Businesses are starting to realise that it is no longer good enough to simply ‘target Millennials’, but that they need to mine deeper and segment this group much further.
When it comes to understanding and sharing knowledge about the Millennial market, George Bourdos, a Millennial himself and the Future Business Division head of VBN Consultants, knows the market inside out and agrees that in this day and age Millennials are ruling the business world.
Here, he busts the Millennial myths.
“Your nephew is not the average Millennial”
Both in businesses and as individuals we tend to group Millennials into one large set. Our go-to comparison is to compare them to someone we know such as our children, nephews, cousins, friends and the like. Businesses are starting to realise however, that it is no longer good enough to simply ‘target Millennials’, but that they need to mine deeper and segment this group much further. The generation that we refer to as the Millennials are individuals aged between 23 to 34 years and are those born from 1983 to 1994. If for example, a brand is trying to communicate with, and target a 25-year-old female, who is single, very social and just starting her corporate career, the marketing team would have to use a completely different approach and strategy to the one being used to target a 33-year-old male, who is married with two young kids. In both cases these people are and behave like “Millennials” but are worlds apart.
“Not all Millennials want to move to big cities”
And the stereotype continues and yes, some Millennials do seek the rush and excitement of big cities such as New York and London, yet a large majority would prefer to live in quieter, more peaceful spaces. With the natural environment so close to the hearts of most Millennials, they enjoy experiences within it.
“The specific cause doesn’t matter”
On the contrary, Millennials are the generation that really cares! Philanthropy matters to them but it must be authentic and real. They are not fooled by CSR programmes of the past, where a company would perform well for a year and then donate a once off payment to a random charity. No, they want to see that the brands they support show a genuine interest in a specific cause. Millennials are more likely to buy from, and be loyal to, a brand that cares about a worthy cause or a principle.
“They still want to be told what to do”
Yes, they might be the ‘know it all’ generation with Google at their fingertips but they also want simplicity. Too much choice can be paralysing for Millennials. For example, they would much prefer going to a bespoke burger joint and have a choice of five distinctive and fresh top-quality, ‘Instagram-worthy’ burgers to choose from, than a smorgasbord selection of 20 burgers, five hotdogs, six sandwiches, and a breakfast offering just in case. Stop trying to give them everything. Just give them quality and innovation, and they will love you for it.
“Young people still do stuff offline”
Some of the most common phrases from older people and parents nowadays include, “Kids these days are always glued to their phones,” or “When we were younger we used to go out and do things”.
Yes, it is true… our smart devices such as phones, tablets and watches have become an extension of our bodies. Good or bad, they are here to stay and we love them! So agreed, we have this generation of people who depend on their electronic devices as much as the air that they breathe, but the fact remains, they still live and experience things with other people. The only difference is that they are simultaneously sharing their experiences with everyone else online. Millennials crave new experiences which they love to share, so brands that can tap into both their online and offline worlds and create genuine, memorable experiences, will win over this generation.
VBN Consultants recently launched a second division in the company called The Future Business Division that specialises in the Millennial market where the majority of the world’s company employees emanate from. If businesses want to continue on a trajectory of growth they need to start understanding what this large, youthful market wants, needs and aspires to.
George Bourdos, a Millennial himself, is the Future Business Division head at VBN Consultants.
Want to continue this conversation on The Media Online platforms? Comment on Twitter @MediaTMO or on our Facebook page. Send us your suggestions, comments, contributions or tip-offs via e-mail to email@example.com.