Millennials get a lot of grief from older generations, and rightfully so. There are a lot of negative stereotypes surrounding the Millennial generation, including a sense of entitlement, their inability to "stick it out" when times get tough, and narcissism. However, despite their bad rep, marketers need to realize that Millennials make up the largest group of consumers in the country with $170 billion per year in purchasing power.
In order to be successful going forward, you must adjust your branding strategy to appeal to Millennials. Here are several Millennial behaviors that marketers need to take into account to create a branding strategy that appeals to this generation:
1. Millennials love technology.
Millennials are the first generation to grow up with technology being a normal part of their lives. They can't remember life without a smartphone, and they consider wearable technology to be as important as a body part. Millennials value technology and the convenience that it offers.
Pizza Hut is an example of a brand that understands Millennials well. In an effort to appeal to Millennials' love for technology and appreciation for convenience, Pizza Hut created an app to allow orders to be placed with a few taps on a mobile device. Pizza Hut has recently taken its use of technology up a notch by allowing customers to use voice commands to order pizza through Amazon's Alexa.
2. Millennials are addicted to social media.
Millennials are frequently referred to as the "selfie generation," and it seems that they can't get enough of sharing what they're doing in-the-moment on social media. The most popular social media sites where Millennials spend their time include Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Understanding that Millenials want to broadcast to the social media world what they're currently up to, companies that include the ability to "check in" at their business establishments on social media will benefit from more brand awareness.
3. Millennials feel deeply connected to social issues and want to live authentically.
Millennials want to live healthier lives, which is why we've seen companies like McDonald's adjust its branding strategy to include healthier menu options and Kraft Foods replace artificial dyes with natural flavorings.
In an effort to appeal to this generation's desire to live more authentically, we've seen brands like Dove use curvier, more realistic models through its Real Beauty campaign.
While many people are quick to write Millennials off, the tremendous purchasing power that this generation possesses can't be ignored. The companies that make adjustments to their branding strategies to appeal to this generation will benefit in the long term.