Understanding Millennial Consumer Behavior for Your Brand

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Understanding Millennial Consumer Behavior for Your Brand

Sales | Sep 17, 2020

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Millennials are the new generation of shoppers, just like the baby boomers a couple of decades ago.

Millennials make up 22% of the US population.

That’s around 72.12 million potential buyers.

Millennials finishing a color run

Millennials. Who are they? 

If you were born between 1981 to 1996, you are considered a millennial, aka Generation Y.

Common stereotypes include trophy kids, lazy, entitled, selfish, or wafflers. But they are also the most educated, tech-savvy, most conscious, and entrepreneurial generation.

Why should my business think of them? 

The millennial generation has survived the aftermath of 9/11, the Great Recession, and the current global pandemic (just to name a few). Gen Yers are considered to be cautious with their money. Many of them are burdened with massive student loan debts.

Tip jar with some dollar bills

Often, their inadequate salaries pay off the essentials – rent, gas, student loans, groceries. There’s little money left to enjoy the non-essentials, compared to a generation or two ago.

But why should businesses think of an already burdened group of people?

Online shopping boomed in this generation’s time, but they are also conscientious shoppers that support local small businesses like coffee shops, boutiques, and book and record stores. Millennials are grownups who are spending their money wisely.

For brands, it’s essential to know the largest segment of the population’s consumer behavior.

Understanding the millennial consumer behavior.

As a very educated generation, millennials tend to take up a lot of time researching a product or service before clicking the buy now button.

When it comes to decision-making Gen Yers incorporate all the benefits of digital technology. They educate themselves about a brand or merchandise by looking at social proofs, reading online reviews, or getting to know a brand and the important players in the company.  

65% of millennials “believe the technologies they purchase for personal use influence the technologies they purchase for their organization,” according to ZD Net.

They expect more.

32% of buyers say salespeople exceed their expectations. This is a low percentage as millennial buyers are raising their expectations. They expect brands to be more than just selling a product.

Modern buyers are looking for experience. They search for brands that offer a unique engagement strategy that recognizes shoppers more than someone who purchases products or services.

They want to relate to a brand, and they’re looking for brands that align with their way of life.

To address this, drop your cold calling or mass email marketing strategy. Instead, focus on improving your social presence, developing more digital options on your website, and incorporating chatbots.

Three millennials happily working together

Well-educated buyers.

Millennials no longer need a lot of seller input. They educate themselves before walking into a store or speaking with brand representatives.

70% of buyers already know their needs before speaking with a salesperson. 44% have pinpointed solutions to their problems first before seeking a retailer.

The abundance of information online has created a class of self-educating shoppers. They already know what to get without ever engaging with salespeople.

Why you need to understand millennial consumers.

Millennials place more value on experiences rather than products. They’re searching for things that make them feel better.

60% of millennial shoppers purchase from brands that they feel represent their personalities. Brands that can engage with their audience in this way creates an authentic connection with their audience. Establishing a relationship makes them feel better about their purchase.

Unlike boomers who would value a “buy one, get one” type of deal, millennials look at a brand’s philosophy like Tom’s “buy one, give one” strategy where you buy a pair of their shoes. They’ll give a pair to communities that need shoes.

When marketing to millennials, it’s good to know that 13% of Gen Yers lean towards sharing their purchase on social media. This acts both as product review and endorsement. Whether it’s the former or the latter, remember to engage with them, especially if they tag your brand or use your hashtag.

Need help developing a marketing strategy for your millennial demographic? Send us a message.

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