As generations go, you’d be hard-pressed to find one that is as maligned as Millennials. It has been stereotypically labeled the Entitled Generation. Or, the Participation Trophy Generation. Or, the Lazy Indifferent “You’re Not The Boss of Me” Generation. But what we believe to be the most dynamic of generations is none of those.
First off, those stereotypes are both unfair and untrue. Millennials have purpose. They have vision and hope. They are optimistic and encouraged. They believe they will be successful without harming others, themselves or the world around them. They will take on the Gen Xers and the Baby Boomers (the Generational Gorillas), and win. They are the Challenger Brand Generation.
As background, Millennials are made up of those born between 1982-2002 (ages 15-35). Those familiar with media demographics will recognize this consumer group as a larger version of a prime buying demo – 18-34. For many marketers, this demo is critical to their brand’s success as it represents the entry level consumer who is establishing their buying preferences; and in so doing, potentially locking those choices in for the rest of their buying lives. With the stakes this high, marketers can’t ignore the Challenger Brand Generation.
According to Millennial Marketing, Millennials make up 25% of the US population and 21% of consumer discretionary purchases (over a trillion dollars in direct buying power). One in four Millennials are parents and, unlike other generations, believe parenting is an equal partnership. This is a generation with a heart and they make buying decisions based on how they feel about a company.
So, how do marketers appeal to the Challenger Brand Generation?
Here are 10 tips to help you market to Millennials:
1. Market to the Millennials’ Hearts – The best way to appeal to Millennials is through Cause Marketing. Nearly 50% of Millennials would be more willing to make a purchase from a company if their purchase supports a cause.
2. Millennials Are Willing to Pay More – More than one-third of Millennials say they are willing to purchase a product or service to support a cause they believe in, even if it means paying a bit more.
3. Millennials Trust Their Friends More Than They Trust You – 91% of Millennials reported that they trust their friends for product recommendations. Marketers should encourage customers to share product purchases and reviews on social media to get this buying group’s attention.
4. Friends Mean the World to Millennials – 46% of Millennials reported having 200+ Facebook friends. That number is only 19% for non-Millennials.
5. Reviews Build Brands – 70% of Millennials feel a responsibility to share feedback with companies after a good or bad experience.
6. Does Your Product/Service Improve My Life? – Millennials value brands that enhance their lives. Does your product serve a purpose? Make a difference? They should if you want to capture the Millennial’s attention.
7. Millennials Want to Travel – 79% want to visit all 50 states and 75% want to travel abroad.
8. Experience is Everything – This is a generation that places a high value on experiences over things. Travel, entertainment, events with friends, are all more important than commodities. 69% of Millennials crave adventure. 80% of Millennials want brands to entertain them.
9. Millennials Trust Transparency – Logically, this generation distrusts businesses that don’t respond to feedback or display any evidence of secrecy. Companies who wish to gain Millennial trust should engage them on social media and share the latest goings on with the company.
10. Don’t Rely Solely on Digital Media – Just because Millennials are famously tech-forward, that doesn’t mean online marketing is the most effective way to reach them. In fact, according to a 2013 SocialChorus survey, just 6% of Millennials trust traditional online ads.
In fact, SocialChorus says that Millennials are incredibly adept at ignoring online ads, with many reporting that the ads have become completely invisible to them.
If you’d like some help building a Millennial marketing strategy, contact us here.
Until next month…