We have all seen the ads. They are every. Companies trying to sell you some book, consulting, or courses that promise to help teach you what Millennials are thinking. The truth is, they are wrong. I am not saying they are lying to you or that they are trying to pull on over on you. However, they are glossing over a very complicated issue. I know this because the truth is…Millennials, at the core of the demographic, are a paradox.
Brands all over the world are coming to the realization that Millennials are no longer made up of high school and middle school kids but are now the fastest growing consumer demographic. Making sure their brand is positioned well with Millennials is no longer an interesting idea but a vital growth objective. But if I am telling you that no one knows what Millennials are going to do, how can brands correctly position themselves? At Oddly Natural, we believe the best way is to change the question all together. We encourage our clients to stop asking, “What are Millennials going to do?” and instead seek to understand “Why do Millennials do what they do?”
At Oddly Natural, we believe the best way is to change the question all together. We encourage our clients to stop asking, “What are Millennials going to do?” and instead seek to understand “Why do Millennials do what they do?”
This distinction is critical. One of the defining characteristics of Millennials is that they have grown up with choices all their lives. Previous generations grew up with 3–4 channels on their TV. This caused them to become very loyal to one channel. If their parents only watch CBS, chances are they still watch CBS. On the other hand, Millennials have grown up with cable and satellite TV. This has created loyalty to only their interests. They will remain loyal to something for as long has it provides benefit to them, and will switch loyalties when that benefit is no longer there. They are not “disloyal” or “flakey” by nature. Their loyalty has shifted from the product to the person.
No longer can brand get someone to like their product as a college student and bank on them being “customers for life”.
That puts brands in a tricky situation. Not only have types of branding and advertising changed, but the goals of those strategies need to change. No longer can brand get someone to like their product as a college student and bank on them being “customers for life”. While this forces branding to be more focused, for brands that create the right mindsets, it is a huge opportunity. Convincing potential customers to switch brands is much easier now than it was 10 years ago. The difficulty is now in keeping your customers from leaving.
Luckily the digital marketing revolution that started a few years ago and continues today has made it much more affordable for brands without huge ad-buys to stay competitive. When working with our clients, we encourage them to find one or two social media platforms that best fit their brand. This accomplishes a number of things: focuses our clients time and energy, forces our clients to have a great understanding of who they are as a brand, keeps cost down, and matches their brand with customers that share similar interests. However, selecting the perfect platform(s) does not automatically mean you will increase your sales. It does help change your mindset, from to chasing customers to attracting customers.
Brands must stop trying to figure out what Millennials are going to do. Some will stay with your brand because everyone is leaving, some will leave because now everyone knows about the cool thing, some will leave because they found a different brand they believe in more, and others will stop using your product all together. Focusing on why Millennials do what they do is the only way for a brand to stay relevant moving forward.