Buildings Respond to the Demands of Millennials


More and more buildings today are being designed to the preferences of the Millennials, the generation born between 1981 and 1996: currently ages 22 - 37.   Meeting the demands of Millennials is on the rise in cities across the U.S., and now in select suburbs as well.  Why?  Because smart marketers know this burgeoning population is gaining earning power, with an expanding share of the workforce.  In fact Millennials as a generation are slated to become the largest demographic segment in the U.S. in 2019, displacing Baby Boomers from that long-time claim. According to Pew Research Center, next year Millennials will account for a full 73 million in U.S. population, while Baby Boomers are expected to drop to 72 million. For those marketers and commercial buildings yet to respond, here are some compelling reasons to tailor your business to this growing market, plus Millennial characteristics to consider.

Large Growing Segment of the Workforce

  • Millennials currently account for over 1 in 3 workers in the labor force right now. (Pew Research Center)
  • By year 2020 they are expected to account for 50% of the US workforce. (Huffington Post).

Preferences in Work & Home

  • Concern for the environment, and sustainability is a top priority for most Millennials. They prefer a building that is green both at home and at work.   Consider equipping your building with solar, wind, or some sort of energy saver, and include ready recycling programs.
  • City Preferred: Millennials are moving back into cities. Most are looking to reduce commute times, take advantage of public transport, and enjoy more urban amenities. Millennials want their homes and workspaces located nearby. 
  • Technology definitely influences Millennials’ housing and workplace selections. Having grown up with technology, Millennials are at ease with IoT devices, and expect easy connectivity to high-speed and high-capacity networks. Tech enablement is a must for them. Check out these Millennial-inspired workspaces created by Microsoft and Steelcase:
  • Value Healthy and Collaborative workplace, with room for standing desks, cafes, or open work spaces. Flexible workspaces with nearby gym and open outdoor seating are more likely to attract growing businesses with Millennials.
Buying Style
  • Only Buy What Makes Them Feel Good. 60% of millennials look for purchases that are an expression of their personality -- the brand must make them feel good. Millennials value their dollar more and value products that meet both a logistical and emotional need. (
  • Brand Loyalty is Low, even if the brand has worked for them in the past. Marketers need to focus on giving the Millennial a reason to connect and return.  Millennials typically respond to events related to their lifestyle or leisure, and dislike someone "pitching them a sale".
  • Like Personalization & Relevancy:   Millennials appreciate when ads and social media are customized to them. Personalization matters to Millennials. They expect companies and brands to dive deep into understanding how a product resonates and connects with them as a person, and with their lifestyle.
  • Value Experiences: Millennials prefer to spend their money on experiences over material things -- and they are willing to pay extra for it. Many brands already recognize this and are employing experiential marketing to connect. This involves setting up places with special opportunities for interaction, both with the brand and with other consumers, often through unique customized events. (Forbes, 6/4/18)

But how exactly do you choose ways to tailor your building and property to appeal to Millennials?  Of course integrating as many of the above Millennial preferences as possible will help. However, there is one overriding preference that the majority of Millennials want in a building or destination: An immersive experience.  As many as 72% of Millennials report they are more interested in buying or spending on an Experience vs. a particular product. (Harris Group,

See this link for some great examples of the type of buildings and immersive experiences that are designed to fit Millennials:

Also consider affordable Interior finishing options like Environmental Graphics to create the experiential immersive setting that is just the type of environment that attracts Millennials.

BarkerBlue specializes in Environmental Graphics of all kinds. We are transforming businesses across the entire SF-Bay-Area to meet the market needs for Millennials as they help shape our evolving workplaces.  Ask us how we can help you shift your building interiors or office setting to attract the growing Millennial workforce.  Learn more at

#environmentalgraphics, CREATE-Graphic Display, BarkerBlue| Create, BarkerBlue Build

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