Millennials are the largest living generation of the U.S. population, so it is no surprise marketers are looking to cater to them. The older end of the millennial spectrum is moving into real adulthood, which means established jobs, strong sense of self, and greater buying power.
They’re the first generation that has grown up with the Internet. They’re the first generation to have cell phones for the bulk of their lives. This group views the world differently. So, if you’re looking to attract millennials, there are a few marketing tactics to follow.
Millennials look for peer reviews or social media recommendations before making a purchase. The more people that have chosen to buy something the better that product, service, or experience is. A classic example of “more people equals better” marketing tactic is the McDonald’s “billions served” sign. If billions of people have spent money there, it must be good, right?
Millennials spend the bulk of their time online. One study showed that teens spent as much as nine hours a day online with 30% going towards social media.
A recent product phenomenon is the popularity of “unboxing videos”. These videos are a step-by-step walkthrough of literally opening packages. Brands have caught onto this phenomenon and now provide free product to social media influencers with a solid following.
The unboxing phenomenon is in support of the data that show 62% of millennials will research a product on a social platform before buying. Videos are one of the most popular ways to research products and increase chances of purchases significantly.
2. IMPULSE PURCHASES
While they are more likely to go online to research purchases first, this generation is also fond of impulse purchases. They’re also more likely to have just “shopped for fun” than previous generations.
A study from Chase discovered that 83% of millennials have made a purchase based on impulses. Common reasons stated were just getting paid, finding a sale/discount, and a case of retail therapy (finding good feelings through shopping).
These are some ways stores are capitalizing on millennials’ tendency to impulse buy:
- POP Displays. Short for “point of purchase,” POP displays are an effective way to drive impulse buys in-store. The eye-catching display draws attention to the product that the shopper may have not set out to buy — and probably wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.
- Cross merchandising. When you’re selling a product, you’re really selling how the product will add value in the shopper’s life. You’re selling the experience of the product. For example, candles have transitioned from a product of necessity (light to see before electricity) to an affordable luxury item. To brand the candles as a luxury item, retailers will often pair the candles with other pampering items like essential oils, visually appealing candle holders, and spa items.
A notable difference in millennials from other generations is their affection for experiences over products. Rather than lusting after a shiny object for the object’s sake, millennials want to know “how will it make me feel?” and “will this item improve my life?”.
Because of the emotional component of millennials’ buying habits, marketers are turning to storytelling as a solid strategy. Brands that can tell their story in a way that inspires positive emotions — millennials are prone to nostalgia, for example — will be more successful in connecting with millennials.
One brand that has successfully tapped into millennials’ nostalgia is Pokémon Go. The craze that followed this interactive, location-based app was fueled by maturing millennials that remembered Pokémon fondly from their youth and who now wanted to recapture that innocent feeling with a modern version. The app exploded and was a huge win for the Pokémon brand.
Millennials are different from previous generations in a few ways, but marketers can easily appeal to this group with the right strategy. Be connected. Be visible. Be authentic. All these will tap into millennials emotions and lead to successful marketing campaigns.
Sandra Moncada is a cycling enthusiast, a Millennial who frequently escapes to hang out with her literary and movie heroes. She is vitamin D’s biggest fan. When she’s not floating in the ocean or her outdoor pool, she loves to write about anything that tickles her fancy.
You can connect with her @SandramoncadaOh