If your brand happens to be targeting the roughly 80 million or so 16-36 year olds out there, now is a great time to get more savvy about what makes them tick. One excellent primer can be found in the popular writing (and frequent Tweets) of Rodney Mason, CMO of Moosylvania. In the current issue of Fare he discusses these characteristics about Millenials: In addition to being more tech-savvy, more mobile-oriented, more culturally diverse & more under- and unemployed than their predecessors, millenials are also less trusting. In fact, only 30% say that “most people” can be trusted. Which explains a lot about their heavy reliance on peers for making decisions.
Not only are Millenials using digital technology to get opinions of friends before they buy, they are also ‘social’ shoppers, with the majority preferring to do this activity with others, rather than alone. If you’re more comfortable making buying decisions with the advice of friends, then why not bring them along for the ride? Furthermore, as some have pointed out, members of this generation are by necessity busy and more cash-strapped than their predecessors. Being smart about spending money is, for them, a survival skill. It’s also important to note that the much of the research on Gen Y highlights one of the positive aspects that comes from being focused on groups. In his book The Trophy Kids Grow Up, Ron Alsop says that rather than living by the mantra “it’s all about me”, Millenials “demonstrate strong concern for social and environmental issues and tend to be active in community service.”
With all this in mind, it’s not surprising that Millennials prefer brands with a well- developed social and mobile media presence. In other words, they support companies that have successfully adapted to their way of behaving as consumers. That includes providing the social tools to help them easily connect with peers as they form opinions – as well as connect to the causes they care about. Hopefully, by now you are investing more thinking and dollars into a comprehensive social media program for your brand. The data is in, the results are proven, and there’s millions of consumers out there who expect nothing less.