Who are millennials?
There’s a lot written about millennials and how important they can be to businesses and economies. However, before crafting a business plan targeting millennials, let’s try to understand who millennials are.
The word ‘millennial’ in itself is elusive and it’s often unclear what age bracket they belong to.
Additionally, targeting a millennial is not an easy task. Thanks to rapid development in technology, this is a cohort that is connected to multiple devices and has multiple channels of communication at their disposal. Their ways of social interaction are distinctly different from the other generations. So are their value systems and beliefs.
Read on to know more.
How old are they?
The definition of millennials varies across the board. The general range of their year of birth is between the late 1970s and early 2000s. For the sake of simplicity, we assume that millennials are those who are born between 1980 and 2000. They constitute about 80 million people, a little over a quarter of the total US population. They’ve surpassed the baby boomers, in terms of population, making them the largest generation in the US.
How are they?
Millennials have grown up with technology. They’re hyperconnected and “always on”. An attribute that they associate with the most is speed – think instant messenger (Facebook messenger), cab (Uber), food (Uber Eats), clothes (Amazon), movies (Netflix) – all of it is literally a click away for this new generation. They possibly do not know how to do things the other way.
They’re not the ones to jump through hoops to acquire a product or service. The internet also makes sure that they’re spoilt for choice. This means that if your website doesn’t have an easy way to check-out or if there’s no easy way to book an appointment or if your shipment is going to take too long, they would exit your page almost immediately and find the next alternate.
Attributes of speed and instant gratification often give birth to stereotypes associated with millennials such as those of them being privileged, selfish or lazy, living in their parents’ basements. Sure, they can be very demanding customers but by no means are they selfish or lazy.
In fact, millennials are the most educated of all the generations in the US right now. They value themselves as much as they value the society and the world around them. They want to make the world a better place to live in.
Moreover, millennials are a “hyper-connected” generation. They enjoy sharing their lives and thoughts with their peers. At the same time, they also seek validation and social acceptance from them.
How do they interact with brands?
Direct advertising doesn’t necessarily compel millennials to buy products. According to a study by Hubspot, 84% of them do not even trust traditional advertising. One sided-communication by a brand through direct advertising is a thing of the past. It doesn’t compel millennials to make a purchase.
They need to engage with a brand and trust them before making a purchase. Millennials are also smart shoppers. They try to acquire as much information about a product before buying them. Online reviews play a vital role of taking your millennial from “consideration” to “purchase” leg of their customer journey.
Funnily enough, online reviews have become so important that you will find millennials evaluate products at a store and then check reviews and prices online to make sure they get the best deal.
They also seek peer reviews. Reviews from friends can have a huge impact on the decision making process. Endorsements from friends and peers has given way to influencer marketing. This is important to your business because partnering with the right influencers can directly increase sales.
Moreover, millennials’ strong belief system makes them appreciate a brand that shares their value of making the world a better place.
Clearly, brand trust emanates from reviews or opinions shared by their peers and influencers as well as the brand’s own ethos.
At last count, millennials accounted for $1.3 trillion of annual spending, of which $430 was discretionary.
The sheer number of millennials and their spending power make them worthy candidates of your business.
Tell us in the comments section, do you sells products or services to millennials? How are they different from your other customers?