Millennials, or those born between 1980 – 2000, are getting older. We’re moving on from that unpaid internship and paying for our own avocado toast — which means there’s a whole new demographic of paying customers starting to shop. If you’re a business owner, it stands to reason you’re going to want to prepare for that. Millennials spend $600 billion dollars each year, and by 2020 projections have that number at $1.4 trillion. Want a piece of that sales pie? Then make sure you’re positioned to build brand loyalty.
According to a recent infographic from Internet Marketing Inc. (below), millennials are apparently really big on brand loyalty. If your business is lucky enough to impress one, not only will you have a customer for life, you’ll have an unofficial ambassador, because millennials love nothing more than to tell (and ask) their friends where to shop.
Speaking as a millennial myself, I can anecdotally confirm this. Once I love a company, I will tell everyone I love it. Salt & Straw should probably cut me a check for the pile of ice cream I’ve sold for them, and if you’re building a website, I will consistently recommend Squarespace to you. I’m not getting any kickbacks for that; I just love sharing the brands I love, because their products are top-notch — and because they care about what I care about. Local businesses are important to me; Salt & Straw is intentional about developing flavors with farms and artisans in the area. Connection and authenticity are also important to me; the Squarespace customer support is as connected and authentic as it comes. I’m loyal to these brands because they align with my values, and I’m happy to share that with anyone who will listen.
As the infographic points out, millennials shop with their values; they like products that support environmental and social causes. They aren’t convinced by a catchy jingle; you have to impress them, but if you do, there’s a far reaching reward. In fact, it might be the only way to really make that sale in this demo; 72% will research a product before purchasing, and 78% will research with online reviews. 50% will go directly to word of mouth! There’s only so much you’ll be able to convince a millennial of on your own; their friends, on the other hand, can convince us to buy just about anything.
One interpretation of this evidence might be to focus your marketing on your current customer, rather than on potential customers. Discover what they truly value, whether that’s sustainability, humane practices, high quality, or anything else — and make sure you’re aligned with those values. Then, make sure that alignment is visible. If you can impress your current millennial customers enough, you can trust they’ll be eager to spread the word.
Also, make sure your website is optimized for mobile viewing. Seriously, that should just be a given at this point.
What else can you discern from this collection of evidence?