Understanding the Millennials
Founder & CEO of Mashable, Pete Cashmore recently wrote an article for Time Magazine about a generation of influential twenty somethings they are dubbing the “Me Me Me” generation. Pete questions whether this generation of Millennials, one that he himself belongs to, is in fact the most socially-connected thus far or whether they are simply narcissists “who would rather tap away at their smartphones than strike up a conversation”. As a team that is predominantly made up of Millennials, Pete’s article has really resonated with us all at Parker Hobart – what is it that makes this generation tick and what should brands consider when targeting this key market?
They share their experience. The Millennials are publishers in their own right. They will upload almost every element of their lives onto some sort of digital space whether it be snaps of their food on Instagram or a playlist of their favourite tunes on Spotify. They are constantly seeking out new communities to join to be able to share their content and opinions with like-minded individuals. Although they use the online world as their portal for sharing this information, they are always searching offline for inspiration. For example a visit to the latest pop-up restaurant could result in a series of photographs on Instagram, a Facebook ‘check in’, a review post on their blog and a blow-by-blow account of their experience on their Twitter feed.
Create content to specifically target this generation. They are bombarded with visuals so to really grab their attention content must be carefully curated with the Millennials in mind. As the first generation to publicly document their lives, brands should use this to their advantage and spend time researching what it is they’re posting and use this knowledge to inspire their own content. They are simply seeking to be inspired so content that has been creatively thought out and is filled with good ideas will really grab them. Leave the hard sell at the door!
They splurge on premium products. Having come of age during a severe economic downturn, the Millennials are delayed in their financial development. Many have racked up monstrous debts, having relied on loans to sustain them through university, and as a result are having to work much harder to fund their lives whilst paying off said debts. The media often refer to them as the “Boomerang” gang as it’s commonplace for them to move back home to help them save money whilst having the security of the bank of mum and dad. With saving on their mind, they are much savvier shoppers and will think harder about the products they buy, always analysing the value they get out of them. Having been spoilt by the big spending ‘Baby Boomers’, the Millennials are au fait with luxury and are consequently eager consumers of luxury goods, choosing to spend their money on anything from the latest smart phone to fine wines & foods.
What they buy defines them. The Millennials represent a new age of consumerism. They are not looking to buy status symbols but instead want products that define who they are. This is where the community of a brand becomes so vital, as it’s this community which helps the Millennial consumer find out what the brand they are potentially buying from is really like. Authenticity is everything, as this generation will see through old fashioned and conventional marketing tactics!
Don’t expect immediacy. This generation do their research and tend to avoid impulsive decisions. They will analyse what they are buying carefully making sure they understand who the brand is, the price range and performance of the product. Using social media channels, they will often watch a brand, interact with them and build engagement with them before investing in their products. Nurture these relationships as when it comes to converting them into customers, they will need to be converts to your brand first!
They may not be the consumers we’re used to but they are shaping the future. The Millennials have less to spend, question everything and demand more of a brand’s time and energy than ever before. But, as the largest generation of the moment covering an age span of around two decades, it is imperative that brands take note of what they want as we are fast developing into a millennial-driven world.
For the original article by Pete, click here: http://ideas.time.com/2013/05/09/the-top-10-things-my-generation-likes/.