Brands face steep challenges to engage with lucrative Millennial market

27th Sep 2011

Brands need to determine how best to engage Millennials, but tapping into this market is rife with challenges, a loyalty expert is warning.  

Millennials refers to the highly-connected, tech and marketing savvy youth. It represents a market of 76.6 million people yielding $889.3 billion in spending power, according to recent estimates.
“This powerful group of highly-connected, tech and marketing savvy youth are a new breed of consumer with expectations for brand experiences that go beyond transactional to something more engaging, interactive, and mobile,” says Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty 360.
Various pieces of research have identified defining characteristics of Millennials, age 16-31 is that they have strong brand loyalty with 70% feeling that once they find a company or product they like, they keep coming back, and 80 per cent taking action for brands they trust.
But there’s a flip side and it’s very difficult to win them back after a bad experience; 14 per cent say definitely that once a brand has lost their trust and respect, the brand can never regain it. (“8095 Exchange:  Millennials, Their Actions Surrounding Brand and the Dynamics of Reverberation” Edelman)
Millennials feel personally responsible for making a difference in the world. According to AMP Agency, 83% will trust a company more if it is socially/environmentally responsible, three quarters are more likely to pay attention to a company’s marketing when they see that the company has a deep commitment to a cause, and 89% are likely or very likely to switch from one brand to the next if the company has a deep commitment to a cause.
But perhaps surprisingly research suggests that Millennials are not tolerant of social media marketing. While over half liked checking out brands on social media sites (compared with just over a third of older adults), 30% thought it was annoying for brands to be on sites like Facebook and Twitter, according to the American Millennials survey from Barkley.
Millennials believe they deserve more attention from brands because they have a strong influence on their parents’ spending.  Around a half say they influence the technologies their parents adopt and 41% say they influence the products they buy, a study by InSites Consulting and MTV found.
One survey from PEW suggested that Millennials are obsessed with communication; 80% sleep with their mobile phone in their bed it found.
“Increasingly, savvy brands will meet the challenges of marketing to Millennials by making their brand interactions social, mobile, and gamified in order to play on the human drives to bond and to explore,” Johnson added.

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