Millennials: A term used to characterize the generation of people born between 1982-2004 also known as Generation Y. These individuals are the current group of young 30-somethings who are building families to teenagers freshly navigating the world through the lens of social media. They are as diverse as they come demographically and categorically. Millennials span from new parents and homeowners to college students who live and breathe Snapchat. They are Silicon Valley startup gems to underemployed hipsters. Millennials are not a monolith so reaching there is no catch-all strategy for brands that are desiring to reach this group. There are a few key things brands can do to position themselves in front of millennials and grab their attention. Here are 4 ways brands reach the Millennial generation as a whole or at least get their respect:
- Be Authentic. Millennials demand brands to be true to who they are. They tend to shy away from brands that are masquerading as something they are not just to get their attention. They can detect the illusion a mile away and have no problem calling a brand out on it on social media. As a brand, stick to the core of what your brand represents. Brands can adjust and evolve but pretending to be something you are not is definitely not the way to go. Speak in your voice. Appeal to consumers in your own unique way. Your brand was designed for a reason, do not shy away from that.
- Social Responsibility. Researchers have found that Millennials believe heavily in social responsibility and helping others. They appreciate and tend to patronize brands that they know are making a difference in the world. TOMS shoes, for example, was widely successful for many reasons but one most notable reason is for their efforts of donating a pair of shoes to someone in need with every purchase. There are numerous social issues brands can get behind and support to help those around the world, do something and you may earn a new consumer in the Millennial generation.
- Deliver quality products/service. Social media can be your best friend or your worst enemy as a brand. Millennials tap into this mode of communication share their love for or disgust of products or service received. Ensure that you are delivering stellar service in your restaurant and retail stores and quality products. You have a better chance of getting a repeat customer overall (across all generations) based on the quality of your product or service. Also, you can gain additional customers as they spread the word about your product or service. Consumers are more likely to buy something that has received positive review from someone they are close to and vise versa. Deliver quality and gain consumers.
- Go where they are digitally. Millennials grew up on computers and mobile devices. They are the first generation to have had this technology from an early age and it is a huge part of their lives. Know where they are digitally – social media, YouTube, Blog sites, etc. Understand where your specific target demographic in the Millennial generation hang out digitally and start to generate a presence there. If they spend a huge amount of time one Instagram and are non-existent on Facebook then you should have a presence on Instagram and devote time there.
Know your audience. Targeting millennials? Know which group within that generation you are trying to reach. They are very diverse. From successful tech startup owners to the barista worker – how to reach them is dependent on which group you see as your consumer. Learn them. Understand them. Capture Them. Engage them. Do not be afraid to go after this group as this a group of consumers that can grow with your brand. These are few tips for your brand from a marketing millennial.