What Grows in the Heads and Hearts of Millennials?
First, if you’re not sure if you’re a Millennial (or if you’re a Boomer who just thinks like a Millennial), check out this nifty chart from Fast Company.
Although this group doesn’t like being lumped into one category, they have habits and attitudes that set them apart from other generations. They grew up with technology and unlimited access to information. Their needs and expectations as consumers are unique.
What Do They Buy?
Millennials are called the “grab-and-go” generation. They are accustomed to being able to access what they want, when they want it.
Other interesting facts from Money Magazine include:
- Millennials are global. The Internet and ease of travel have given them more of an understanding of different cultures. That extends to their shopping and food tastes as well.
- They are informal. The rise in “athleisure” style reflects their need for comfort.
- Tattoos and piercings are popular with this group, as the need to express themselves through personalized artistry is important to them.
- Social consciousness is important to Millennial consumers. (More about this later.)
How Do They Think? Who Influences Them?
Just as hippies of the 1960’s favored communal living, Millennials have shaped what is known as “the sharing economy.” They want access to products without the burden of ownership. That has given rise to co-working offices and ride sharing businesses.
Millennials buy from companies with a social mission. Brands like Tom’s Shoes, Warby Parker, and Whole Foods are popular with this group because shoppers know that part of their spending is going toward a good cause.
Having grown up with the web, Millennials read about products online (including blogs) before making purchases. In fact, 33% rely on the reviews and opinions of blogs before they make a purchase, compared to fewer than 3% for TV news, magazines, and books. They skip commercials and believe that advertising is pure spin. Their choices of products and services are influenced by friends and family (on social media) and by celebrities. For more about how Millennials are changing marketing, check out this article.
So, What Do You Do?
As you evolve your business and service offering, here are a few practical tips for tapping into this huge population:
- Make your services accessible, simple, and digital. Use technology (online booking, easy-to-navigate website, and social media).
- Tie in with non-profits, but be sure your efforts are genuine and not pure marketing. Millennials can easily see through false advertising.
- Offer products and services that fit with Millennials’ lifestyles and needs – comfortable, convenient, and immediate.
When in doubt, simply ask your customer. That approach applies no matter what generation you’re serving. Great marketing begins with knowing what the consumer wants and delivering it to him or her in a way that works for the individual!