Viacom’s Scratch embarked on a three-year study, aptly titled the Millennial Disruption Index (MDI), to decode the industries most ripe for disruption at the hands of millennials . The results are in and it’s clear that the financial services industry is struggling to engage and inspire millennials – as consumers and as employees — foretelling what could be the beginning of significant change in this sector. Fast Company signaled this imminent disruption when it unveiled Scratch’s study in Sorry Banks, Millennials Hate You. In fact, millennials don’t hate banks; far worse, traditional banks are becoming irrelevant, as the largest generational cohort in history looks elsewhere to meet their needs.
Scratch spoke with 10,000 millennials about 73 companies spanning 15 industries, and all 4 nationwide banks were in the bottom 10. The data conveys which companies and industries are loved, which are setting themselves apart, and which are on the brink of disruption by this generation. Millennials increasingly see the banking system as irrelevant with 70% of millennials saying that in five years the way we pay for things will be totally different, while almost one third of millennials believe they won’t need a bank at all.
“We’re hearing so loud and clearly from our biggest audience that there’s a whole industry that’s not meeting their needs,” said Ross Martin, Executive Vice President of Scratch. “We see such a big opportunity for banks here.”
With this study, Scratch sought to isolate and understand the drivers of brand preference and differentiation among this generation and noticed that they don’t want the same old tricks. Those aren’t resonating, and given that over 50% of millennials don’t think their bank offers anything different than other banks, they all look the same. Innovation also matters, so there’s no surprise that half of millennials are counting on tech startups to overhaul the way banks work.
Scratch is a creative and strategic SWAT team that brings the power of Viacom into the world in new ways, and this study creates an opportunity to partner with players in financial services to share the collective expertise at Viacom to better address the needs of consumers. ATMs won’t be obsolete like telephone booths next week, but the sector can benefit from these insights to develop strategies, products, brands and even organizations that connect with millennials in a more powerful way.