Known as the “selfie generation” or “digital natives”, it’s hard to ignore today’s largest and most diverse living adult generation, the millennials.
They may have a reputation for having a short attention span, being technology obsessed, entitled or impatient, but let’s face it, millennials today (individuals ranging in ages 23 – 38) are the future influencers and key decision-makers in the world of business and government.
It is estimated that the full impact of millennials’ purchasing power and brand preferences will come into full effect in 2020 when their purchasing power is projected to reach $1.4 trillion.
As they grow and take on higher positions in corporate America, marketers are facing real challenges to capture and retain these busy and technology savvy’s attention.
Marketers must really study and understand the purchasing behavior and cultural trends of millennials if they want to succeed in gaining their interest and loyalty.
What We Know Already
Here are some behavioral patterns we already know about millennials:
• Millennials communicate differently from previous generations. Gone are the days of long phone conversations. Many only communicate through social media or text.
• Most millennials are technology savvy. In fact, they may not even remember life before the internet. Few don’t even know how to function without a cell phone.
• They are socially conscious. They care about brands with a higher purpose.
• They are up to date on all the latest trends and news.
By understanding these general patterns of behavior and adjusting our strategy, marketing to them should not be that difficult.
By asking questions or sharing their experiences with your brand, people can remember you more and feel a more personal connection.
Here is our list of 10 ways to appeal to a millennial:
1. Have your brand stand for something. As mentioned earlier, millennials usually opt for more purpose-driven brands. Take Nike for example. The Just Do It campaign with Colin Kaepernick, although at first controversial, truly solidified Nike’s stance on the issue of sticking to your beliefs and just going for it. That’s because the brand knew its audience well and didn’t shy away from pushing boundaries.
2. Support a cause. Have your company sponsor an annual charity event or a non-profit organization. In other words, find a way to GIVE BACK. This isn’t just good for your PR but also helps boost team morale. They notice, trust us.
3. Focus on at least 1 or 2 social media channels and stay active. Social presence not only gives your brand credibility and helps your online visibility, but also gives your brand a personality and increases engagement.It is estimated that 88% of millennials have at least one form of social media. That is $1.5 billion people you can reach outside your traditional marketing tactics. We understand not all channels serve the same purpose or audience. So whatever platform works for you, focus on it and keep posting.
4. Connect them to your brand. Appeal to their emotions by telling stories instead of just trying to sell to them. Talk about things they can relate to. Millennials are more brand conscious and tend to opt for those they feel more closely connected to.
5. Share user generated content. Millennials are the biggest sharers of social content. Stay active on social media and they will want to interact and engage with your brand.
6, Focus on social proof. Instead of using numbers, use real results and stories from real people. People like to hear directly from people who have benefited from the brand rather than a statistic. If you are purchasing something for the first time from an unknown brand, wouldn’t you want some sort of “proof” that they are legit and people are saying good things about them? It is estimated 52% of millennials check out a brand on social media before making a purchasing decision.
7. Spend less time on your product and more on your brand. Focus more on your brand as a whole to see how to make improvements. Sure, the product itself is important too, but also worry about your overall brand reputation and find ways to improve its perception and digital footprint.
8. Use social influencers. Influencers are changing the way we talk, buy and review products and services.With the age of Instagram, influencers have become quite popular among millennials. These don’t have to be some big shot celebrities, but people in your community, loyal customers and staff who have a strong social media presence with highly engaged followers.
9. Be up to date on the latest trends. If you want to stand out from the crowd, make sure you are caught up with today’s news and trends. Millennials will be less interested if your brand represents something out of date. Make sure your website is updated not just with fresh content but also with user experience. If your website is still not mobile or loads up slow or is overwhelmed with content, you can be sure that you most millennials will click out of your site as soon as they get there.
10. Involve users within your company. There is no better way to gain insight into the minds of millennials than involving your own staff who are millennials. Simply ask them. Organize social outings or take them out to lunch. Your staff can be your biggest advocate in ensuring your brand is staying relevant and top of mind with the younger consumers.
Always remember, if you truly want to get the attention of millennials, it starts with changing the things you are comfortable with. You need to start familiarizing yourself with what the millennials are interested in and what drives their buying decisions.
By Tulsi Jipp
Content Writer and Blogger,