Almost every year I forget to take our Christmas tree out to the street in time for the city pickup. So, it blows around in my back yard or driveway for a couple months until I take it to the city dump and have to pay extra. Can anyone relate?
I love real Christmas trees. Growing up in Zaire, we used palm trees as a substitute and put real candles on it. Each year we dug up a tree, and re-planted it after Christmas. When my family left Zaire, I was nine years old. We had a row of palm trees in our garden from every year.
The tradition of cutting our own tree, strapping it to the car, and bringing it home is one of my favorites. I’m just like Clark Griswold.
Did you know that this past year sales of real Christmas trees was up 30% since 1994? And, Millennials are partly responsible for this rise. Why are Millennials buying more real trees? The answer might not surprise you if you are a Millennial. But it does reveal some important trends in their values and behavior. Anyone employing or selling to a Millennial should pay attention.
Millennials are getting nostalgic. They want to reconnect with meaningful memories and experiences from their past. Also, they are craving genuineness. In a world so full of hyperbole and politics, they want a return to what’s real. Employers, be real with Millennials and provide opportunities for meaningful, genuine relationships. Walk the talk and cut the bull. Whether you are selling trees or DNA kits, remember that Millennials are buying what reconnects them to what lasts.
Contrary to what you might have thought, growing a real tree takes less energy and is more sustainable than a fake tree. And, real trees can be recycled. Millennials care about the environment and the impact of their behaviors. Companies and products that emphasize sustainability and give people an active role to play will attract Millennials and their money.
I know people who have special closets or small rooms for their fake trees. They keep them assembled and decorated all year long. Just pull it out and plug it in. So efficient! Millennials don’t want to be tied down by stuff that has to be stored and is linked to a mortgage payment. Real trees represent freedom. Freedom from stuff. Freedom to move. Freedom to create something new. Companies who give employees the opportunity to grow something new while not feeling tied down will attract the Millennials. Want to sell something to a Millennial? Great, as long as it can be stored in the cloud.
Are you a Millennial? How do you connect with the values of authenticity, sustainability and freedom?