The millennial influence has not gone unnoticed. According to our research, this powerful generation controls $1.3 trillion of direct spending power and account for 21 percent of consumer discretionary purchases. With that much spending power, the millennial generation is impacting the way brands do business at a rate that has never existed before. In fact, at FutureCast, we have identified six key mindsets that influence millennial spending behavior.
The Millennial Mindset is founded on six pillars: Social Circle, Self, Innovation, Trusted, Purposeful and Accessible. An understanding of how to implement these pillars into a brand communication strategy is the key to winning over millennial consumers.
These three tactics not only align with expectations from Millennial Mindset consumers but will also move your brand in the right direction to earn greater consumer love and loyalty.
1. Leverage social circles and desire for peer affirmation
Social Circle proved to be one of the most influential mindsets for millennial consumers. It is important to note that Social Circle is much more than just social media and is rooted in the concept of peer affirmation.
Social Circle includes the groups of advisors modern consumers have built for themselves. The more people who advocate for a brand or product, the larger the Social Circle. This directly impacts future profits. Consider platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, millennials seek the approval of their peers and rely on feedback to make their own purchasing decisions.
2. Identify omnichannel opportunities in the digital and physical worlds
Millennials rely more on technology when making purchasing decisions than any other generation before them. Our research shows that 51 percent of millennials use a smartphone or tablet to research products and services for shopping purposes. This is where digital content becomes key when marketing to millennials.
Making a product accessible on both physical and digital channels is a great way to get millennial attention. Take Sherwin Williams for example. The brand recently launched an app, Sherwin Williams ColorSnap Visualizer, which brought its paint into the homes of consumers in an entirely new way. Users take photos of objects in their home and the app matches the color they want to find to a Sherwin Williams paint. It also enables users to take a photo of a room and try the paint colors on the photo, giving them a glimpse into what their room could look like after painting. Through this system, Sherwin Williams has perfected the concept of Accessibility, another important pillar in the Millennial Mindset.
3. Share your purpose to earn greater millennial love
Millennials are a generation that wants to give back and many of them are more willing to buy a product when it allows them to do so. Our research found that 37 percent of millennials are willing to purchase a product or service to support a cause they believe in, even if it means spending a little bit more.
Giving back fits into the Purposeful pillar in the Millennial Mindset. This means that millennials are looking to brands to help them add good to the world. By focusing on impacting the world as a primary offering, and selling a product or service as secondary offering, a company can win big with Millennial Mindset consumers.
A company known for its success in philanthropic efforts is Patagonia. From the beginning it has pledged one percent of its sales to environmental preservation and restoration. The brand also gives back through various other coalitions and alliances and even uses recycled materials to create its outdoor performance wear.
Connecting with this generation is vital for brands to succeed in the market today. However, beyond thinking about a target based on age or demographic, brands must embrace the Millennial Mindset based on need state and consumer motivations (which may cross generational boundaries) rather than traditional segmentation methodologies.
Questions to ask when engaging Millennial Mindset consumers:
1. Are you tapping into consumer social circles and leveraging peer affirmation opportunities?
2. Have you established a communication strategy that spans digital and physical worlds?
3. Do you stand for a bigger purpose?