DEMOGRAPHICS SERIES: MAKING MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS WITH MILLENNIALS

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

Having looked at Gen Z and what the newest demographic of buyers are expecting from brands in our previous blog, it’s now time to turn our attention to another key audience: Millennials.

Although many people continue to conflate Millennials with Gen Z’s and still generalise them as being in their early twenties, the generation is in fact steadily maturing. Born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials are now at an age whereby, at their youngest, have left formal education and are in the early stages of their careers. At the other end of the spectrum, the generation is approaching middle age and is likely to already have young families of their own.

As a result, Millennials and Gen Z’s can’t simply be bundled together, as for all the similarities they may share, an array of differences exists between them. This means that it would be wise to have an individual strategy for targeting each. Read on for our top tips on reaching Millennials.
 

1. Understand their pain points

The fact that the Millennial generation is so diverse is one of the main reasons they can be so difficult to target. Currently aged between mid-20s and late 30s, those at the younger end of the generation will likely have different stresses and pressure points in their life compared to those at the older end. As a result, it’s important to consider the needs of each and adapt your marketing messaging accordingly.

A particular issue affecting many Millennials, for example, is rising house prices which means many have struggled to get on the housing ladder, leading to the demographic often being labelled ‘Generation Rent’. Attempting to buy homes, raise families and clear student debt while costs rise all around them means saving has now become a big part of many Millennials’ lives.

A large proportion of Millennials are, therefore, becoming less interested in paying out for things that they don’t need. As a result, your marketing messages should convey financial security, responsibility, value for money and self-reliance, making them aware that investing in your brand will improve their lives and be a worthwhile use of their funds.

Other pressures impacting the Millennial generation include achieving social change, protecting the environment and avoiding professional burn out, so it’s important to demonstrate that your brand notices and responds to these challenges as well where appropriate.

 

2. Create engaging content

On the whole, Millennials are not impulse buyers and will educate themselves before making a purchase. As a result, it’s important to give them as much information as possible about your products or services to enable them to make an informed decision.

However, your communications shouldn’t be overly sales-led as this can lead to a lack of trust in your brand. Instead, create content that naturally introduces them to and engages them with your brand, focusing on informative and educational content such as blog posts, e-books and videos. If you provide Millennials with information that helps them learn more about a topic or idea, they are more likely to think positively about your brand and keep coming back for more.

Brands should also consider making the most of Millennials’ love of sharing on social media by creating engaging, shareable social content. This helps form online communities around your brand that Millennials can and want to be a part of.

Expert and peer reviews are also crucial, with 73% of Millennials saying they’re influenced by the opinions of others before making a purchase. If a Millennial hears about a brand from a friend or colleague, they’re more likely to try or buy than if they come across it through traditional advertising methods.

 

3. Focus on experiences

Whilst Gen Z prefer to spend their free time online, Millennials value experiences, spending on average six days a month participating in activities such as attending live events, eating out and going to the cinema, with 50% of all disposable income spent on leisure.

As a result, your marketing strategy should cater to Millennials’ desire for stimulation. In total, 78% of Millennials would rather spend their money on experiences than coveted goods, and 72% want to increase their spending on experiences in the next 12 months. To accommodate to this preference, you should position your strategy to focus more on the experiences associated with your brand rather than just the products and services themselves.

Creating engaging experiences will help you to build trust with Millennials, bringing them closer to your brand and more likely to remain loyal. Vans, for example, has created ‘House of Vans’ event spaces in London, New York, Brooklyn and Chicago which have become highly regarded amidst a variety of communities. From skateboarding to live gigs, these branded spaces facilitate the mutual enjoyment of shared passions such as music, film, and extreme sports.

Similarly, as part of the ‘Epic Parties Imagined by You’ series by Desperados, guests were asked to hand over their mobile phones in exchange for a beer on entry. The phones were then linked together to play synchronized lighting animations in time with the music, creating a highly immersive brand experience whilst highlighting the wider issue that people’s dependency on their phones negatively impacts social environments.

From innovative events spaces to immersive parties, providing a positive experience which consumers can embrace, explore and share will help to create an emotional connection, putting your brand front of mind.

 

Make the most of Millennials

With many brands confusing Millennials and Gen Z, aligning your strategy to focus on them individually is key, as this will deliver a positive customer experience all round. Adapting and aligning your products and services with Millennials’ preferences will not only foster increased brand engagement, but also enable you to learn more and more about them as time goes on.

Understanding the main pressure points experienced by those within the demographic will help to ensure that your messaging resonates with them, whilst focusing on experiences and creating engaging content will set your brand apart, helping you to build strong relationships with a key target audience for years to come.

For more information or advice on how to target Millennials or Gen Z, or if you’re interested in developing a loyalty and customer experience offering in line with the demands of your customers, get in touch today.

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