Building brand credibility with ‘Millennials’

Born between 1980 and 2000, the demographic referred to as ‘Millennials’ have grown up in a time of rapid change. While no generation enjoys being labelled, and it seems counter-intuitive to attempt to shoehorn what is the biggest demographic on the planet neatly into one category (despite MANY trying) there is an unmistakable difference in the life experiences of those born pre- and post-1980. Unlike Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers, this group has grown and matured with the internet and all of the world’s knowledge at their fingertips. Importantly for marketers, they have also matured surrounded by advertisements which means the tried-and-tested approach of reach + frequency might not equal impact like it once did.

building brand credibility with 'Millennials' Do 'Millennials' read advertising in a different way to Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers?

Forget the hard sell, start collaborating

The turbulent economic times mean that Millennials in the West are far less likely to own homes, cars and even music and instead turn to the sharing economy which allows the benefits of products without the burden and expense of ownership. This has caused a whole attitude shift when it comes to making purchase decisions. Consumers want to feel like they share a stake in the brands that they love. For a brand, that means communicating with consumers like never before, creating engaging content for them to consume and share with friends; offering ways for them to share their opinions on the brand; and making it easy for them to find "expert" opinions on products. This sort of value exchange also gives brands the opportunity to communicate their shared principles, whether it’s on sustainability, fair-working policy, originality and innovation or something else entirely. A number of brands simply turn to social media and hope for the best, but a smart marketer needn’t to stop there; an integrated marketing campaign that gives brands a seat at the dinner table and encourages authentic, real-world conversations could pay dividends.

Gain trust with reviews

According to Forbes, only 1% of millennials surveyed said that a compelling TV ad would make them trust a brand more, instead the younger generations turn to those they trust and the authentic words of strangers with no hidden motive. Reviews are big news and, as well as reading them before purchase, they’re inclined to leave them too. Encourage positive and authentic consumer reviews by involving your consumers in your marketing mix.  

Master the art of influence

It’s been covered by us before (you’ll have to enter your name and email address but this webinar is certainly worth a watch) but younger people are increasingly turning to influencers rather than paid media to help make purchase decisions. The Influencer industry is huge and growing with a number of online ‘stars’ existing simply to sell products but the untapped resource that is often overlooked by brands - but never by consumers - is real-life Influencers. Compared to the reach of influencers, their circle of influence is much smaller, around 200-300, but they win on both relevance and resonance. Plus their authentic, peer-to-peer recommendations pack a punch; comprised of billions of face-to-face conversations that have the power to drive sales, they are actually your most important source of advertising. Real-life influencers represent the future in influencer marketing and most importantly, they WANT to sell your product to the people that they know could benefit from it.  

Join the mobile first generation

According to a recent study by Nielsen, millennials are top smartphone users, with user penetration at a whopping 98%. Younger people’s affinity for technology means that any brand that doesn’t utilise mobile first data, runs the risk of losing the interest of the biggest demographic on the planet.

Embracing mobile has significant implications for marketers, not least because Google now ranks sites that work well on mobile devices above sites that don’t. It’s imperative that brands who hope to sell to younger shoppers have a good online presence. With product info, reviews and price comparison sites at their fingers tips, millennials expect maximum convenience and value for money. 

We need to talk about dialogue

We live in a time of rapid change, since the internet as we know it came into being in the late 80s, nothing has remained unchanged for long. The most notable difference for the marketing industry? Consumers have a voice now and they want to use it. More than the generations before them, Millennials want to use the platform that they have to build meaningful relationships with the brands they use. The entirety of the world’s collective knowledge is at their fingertips and they know exactly how to access it. So, no cleverly placed marketing message will be believed without them doing their own research to check the authenticity of it first. If you want to build credibility and loyalty with this demographic you must be prepared to listen and pay attention.

At trnd, we help brands grow by harnessing the human potential of your consumers, whatever demographic they fall into. We identify, educate and then activate millions of households who love to work with brands, to help power your marketing.

If you’d like to know more then join us for a free webinar on the 4th October for an in depth discussion on how consumer activation can help Grow Your Brand. You can register HERE.

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