The term millennial refers to the group of individuals born anywhere from the early 1980s to the early 2000s and most experts say they are unlike any other generation. This generation thrives on social and digital media and make up the largest buying power in the United States. So why not start now and take small steps to interact with your future best customers? Here are five tips your brand can use to better interact with millennials.
1. Don’t dumb down your message.
“Millennials are goal setters,” Pearson says in this Entrepreneur article. To understand their ambition, just look at their pop-culture heroes: overachievers like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. While the stereotype might be that this generation is irresponsible, he says, “Millennials start saving for retirement four years before Gen X did, and 10 years before baby boomers.”
There’s no need to speak down to millennials or pander to negative stereotypes. Use clear, concise messaging that speaks to the customer in a way that lifts them up!
2. Consider the way they interact with celebrity spokespeople.
This AdWeek article says that “Research showed that while millennials get starstruck like the rest of us, a celebrity endorsement that can truly influence their brand perception often involves nontraditional personalities like Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert—a concept that the Creative Collective dubbed ‘The Appeal of Similar Strangers.’ These media figures stand out from simple “famous people” primarily because of their ‘everyman’ relatability.”
And you don’t need to hire Jimmy Kimmel to take part in your advertising. With the rise of internet culture, everyone is a local celebrity – whether it be the local Cleveland lawyer with a catchy slogan or the makeup-loving beauty guru with 100,000 Instagram followers. Reach out to these people and leverage them for your brand.
3. Give them choices.
From Forbes: “Millennials grew up in an expanding world of choice and options for just about everything they ever needed or wanted. Because of this, they view life very differently. They don’t see just one path available to them—they see limitless possibilities to make their life their own. And as a result, they are misjudged and misunderstood—called narcissists or assumed to be in a state of perpetually stunted adulthood. In reality, it’s because a lot of these aspects of adulthood aren’t as available as they were in the past and, more importantly, because they know they have a lot of alternative options for what adulthood looks like.”
What does this mean? Customization, customization, customization. Your product should come in every size, color, and variant available to you. The more choices the more success with #GenerationNext.
4. Be socially conversational, rather than viral.
This HuffPo article was actually written by a millennial, who says “Give us something to talk about. (We do talk, you know… We don’t just tweet alone at home.) We appreciate clever viral ads as much as the next guy, but if it doesn’t contribute any new information that we can discuss, then it dies on the social wall of the first millennial in a circle of friends to share it. Create a conversation around your product; don’t just give us a quick two-minute laugh. Look no further than Poo-Pourri’s crude web video. The company made a video that not only sold their product and blatantly portrayed itself as an ad, but it also forced a conversation about the product rather than displaying an easily forgotten cheap moment of humor. You can bet millennials, most of whom don’t live alone, were talking about this one.”
There’s nothing more cringe-worthy than creating a video that you obviously desperately wanted to go viral. Trying too hard will ooze right through your marketing and act as a total turnoff to the millennial market. Take time on your videos to find that balance of product focus and humor.
5. Remember these core principles.
Lastly, we’ll leave you with the core principles of the millennial generation, courtesy of Inc.
- They have the right to be heard
- They have a right to demand quality products and/or services
- They have a right to obtain these products and/or services at a reasonable price
- They have the right to go elsewhere if they are not satisfied
- They have a right to receive a free app with that
- They have a right to be mobile
- They have the means to complain or praise your product to the world as a whole
- They have a right to explore that world literally and gastrointestinally
- They have a right to demand higher moral efficacy in the companies they do business with
- They will value the recommendations of friends and family first when contemplating a purchase
- They have a right to be frugal
- They have a right to be tech-savvy
- They have a right to be individuals
- They have a right to be treated fairly
- They have a right to feel important
Interacting with millennials is easy – just be human! Don’t handle the conversation like it’s happening between a teenager and a stuffy corporation. Relax, remember they’re human, too, and with practice you’ll learn how to interact with millennials.
If your company has a product or service that millennials have the potential to find important or use, schedule a time to chat with Hey Now! Media. We’re a team of millennials who knows this generation better than this generation knows themselves!
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