Millennials, also known as Generation Y, represent the largest generation in the workforce. Born between 1981 and 1996, this demographic cohort will continue driving major consumer and employment trends. Forward-looking businesses are paying close attention to the priorities and preferences shaping Millennial behaviors.

Work-life integration tops the list of Millennial values. Offering flexibility through telecommuting, adjustable schedules and generous vacation policies appeals to Gen Y desires for work-life balance and mobility.

Professional development matters. Gen Yers view ongoing skills training, mentorship programs, and opportunities for continuous learning and career progression as workplace necessities. Investing in their growth pays dividends in loyalty.

Purpose and meaning are essential. The cohort cares about supporting causes and volunteering. Companies that incorporate social responsibility and community give-back into their cultures satisfy needs here.

Financial prudence influences spending. During the Great Recession, many Millennials experienced economic instability. Smart budgeting and saving for the future take priority over impulsive expenditures.

Health and wellness are priorities. Gen Yers spend more on fitness, organic and locally sourced foods, and preventative health measures. Brands catering to active lifestyles and wholesome choices align with this focus.

Experiences trump materialism. Gen Yers allocate more discretionary income to travel, hobbies, and social experiences that provide meaning and great Instagram photos. The experience economy will thrive with this generation.

Quality prevails over brand names. Millennials care more about product functionality, uniqueness and innovative design than label prestige. Offbeat startups can gain attention through specialty offerings.

Digitally savvy describes Millennials. Online reviews heavily influence purchasing. Retail brands must maintain engaging, seamless digital experiences and top-notch mobile platforms to connect with Millennial consumers.

The brands that successfully capture Millennial market share will be those that embed the values of this purpose-driven generation into their cultures and offerings.