Millennials, young adults who are currently between 18 and 34, control $1.3 trillion in annual buying power. This group, making up 25% percent of the population, are so powerful, but also so unique to generations before them. Their differences touch many aspects of millennials’ lives – from work ethic and preference, to spending habits and value of technology. The biggest threat to advertisers today is their over-dependence on “traditional” advertising. Millennials have become one of the smartest, most opinionated and globally aware group of consumers. As a demographic they can be marketers’ worst nightmare, but also potential best friend.
Millennials Express Themselves through Brands
Millennials want brands to have more than just a logo. They want a brand to have a personality, which they can display their ideals through. This generation shows their beliefs by what they choose to purchase. The best way for brands to get their messages heard by millennials is to market within them.
Millennials don’t trust advertising; instead they go to their peers for new information. It’s estimated that 98% millennials are more likely to engage with a friend’s post over a brands post. The terms “Instagram Famous” and “Facebook Famous” are very existent in today’s society. It doesn’t take you to be an actor or singer anymore to grow a following; instead posting images that have a high relevance to fellow followers can create stardom. These social-media focused millennials grow their own personal following, by posting lifestyle images that express themselves. These images often market brands they believe in, making these “famous millennials” a public to target.
Millennials Want to Be Your Friend
Millennials have more friends online and probably offline than any other generation. Social media has created an online community for millennials with 46% of the generation reporting to have 200+ Facebook friends, compared to 19% of non-millennials. Millennials base their social existence off their online following, and what their friends think of their image.
When marketing to millennials it is essential to develop your brand in such a way that millennials would like to befriend it. Millennials don’t want to be “sold” an idea on social media; instead they want to relate to your account. Gain followers, or friends, by posting about more than just the item itself; instead post genuine and sociable core attributes of your brand.
Everything is a Branding Exercise
The generation is self-absorbed; the reason why millennials constantly post status updates, tweet and are on Instagram. They make statements of where they go and what they wear, as a way for others to notice them. Take notice of the not so subliminal messages millennials are sending through social media, and make your brand relatable.
Millennials Want to Make a Difference
Millennials are loyal to brands that they believe are making a difference. With their generation being the technology era, they have become more aware of the demand to be philanthropic in today’s world. This generation is less motivated by cost, rather by the aim to make the world more compassionate, innovative and sustainable. Brands that stand for more than their bottom line, receive greater millennial brand love. They support cause-campaigns, with almost 50% of millennials more willing to make a purchase if it supports a cause.
Reveal the behind-the-scenes story of your brand, keeping authenticity in mind. Millennials are mindful of their impact on the environment, and want to know how your product is made. Highlight your philosophy and reasons behind it.