Numbering roughly 77 million, millennials make up about one-fourth of the US population (Nielsen). To say they have a massive amount of purchasing power is a bit of an understatement. In fact, by 2018, Millennials will have the most spending power of any generation (Bazaar Voice). And in 2018 they will eclipse Boomers in spending power at $3.39 trillion (Oracle).
If you aren’t marketing with millennials in mind, you’re losing out on a lot of customers. And you’re losing out on the opportunity to rope these millennials in early and make them loyal to your brand for the rest of their lives.
Luckily, by reading this article, you will get advice from a flesh and blood millennial (me) about how to most effectively market to my demographic. We can be described in many ways. Selfish, narcissistic, spacy, and non-committal are a few buzzwords that come to mind. While we aren’t all victims to those negative qualities, we all generally like the same things when it comes to the way that brands interact with us. Take a look at some tips below.
Millennials love to share bits and pieces of their lives on social platforms. The easiest way to do this is through images, mainly using Instagram and Snapchat. With Instagram, it’s all about the likes. Millennials tend to get validation based on the amount of Instagram likes they receive (but that’s a whole other topic). Therefore, they always seek like-worthy spaces to take their Instagram feed to the next level.
Some examples of like-worthy décor include whimsical wall graphics, funny signage, creative imagery, and a cohesive, unique theme throughout the entire physical space. (Check out our blog post about how to make your restaurant an Instagram superstar here).
Snapchat follows the same rules as Instagram, although it is more of an intimate platform. Regardless, users still want their followers to think they are living their best lives, and want to take pictures to prove it.
Millennials like to follow in the footsteps of their friends they consider “influencers”. The more likes you get on an Instagram post, the more influence you have over your friend group and the Instagram community as a whole. Brands are even seeking out Instagram influencers to promote their products, physical spaces, events, and services.
If an influencer takes an image of the interior of your restaurant and it racks up the likes, you can bet that many more Millennials will come into your restaurant to take pictures as well, and try your food in the process.
Personalized Offers and Discounts
A good chunk of millennials are still in college or newly graduated. And the ones who don’t fit in either of those categories are getting married and starting their families. Basically, the entire demographic doesn’t have very much disposable income.
Despite our lack of funds, we don’t want to be written off by brands we choose to spend our hard earned money with. In fact, we think that brands should cater to us more because of the lack of funds we have. Although millennials are been described as wishy washy and not loyal, we actually tend to stick with the brands we like and respect.
Respect is the key word there. Brands who take the time to send us personalized offers and discounts are winners in our book. When a brand takes the time to personalize a direct mail piece or an email with our names it means a lot, even though we know the process was automated.
We want to feel like our money and our time mean something to these brands. It’s a quid pro quo, if you will. We spend our hard earned money with these brands. They show us gratitude by delivering us personalized offers and discounts. And the cycle of brand loyalty continues.
Social Media and Mobile Integration
We are always on our phones. And when we are on our phones, there is a 99% chance that we are on social media. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I checked my personal Facebook or Twitter account on an actual computer.
We want our favorite brands to have a social media presence. We want to follow them on social media and we want them to interact with us on social media. The more interaction and interesting content, the better!
So, why does social media matter for you? What is the greater picture here, besides catering to millennials?
Social media is relevant to your marketing because it is the easiest and most accessible way for millennials (and anyone, really) to post and view reviews. These word of mouth reviews, whether in the form of a tweet, Facebook comment, Instagram photo, or Snapchat, greatly impact our decisions. We trust these reviews way more than advertising or marketing messages that are coming straight from your corporate headquarters. In fact, 48% of millennials say word-of-mouth influences their product purchases more than TV ads. And only 17% say a TV ad prompted them to buy a product (Edelman Digital).
Digital Signage and/or Video Walls Are a Must
The average millennial attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish, so you need something to grab and hold our focus. On top of that we are incredibly impatient. So you need something that will shorten our perceived wait time, boosting our happiness and reducing our stress. Thankfully, digital signage is the solution to both of those problems.
68% of American consumers have made a purchase because a sign caught their interest (FedEx). Catch millennials interests with motion, video walls, animations, anything that is cohesive with your brand message and will speak to our wants and needs.
On top of boosting purchases and grabbing attention, digital signage reduces perceived wait times at checkout by as much as 35% (blog.lavi.com). A plus side to this is that if your digital signage is truly interactive and engaging, the millennials will be looking at your brand’s messaging, and not at their phones.
Remember, if you design digital signage content and it looks exactly like your static signage content, you have failed. Digital signage is the medium to go big or go home with. Include motion, animations, colors, swirling text, videos, anything at all! If you take advantage of the moment (and don’t go too overboard with the animation) you can’t fail.
Have a Cohesive Brand Theme
Millennials are all about branding. Our personal brand is something that we think about day in and day out. Every choice that we make influences how people perceive us. And no, personal branding isn’t about narcissism. Although, I’m sure it began that way. Now, personal branding is so effective that it has even landed multiple millennials in their dream jobs.
With all of the effort that millennials are putting into their personal brand, they expect professional brands to do the same. Why would we trust a brand who doesn’t care about the appearance of their stores? Who can’t decide what their color scheme is? Who can’t decide what their messaging is? And who can’t decide how they would like to communicate with customers?
Short answer: we don’t.
As a marketer, you are probably already aware of the importance of a cohesive and consistent brand strategy. In fact, brand consistency is one of the things that Visualogistix prides itself on helping you achieve. But it’s important to know how imperative this consistency and cohesiveness is to your millennial customers now and how important it will be to them for the rest of their lives.
Thanks for reading! Want to learn more about how we can help you effectively market your brand to millennials? Contact us today!