Motion to allow people to experience the first class cabin (which included attempting to eat an imaginary cookie!), Google Cardboards seemed to be everywhere and even a Google Glass made it.

One of the reoccurring conversations around virtual reality was better training for employees by keeping them more engaged with content, which is what Accenture seemed to be focused on with its Rugby analysis experience.

Another industry where millennials are demanding more is Beauty, an industry rarely spoken of in the tech world.

With their eye catching stand of colourful products hanging from the ceiling, under glass flooring, and stuck to the wall, Foreo caught the attention of many.

It has developed a range of affordable products to improve our beauty regimes.

With the hype around sonic facial brushes, its Luna Play was the talk of the town.

Apart from being marketed as the smallest sonic facial brush, its unique selling point is it’s innovative use of silicone for the entire device which makes it 100% waterproof and more hygienic.

Their focus on battery life, size and constant innovation makes them an exciting company in the space.

One of the highlights of the conference was Pepper- a child sized, wide eyed robot by Aldebaran who can perceive emotion.

According to their studio manager, Pepper could be programmed, using Python, to do just about anything. A sweet anecdote was told about an Algerian mother, who lives in France but can neither read nor write French and felt completely isolated from friends and family on social media.

Pepper is programmed to read Tweets and Facebook posts to her and allows her to dictate her replies!

In Japan, Pepper is being used in stores as a customer service representative due to it’s emotional understanding and it has the accolade of being the first robot to be introduced into Japanese homes.

When you can get unlimited high fives, hugs and a disco dancing partner, who wouldn’t want one in their home?

Conclusions

The overall conclusions of the conference were economic centric.

Millennials will be the highest spenders by 2020. What does this mean for the tech world? Well, apparently, it means not everything has to be free!

The millennial generation pay for unique experiences, great service and speed. They pay for exclusivity, social acceptance and simplicity.

An overheard quote from the conference, “Millennials are a socially conscious generation. We can’t cut corners. We must reach a higher level of complexity yet, at the same time, we must simplify our offering.”

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