Growing, the rule was to not speak when “adults were talking.” As children of the baby boomer generation, the philosophy was to know one’s place and act accordingly. But this funny little internet thing took life and the millennial mentality has changed. For those who were exposed to the social media/blogging eruption of a decade ago, the message is as clear as it is complicated. Everyone has their own voice. Millions suddenly had their own voice, their own opinion and more importantly, their own ability to influence.
Thus it’s no surprise that unlocking the door to brand loyalty among millennials is an arduous task. But it’s quickly becoming a task that must be tackled. While the Baby Boomer generation is still alive and kicking, many brands are beginning to focus their attention on the next great generation of consumers: Millennials.
That eighteen to 33 year old group has tremendous promise. Analysts project that over $600 billion a year will be spent on products and services this year alone. Savvy retailers and forward-thinking brands are looking to build lifelong relationships with them, but they know that the road won’t be as smooth as it was before.
Research firm Adroit Digital conducted a study to discover how Millennials think about brands compared to their Baby Boomer parents, and how brands can gain their future loyalty. Over 2,000 18-44 year old US consumers were studied, particularly those who had a smartphone or a personal computer.
Here are 5 Key Findings from that survey and what that means for you, the overachieving business:
1. What You Say Matters to Millennials.
38% are ready and willing to switch brands if a company is proven to practice bad business. Millennials will turn the other cheek when it comes to financial factors, but if your hand is in the ethical cookie jar, you’re in big trouble.
What That Means For You: Communicate your highly ethical practices and remind your audience that you do the right thing. Chipotle uses ethics in their branding, setting them apart from the competition by their practices in creating organic, free range food products.
2. Look at Your Brand Through the Millennial’s Eye.
Over three quarters of those surveyed said they have a different set of criteria when evaluating brands. Retail Info Systems says, “They may be brand-loyal, and many use several of the same products their parents are loyal to, but they’ll be evaluating them differently.”
What That Means For You: Take a good look at your branding and message. Does it really reach the Millennial crowd? General Mills’ Totino’s pizza roll revamped their entire look, and have jumped into social media head first, marketing to their audience.
3. Social Media Isn’t Everything When it Comes to Launching.
One in four Millennial respondents said they are most likely to consider a new product introduced via social.
What That Means For You: While social media isn’t everything when it comes to your business, make sure you have other avenues covered.
4. The Path to Their Loyalty May Differ, But Their Loyalty is the Same.
64% of Millennials are more brand-loyal or as brand-loyal as their parents. Almost a quarter of respondents said they consider themselves to be more brand-loyal than their parents.
What That Means For You: Don’t jump ship when the retweets are minimal and your followers are few. Figure out a good strategy and work on it each and everyday until you find an effective way to reach your ideal customer.
5. Be Flexible and Sensitive to Customer Feedback.
Over 50% of Millennials want brands that are willing to change based on consumer opinions and feedback. 44% want to have open dialogue with brands on social media. 38% want brands to be more about the consumer and less about the brand.
What That Means For You: Make it more about them, less about you. Red Bull has a fantastic Twitter presence, engaging their followers with entertaining videos and retweeting photos and video about their extreme experiences everywhere.
Sure, they may seem fickle and indecisive. In reality, the millennials are at home in the diverse digital landscape, free to express themselves and happy to examine your brand’s level of transparency. As more millennials enter the market with disposable income, will you be ready to meet them where they are?
About the Author
Russel Cooke is a business writer who recently relocated to Los Angeles, CA.
Image Credits: Images Courtesy of Shutterstock