Millennials are one of the most important target audiences for marketers, this is true. They are also one of the best examples of how marketers should be thinking to build their strategy. Millennials are young, optimistic, innovative thinkers with strong technological backgrounds and a desire to create change. They are creative, connected trendsetters with a lot to say and the confidence to say it. Their stage in life, combined with the unique time period in which they grew up, give millennials a unique perspective that can teach marketers a lot about promoting their products.
That’s why StudentUniverse Media has put together a list of 5 Things we, as marketers, can learn from the millenial generation.
1. Dare to be different
Individuality and the desire to be unique are at the heart of millennial thinking. Millennials tend to want to stand out as individuals, to forge their own paths rather than simply following the established roads. They are statistically more open-minded than previous generations and their attitudes foster creativity and innovative thinking.
Thinking like a millennial is important for your brand if you want to make an impact and set yourself apart from the competition. Brands that get noticed aren’t usually the ones who stick with dusty traditions and conventional methods. They think outside the box and do something different, something unique.
2. Show that you care
Millennials are a generation of cause-oriented individuals. Even though they are young, they match older generations in terms of volunteering. In fact, nearly six-in-ten millennials said that they had volunteered in the past year. Most millennials care about something and aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in. In regard to your brand, there is a lot that you can learn from this cause-oriented way of thinking. Showing that you care is important if you want people to build affinity with your brand. Whether it be an emphasis on customer service, showing that your brand truly cares about its consumers, or supports a particular cause, consumers have a tendency to like brands that show an interest in something outside of themselves.
3. Embrace technology and innovation
Millennials are extremely connected and technologically-savvy, and for good reason. They grew up alongside technology. The people in this generation are unique in that their lives run almost parallel to technological innovations. When they were children, computers were just beginning to become popular household items, and millennials were able to be a part of every technogical innovation thereafter, from the invention of the ipod to the introduction of tablets to the rise of social media. They aren’t afraid of technology because they understand it. It’s similar to someone who is raised speaking another language. They grew up with it as an intrinsic part of their daily lives, so it’s something they know and grow to understand in a more complex manner as they mature. Millennials are also much more connected through social media than their elders, with 75 percent utilizing social media sites, versus 50 percent of people in Generation X.
Thinking like a millennial, embracing technology and staying up-to-date on new trends will foster innovation and help your brand stay current.
4. Be smart
One of the most defining characteristics of the millennial generation is their educational backgrounds. According to Pew Research, millennials are on pace to become one of the most educated generations in history. As of this year, 1 in 5 millennials have graduated college, 26% are currently enrolled and plan to graduate, and 30% are not in school but plan to earn a college degree in the coming years. Out of those millennials enrolled in high school, college, or graduate school, about half want to go on to earn a graduate or professional degree.
In regard to your brand, there is much to take away from millennials’ educational aspirations. When marketing your product, it is essential to educate yourself on your consumers so you can reach them in a meaningful way that they understand. Strategy is at the core of effective marketing, and knowledge of your target audience is an essential part of good strategy.
5. Be confident and optimistic
The millennial generation is one of the most confident, optimistic generations in history. Despite the tough economic times, Millennials hold a belief that things will be okay in the long run. They are ambitious and confident in their abilities and generally know themselves very well.
One of the most important results of this confidence and optimism is the fact that it decreases the fear of failure. While there is something to be said for careful planning and cautious action, taking risks can be a good thing. If you are too afraid of failing, you may not try anything different and could miss out on opportunities. Is is important to find a balance. Embrace the millennials’ optimism and confidence and don’t be afraid to take educated creative risks. Work toward success, but don’t get caught up in a fear of failure. If you are confident in your brand, you know where your strengths and weaknesses lie, and you are able to focus on creating a positive future, you will be more successful than brands who lack confidence and optimistic thinking.
At StudentUniverse Media, we know how to think like a millennial. Contact us to talk strategy or get more information on millennial marketing, or even just to chat. We like that, too.
All statistical data from Pew Research Center’s MILLENNIALS: A Portrait of Generation Next. Confident. Connected. Open to Change.