An Expert’s Guide to Cornering the Millennial Market

Sep 14, 2020

Millennials are Australia’s largest consumer segment , with a particular set of tastes and beliefs. Here is some expert advice on tapping into the millennial market.

Labelled lazy, narcissistic, financially irresponsible and commitment-phobic, the millennial generation are a controversial crowd. But once you dig a little deeper into the research and expert analysis, it’s clear that millennials are in fact are more driven, idealistic, financially prudent and socially conscious than often assumed.

Considering millennials account for 6.4 million of our population, have a combined disposable income of around $530 million per year and represent $1  in every $3 spent, it’s well worth businesses understanding them better.

They’re a Really Big Group

While definitions vary, it’s generally acknowledged millennials were born between 1983 and 1994, give or take a few years either side. This makes them aged roughly 25 to 37 years old.

“It’s difficult to ascribe general attitudes and behaviours to millennials because they’re a massive and diverse group,” says Lauren Kress, brand strategist and consumer behaviour expert. “As an example, I’m nearly 30 so I remember what it was like to not have a computer or a smartphone, but younger millennials grew up with laptops in high school.”

They’re Seeking Meaning

Millennials may be perceived as fickle and entitled, but they mostly just want more from their lives. “They’re in search of meaning at work, and there’s a big push from millennials for employee benefits and flexibility,” says Lauren.

They also care about the state of the world: according to the Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2019, climate change and protecting the environment is their No.1 and their attitudes to government, business and the economy are at record lows. It follows that authenticity and transparency are key if you want to win millennial fans.

Health has a High Value

Millennials want to optimise their health and wellness. An increasing number say looking after their health is the most important contributing factor to their happiness, success and sense of personal freedom, according to The Australian Millennial Report 2019.

They’re Discerning Consumers

The environmental and social credentials of brands truly matter to millennials. “In a 2012 study, 47 per cent of millennials said they would be more interested in and pay more for products or services that are environmentally friendly,” says Lauren. “What we also know about millennials is they actually read product packaging and consider where it came from and whether it was ethically sourced.”

They’re Financially Savvy

Despite being portrayed as a mortgage-shunning, avocado toast-loving generation , millennial’s are quite financially sensible.What the research is showing is that millennial’s are the biggest savers out of all the generations,” says Kress. In fact, they are 30 per cent more likely than older Australians to save regularly and 80 per cent of them budget. However, this doesn’t mean they’re cheap – 60 per cent of millennial’s are happy to pay extra for quality goods. They will also happily do their research: 93 per cent compare prices, 78 per cent read product reviews and 72 per cent research on the go in store before committing to purchase an item worth $100 or more.

Think Relationally, Not Transactionally

You may be keen to turn millennial’s into customers, but first you need to establish a genuine connection with them. “Chat to some of the people you’re targeting and understand their story, what life looks like for them, what problem they’re dealing with and then speak to that problem with a solution,” advises James Parnwell, managing director of TheOnlineCo.

Group of millennial friends

If You Have a Social Purpose, Speak up About it

More than two in five (42 per cent) of millennial’s say they’ve begun, or deepened, a business relationship because they perceive a company’s products or services have a positive impact on society or the environment. “If you have a social purpose or values, communicate it in your brand messaging,” says Lauren. “Be proud of it and let buyers know that you actually do care.”

Have a digital presence

Having an online presence is a must for modern businesses, especially those targeting tech-loving millennial’s.

“Millennial’s spend heaps of time on screens, more than they do on most other activities,” says Lauren. “Facebook and Instagram are massive, but the other platform that millennial’s are spending a lot of time on is podcasts, which can be a great way to showcase your brand in terms of thought leadership, or you can also look at advertising.”

Choose the right ambassador

Influencers are the new celebrities and often hold traction with millennial’s, but choosing the right one to partner with is key. “Some have fake followers, so you need to do your research,” says James. “Ask who is this person, are they reputable and do they align with our business values?”

Putting yourself forward as the face of your brand can also be a smart move. “A big aspect of the products that are coming out now is that the ambassadors are often the people who make them, and people love that because it’s real,” says Lauren.

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