Ah, millennials. A group of direct, fast-paced, know-it-all fashionista’s that strive to be “different” than everyone else (and yes, I’m one of them). Now before I begin ranting on about this specific marketing topic, I do want to let everyone know that this is not a fashion post. My passion for fashion will be clear in the following posts, but for now, let’s start off with the basics of marketing to our diverse generation and the rest will follow accordingly. But you ask, how can you even BEGIN to understand this market? How are companies so successful (or not) in gaining what little attention we have? Welp, here is just some of what you should know as marketers to millennials.
First- millennials love authenticity. After reading blogger Daniel James’ post about millennial shopping trends and market strategies, this statement alone seems to be one of the truest things a company should understand. More simply put, we love when companies are direct, transparent and have humor. HUMOR IS HUGE. C’mon people, this should be known by now. We want to laugh- at everything. For example, Denny’s tweet when Gucci Mane follow them on Twitter was one that many of us remember, AND made us fall in love with the “open 24-hours” dinner even more.
Second- millennials undeniably want to gain a fun experience rather than owning something. FOMO- a term that we use quite frequently means “fear of missing out”- and is one that best describes millennials. While the online retail industry has basically taken over, millennials are still more prone to buying something that will enhance their experience if made more personal. In other words, personalized marketing. While millennials may be one of the most complex generations yet, you can bet that their interests and goals are going to be just as complex. With personalized marketing, this allows for specific niche markets to feel valued and understood. When a company partners with influencers who can accomplish this, it has a much better impact on millennials because of the personal connection they feel. A great example of a company that has hit the nail on the head with this was Gillette. A couple years ago I remember watching a youtube documentary about their “Kiss & Tell” campaign. To me, and to many of my friends, this was such a necessary topic of discussion. We simply HATED kissing our boyfriends when they had an uncomfortable about of “stubble”. While this seems a bit silly, we almost felt as if we were contributing to Gillette’s marketing campaign which was essentially their main goal using personalized marketing.
Third- price is everything. This one is easy, especially when dealing with millennials. Why? Because we are up to our ears in student loans, credit card debt, and we can’t seem to find a job that will pay us a decent paycheck while also letting us maintain our (sad) social lives. A study showed in an Adroit Digital research paper claims that price point was the number one influencer on a millennial, surpassing brand reputation, recommendations from friends and product quality. While some millennials are more loyal to a specific brand than they are to anything else in their life (speaking as a loyal Starbucks coffee drinker), this generation is all about the right price. Eventually, creating and buying cheaply made products and fast fashion will do nothing but hurt our environment- but that’s a topic for another time. As for now, marketing to this generation should revolve heavily around their price interests, because we can’t afford sh*t.
And lastly, the digital presence of millennials in today’s industry. We can’t deny that being without our phones for more than 5 minutes’ results in excruciating pain- but as for marketers in this industry, they can use this to their sole advantage. Millennials use their mobile devices to look at reviews, ratings, compare prices, make quick purchases and even download coupons. Echoing the third point above, I will quite literally search around for the very best price of a product while having the exact product in hand and still be willing to put it back just to go elsewhere for a cheaper price (forever thanking the internet for saving me .37 cents on my toilet paper that one time). We’ve adapted, if not reinvented how online shopping operates just by using our mobile devices. Retailers should keep this in the forefront of their minds when building their marketing strategies.
Reflecting on these four-main shopping and marketing trends, marketers and influencers should have a clear and concise idea of what they need to be doing to get their consumers attention.