Millennials: We hear so much about them, but who actually are they?
And most importantly, what on earth are millennials doing, and why is this important to you and your company?
HEADLINE: 77% agreed Millennials ‘love having new and original experiences’ !
HEADLINE: Why Millennials LOVE to snack.
HEADLINE: Why you should NEVER lie to a Millennial!
These are just three example headlines that I have seen repeatedly in the news but, again, why does this matter to you? Millennials are a highly valued audience; making up one in four adults in the UK with a predicted audience growth to 17m in 2019. Therefore, this makes them one of the biggest influencers in our society.
How they behave and how they consume will indicate and dictate what the upcoming trends are going to be in your industry. For instance, who could have predicted that as a British nation, we would go from having 3 square meals a day and not dare to eat on the go or in public, and going to…ALWAYS eating little bits, on the go throughout the WHOLE day. Incredible, isn’t it?
Ok, so let’s take a step back. Who are they?
As I have just demonstrated, they are a demographic who have been brought up in a different world, or should I more precisely say, a different worldview. Born between 1980 – 2000, the Millennials have grown up in a time of rapid change, giving them a set of priorities and expectations sharply different from previous generations. Incredibly, they are predicted to be a ⅓ bigger than even the baby boomers, which makes them the biggest demographic in our world today.
So how do they behave? The infographic supplied by Passport, 2016, demonstrates the fundamentals you should be taking note of.
No longer do we live in the materialistic age of the early 90’s, where throwing away “stuff” was seen as “Ok”. The millennials consumers are seeking status values among peers and the most rewarding way is through experience. This applies to multiple industries as these consumers are not wanting to own “things” but have access. For instance, they have been reluctant to buy items such as cars, music and luxury goods. Instead, they’re turning to a new set of services that provide access to products without the burdens of ownership (aka renting), giving rise to what’s being called a “sharing economy”.
Question is, how do their friends know that they are doing this? Interactivity.
When brands are active on social media, the millennials love them 34% more and begin actively sharing the company. This is compared to the minute 16% of the demographic aged 34 plus. There has even been reports that millennials will consume 18 hours a day of media. That’s a lot of information and TIME!
When compounded together, you ever wonder how this demographic get anything done but with the proliferation of technology such as mobile phones, tablets and free wifi in like EVERY coffee shop, we start to eat into those little gaps and spaces in our day. For example: we wake up, check our social media notifications, listen to the radio in the shower, read news/blog articles whilst travelling, casually switch between facebook, twitter and instagram in between sessions of intense work, watch a little youtube on your lunch break or even track your macros on Myfitnesspal after recording your workout through your polar watch…….You can see where I’m going and I’ve only just got to lunch time. There is an app, digital service or product for EVERYTHING -ish (slight exaggeration here) and the millennials are using them – why? Because they’re confident.
Believe it or not, despite the silent obesity epidemic, the millennials are the most health conscious. What does this have to do with confidence you may ask? It’s all apart of the cycle.
In a global economy, where media portrayal (I’m mainly hinting to the thousands of memes on social media here) is an endless stream of opportunities and that anyone can do what they want as long as they work hard and believe in themselves. And which industry is doing this the most? The fitness/health food market.
These consumers are dedicated to wellness, devoting time and money to exercising and eating right and consequently, their active lifestyle influences trends in everything from food and drink to fashion.
In a jobs market, where employees are seeking cheap labour with years of work experience, you can see why many are turning to self-employment and the rise of the SME culture. But, there’s a second part to this. Social Justice.
“Why hasn’t this been invented yet?”. It’s so obvious that people need it?” Words spoken by millennials all over the world. What they going to do about it? Either start their own company or, what is most likely, start their own blog. 24% of millennials now claim they have some kind of blog or voice on social media. And this is not just on one platform but multiple. It is very rare that you would find them on just one ‘thing’. Question is – so why should your business just be on one platform too?
Issues such as ethics, values, local community are now SO important to the millennials. Fighting the status quo isn’t a new thing for the younger generation in society but many are voicing their opinion through their consumption habits. For instance, organic foods are on the rise, recyclable material is becoming ever engraved into packaging, clothings and everyday household objects. Furthermore, volunteering is now core to every child’s CV and not because they have to but because they WANT to. Adopting a more collectivist culture within a capitalist society will be a future trend to watch. Research into other countries such as Japan would be well worth your time.
Finally, cut the BS. Simple.
You can no longer hide behind a smoke screen. Shout about what you do and under deliver. There is no way to hide and there is no point running. It recent news, years of corruption is now being revealed. We’ve all known about it for years (if we’re going to be honest to ourselves) but now, enough is enough and a more open, honest culture is the present and the future.
So, how can this translate into a practical and sustainable strategy for your brand’s message?
For example, what’s the story behind your company? As many of us will know, getting to where we are today has been a multi-coloured carpet journey. There has been shades of dark coloured times and there has been bright yellow sunshine. The consumers want to know and you should let them.
Being a millennial myself, it is safe to say, I am all of the above. I rent a flat, I have an app for everything in my life consequently, I live on my phone. I want to be heard with an honest, passionate things I believe in and I love my job as a social media manager. Learning about consumer trends, lifestyles and society everyday in order to provide visual text information that resonates with them and add value to them is exciting! Watching engagement grow and sales convert is fascinating and truly awesome window to understand human interaction.
- What is your story?
- What is your product or service?
- How are you interacting with your customer?
Feel free to message me on LinkedIn, as I would love to learn and experience your story. I am a millennial after all. KUB Social Media Charleh.
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