Tag Archives: millennials

Tips to avoid the #Millennial meltdown

Oh, Millennials, what are we going to do with you? Everyone wants to #reach you, to #engage you and to get you to spend your #money. Why, oh why, won’t you just tell us what we can do for you? Oh, what’s that you say? You mean you have been telling us this whole time? Huh ….

Tips to avoid the Millennial meltdown

Open your ears, the Millennials are talking, says Melvin Greer, Senior Fellow at Lockheed Martin and author of “21st Century Leadership.” A majority of Millennials — 59 percent — turn to their trusted network of friends and family as the primary influencers when making a purchase.

Millennials don’t just use products and services; they are the products and services they use. The generation associates a part of themselves with thCCW Millennials THUMBNAILeir preferred brands and is hyperaware of how a brand not only meets their service needs, but also their personal needs. Because they have such
high expectations for hyper-personalization, they therefore require mass-customized experiences.

Millennials are digital natives accustomed to having any kind of information available to them at any time. Instead of worrying about meeting these high expectations, consider using their knowledge and ideas: ask them what they want and they’ll give you the exact products and service ideas they want to buy
from you. It could be as easy as that.

If you’re wondering why you should jump through hoops for the youngest purchasing generation it’s because once you’ve got ‘em, they’ll be yours
forever.

Tips to avoid the Millennial meltdown

Trust in brands and institutions are waning across the generation. They are well-trained in sniffing out inauthenticity and need to believe that a company has integrity to follow through with what they say. It may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s important to be aware that Millennials are at the top of this reciprocal ecosystem. They will represent almost half of the U.S. workforce by 2020. They will also represent about $1.4 trillion in spend – about one third of all retail sales projected for that year.

You may see them as one small fish, but collectively, they are all sharks in a large network that wields the power to create or kill your company, Greer says.

Millennials are a viral group that can lead to large-scale changes in the future of consumer behavior. You’ll be taking the reigns alongside them if you find the sweet spot at the center of mass customization, authenticity and technology.

Mobile: The digital state of play

Where is the consumer? The CX experts want to know. If you’re wondering where your consumers are … look no further than the palm of your hand.

“Look around you. What devices are your colleagues using? Your kids? Your parents, even?” asked Tony Marlow, Head of Sales Insight at Yahoo. “[You can’t ignore] the shift toward mobile.” 

A recent Yahoo survey ranked user preference by device on a scale of 1-to-5, with five representing ‘love’ for the product. An astounding 77 percent of respondents claimed to “love their smartphone.” Nearly 40 percent of 18-to-34 year-olds surveyed claimed to be “addicted.” The lesson: Use addicted Millennials to your advantage.

Their growing presence is no secret. Most of us know that Millennials will account for almost half of the U.S. workforce by 2020. They will also represent about $1.4 trillion in spend – about one third of all retail sales projected for that year. Despite these facts, huge discrepancies remain between where companies are spending their money and where consumers are spending their time.

Exhibit A: Mobile. It is the only channel in the U.S. that is growing in share time by media. Traditional media such as television, radio, print, and even digital, have either plateaued or are decreasing in share time by user. This disparity represents a whopping $25 billion gap in the U.S. alone, according to Yahoo’s research.

It’s time to close the gap. Lobby your company today to better engage Millennials. They are not frugal, but they do know the value of their dollar, Marlow says. Start looking into branded content and couple it with your native advertising efforts to win the race for their dollar. Both streams resonate with discretionary Millennials who, for all their perceived downfalls, are more brand loyal than other generations.

Once you’ve won them, you own them. The icing on the cake is that they will not only be some of your most loyal customers, but they will become brand advocates on your behalf.

Watch out for more on my recap from the CX Impact Summit in New Orleans earlier this month …

Product Development in the Digital Age: How to Influence Millennials

Christie is the Founder & CEO of UChic. She's also a Millennial, the market her company targets.
Christie is the Founder & CEO of UChic. She’s also a Millennial, the market her company targets.

UChic is a mission-driven lifestyle brand whose products sales empower our teen girl consumers through scholarships. Our research found that 95% of young women in the U.S. lack the funding to pursue their dreams outside of the classroom. Knowing that these extracurricular experiences can change lives, we launched our company and foundation in 2013, and are getting set to launch our first product — the “Gracie,” a fashionable computer case for the classroom and beyond. The case, available right now through Indiegogo, will help fund the dreams of over 10 deserving young women with $1000 scholarships, kicking off the company’s on-going commitment to funding the dreams of young women through our product sales.

I was inspired to start UChic based on the success we’ve had in creating the best-selling guidebook to college written “for and by” young women — U Chic: The College Girl’s Guide to Everything (Sourcebooks 2013). Over 100,000 book copies have been sold since, and a fourth edition is in the works. Call me a Millennial, but I wanted to do more to empower our consumers.

What are the benefits of the Millennial consumer market when considering a new product launch? How does their involvement with brands influence their peers’ power to purchase as well as to the co-creation of products?

As a Millennial, I know first-hand how much our generation desires to have a “voice” in the world (that’s partly why I created UChic — to give my generation and younger a platform) and thanks to the technological advances we’ve seen happen over the past decade, we have more power than generations that came before us. From presidential campaigns to regime changes in the Middle East to new product design, Millennials are changing the course of “business as usual.”

From the research, we know that compared to older generations, Millennials have 200 more friends on Facebook and are more likely to use social media to express their feelings and opinions, which makes them more influential in their ability to spread the word farther and faster. As consumers, Millennials’ purchasing decisions are also more likely to be influenced by what their peers have to say, so it is critical for companies to figure out how to be a part of these conversations. One way to do it is to ask Millennials to help “co-create” the products they want.

What are the disadvantages of managing the expectations of Millennials when it comes to product development?

The desire for instant gratification in the digital age can make the millennial consumers’ expectation quite high when it comes to product development. If something goes wrong — and yes, even Facebook can get it wrong at times — Millennials are more likely to share their angst on social media. And because of their larger and stronger social networks, such despair can travel far and wide, becoming viral within a few hours of the first unhappy Tweet. Companies can manage these higher expectations by being transparent from the start on the product development process.

What are some of the latest tools and techniques for conducting cost-effective market research with Millennials?

Online surveys and community engagement strategies (i.e., posting questions on FB or Twitter) are some the best and most cost-effective tools around when it comes to conducting market research with Millennial consumers. From my research, Millennials like to weigh-in on the market research process; it gets back to that desire to have a voice or say in the world.

Whether it’s simply positioned as an “exclusive opportunity” to take part in a new product launch or tied to an incentive like a gift card, Millennials are open to being engaged in this manner. And better yet, figure out a way to follow up with them once the product has launched for additional feedback. Couched within a question of “Did we get it right?” should open the door for additional engagement and feedback that can be good for the bottom line.