Published - 20th February 2016
The millennial generation, born between 1980 and 2000 and arguably the largest and most educated generation in history, has grown up in an era of rapid change, resulting in priorities and expectations like no other generation. As a consequence, and as they enter their prime working and spending years, their impact on the economy and the workplace, will be immense.
They’ve grown up in a period of the greatest technological developments and the worst global economic disruption of any generation. Recessions and technology may have shaped how they spend their money but social and cultural changes have shaped millennial’s ideals, becoming more socially conscious than any other generation.
Millennials are the first generation of totally tech-savvy digital natives and their affinity with technology is impacting on how they buy, and as a consequence dictating that companies need more than simply a strong brand to engage with this audience.
With technology at their fingertips, detailed product information available at the click of a mouse, millennials have a powerful voice and they know it. They don’t simply want to buy products like previous generations, they buy based on what the purchase says about them and whether the brand shares their values and with an ever-increasing number of platforms for sharing opinions and passing judgement, they want to communicate their purchasing experience with others.
In short, millennials see technology not just as a communication platform but as a means of making more informed choices that ultimately enhance their life and contribute positively to society.
And there is a common goal between brands and millennials, both have a need to be heard and with mutual trust and the right kind of engagement, millennials are the natural choice for becoming brand ambassadors.
But engaging with this tech-savvy generation requires a shift from brands explicitly selling to them to providing a more transparent and authentic experience. If something doesn’t resonate or suffers from oversell, they won’t adopt it and they certainly won’t recommend it, so give them something to identify with and you have a decent chance of them engaging with one another and becoming your brand ambassador.
But don’t assume that because they like you now, they will simply remain loyal to your brand – they won’t. Their tastes will change as they grow older so to create a long term relationship you’ll need to constantly offer more variety. Try involving them as thought leaders to help contribute ideas – after all they want their voices to be heard.