Millennials are the most studied demographic cohort to date. This is not only because they make up majority of the world’s population, but because their personality is so fascinating and diverse, often full of contradictions.

Also called the Gen Y, millennials are a generation that brands need to fully understand in order to be successful. Failing to adapt to their new expectations or not reaching out to engage with them is the easiest way for brands to fail.

Who are the millennials?

Born between the ‘80s to the early 2000s, millennials are the first generation born in the digital era. This generation is now in their early adulthood, and they are definitely consumers. While they are less likely to invest or buy real estate, they are notorious spenders in food, clothing, electronics, travel and other lifestyle products. They are self-reliant, overeducated, optimistic, tech-savvy and digitally connected 24/7. Most notably, millennials’ spending power is expected to surpass that of baby boomers’ by 2018.

Millennials and Brands

Besides their huge spending potential, millennials are an important market particularly because of their ability to become influential brand advocates.

They influence other people’s product purchases, as they themselves rely on word-of-mouth to make purchase decisions. They do not shy away from championing brands they love, or openly dissing brands they hate. In fact, they feel that it is their right and responsibility to share their brand experience – good or bad – with others. And they use all sorts of media to share their feedback, i.e. social media, online review platforms, etc.

This new generation of consumers are also known to be savvy consumers and keen shoppers, always looking for the best deals out there. They are loyal to brands they love, but they are never one to shy away from up-and-coming brands. Because they were born to a world of expanding product choices, millennials simply have limitless possibilities before them to make their life their own.

They want brands to actively court and entertain them because they feel that they deserve the best. Millennials aren’t called an entitled generation for nothing. They are all about great customer service.

To sum it all up, brands should be looking to gain the loyalty of the Gen Y in order to

Branding Tips

Because they are so diverse and full of contradictions, reaching out to millennials may seem extremely difficult. The truth is, if you understand these three fundamental things about branding targeted at millennials, you will realise how straightforward the process actually is.

  1. The Gen Y hates being simply marketed to – they want to be involved and informed. Share how your product can make a positive impact or add value to their lives. To retain their interest, offer loyalty programs, engage them with and run promotions that offer rewards in return for a product mention on social media.
  1. This generation’s new lifestyle is a major shift from the baby boomers’, so brands need to understand their new experiences and values, and find ways to amplify their reality. Anticipate their needs, watch out for trends and stay updated on what they are saying. However you do it, provide a consistent positive brand experience both online and offline.
  1. Millennials love brands that share their passion, philosophy, diversity and innovation. Show the human side of your business and share your brand’s values and culture. If they resonate with your personality/philosophy, you will attract the right audience that you are marketing to.

Millennials will continue to shape the way companies carry out their branding – whether they like it or not. So it is important to start making inroads with this generation as early as now.