The Millennial Generation: Who Are They And What Do They Want From Me?

millennial generation

If you were born between 1980 and 2000, congratulations! You are part of “The Millennial Generation”, one of the most “coveted consumer demographics for brands to win over”[1] because millennials are known to be “brand-centric and brand loyal”[2] to products they personally identify with.

But here’s the catch: millennial shoppers are skeptical of traditional advertising, in fact, 37% of this generation distrusts big business.[3] Traditional advertising and big business are mainstream and outdated. In other words, “uh, totally lame… and so not authentic.”

So why should businesses want to fit in with the cool kids?

Well, this generation of consumers is now in their mid-teens to mid-30s, and by 2017, millennials will have more spending power than any other generation.[4] And guess what? They are not shopping the same way their parents did. That’s so uncool.

It’s not that millennials don’t want to engage with brands — it’s just that they only want to engage with brands that are a reflection of them. And yes, their friends are watching.

This is where social media bridges the gap.

Millennials are the first truly connected generation, and it reflects in the way they make their purchases. In fact, 64% of millennials feel that companies should offer more ways to share their opinions online.[5] They are a generation that favors freedom of expression.

Companies should take advantage of this outlet to highlight their authenticity and gain the trust of this connected generation by letting millennials express themselves and share with their friends on their websites.

According to studies:

  • 95% of millennials polled said that the most trusted information comes from their friends
  • 91% said they’d consider purchasing a product if a friend recommended it[6]
  • 51% will trust a stranger’s recommendation or review on a shopping website

They seek out the opinions of their friends or past product users when needing product recommendations. Millennials want brands that reflect their values, and what this generation values the most is transparency, honesty, and authenticity. And may we remind you and they do not respond positively to the traditional marketing methods because traditional marketing just doesn’t communicate these values. It’s just not working.

So what can businesses do?

Here are 3 Ways for Companies to Reach the Millennial Market

1. Work towards becoming “Seamless”

For an online retailer to successfully reach the millennial market segment, they should work towards becoming “seamless” or have the “ability to deliver a consistently personalized, on-brand experience for each individual customer, at every touch point.”[7] This means target marketing that reaches millennials through all of their fancy hi-tech gadgets and all their social networks. Online stores already provide convenience of delivering products to their door from a click of a button, however, the personalized, on-brand experience that tailors their offering to give millennials exactly what they are looking for still lacks.

2. Team Up: Find a social media savvy friend

“Retailers need to team up with technology, data, analytics and process partners to provide the service performance millennials want, since they will not be able to deliver it all themselves.”[8] Finding a social media savvy friend like GetSocial will help companies implement and manage the technology they need to appeal to this demographic. Analytics offered by this platform can also give companies valuable insight about millennial shoppers and help them find better ways to appeal to this young generation.

3. Let millennials express themselves and companies will be rewarded.

With social media platforms like GetSocial, cross-channel transparency between millennial consumers, their networks, and retailers is possible and even encouraged. This means that millennials can express what they loved about products through the retailer’s website, their friends will trust their recommendations, then those friends will recommend it to their friends, and so on. Knowing this, online retailers can use millennial shoppers as their very own brand ambassadors, leveraging their shoppers’ networks and allowing millennials to share, promote, and suggest the brand to their friend groups.

Are you part of ‘The Millennial Generation’? Or are you in the other side trying to reach the Millennial market? Tell us your point of view, we have a completely free comment box here below!


Sources: [1] Soulsight, [2] ibid., [3] Forbes, [4] Bazaarvoice, [5] Bazaarvoice, [6] Inside Facebook, [7] Accenture, [8] Ibid

João Romão is a founder & CEO at GetSocial.