How to reach the millennial generation begins with identifying what a millennial is. Born between 1981 and 1997, a millennial is anyone currently between ages 19 and 35. In the US, millennials make up over 75 million of the 325 million people in the country, exceeding Baby Boomers as the largest living generation just last year. Given the size of this new audience, we can understand the need to market to millennials and create a game plan to engage the millennial generation.
As always, each generation comes with its own characteristics that differentiate itself from other generations; however, millennials are a particularly complex cohort. It’s safe to say that racial diversity is the defining characteristic among the millennial generation, as immigration is a larger portion of this generation than any other generation before.
There’s much to take into account when marketing to millennials, whether that be racial diversity, gender, or wealth (millennials are expected to benefit from the “Great Transfer” of wealth over the next several decades, as the 30-40 trillion in assets are shifted from Baby Boomers to millennials), but to keep it simple, consider the following:
What Millennials Are Known for
- Millennials are uniquely different from other generations and should not be overgeneralized. Even within the generation, millennials vastly differ. In fact, millennials hold more polarizing opinions than any other generation; thus, understand the segmentation of millennials.
- Millennials are said to be ‘living life later.’ Millennials are getting married and having children later and living at home with their parents for longer, all of which could help to build disposable income.
- Compared to other generations, millennials spend more on experiences and entertainment, like hiking Machu Picchu and attending concerts and festivals. The catch? Millennials do so without sacrificing material goods.
- More so than ever before, millennials require information that is not brand owned. Millennials are increasingly skeptical of information provided by brands and primarily rely on brand recommendations via word-of-mouth to make purchases. Building authentic content on social media via your followers is key.
- Millennials are willing to pay a premium more often than other generations; and, much more often than retailers realize. Millennials include premium spenders across all categories, so, make millennials see the value of your brand.