Millennials: The generation shaping workplaces of tomorrow.
Known as the age group demographic following Gen X and Baby Boomers, this group we’ve heard about time and again must not be neglected when you plan your next campaign, launch a new product, or even re-brand your company.
Why are Millennials so important to your company? Being one of the largest age group demographics in the United States, their size and influence make them the most relevant target audience in today’s day and age. Millennial habits and values have a major impact on the shape of company culture. When it comes to setting trends, shaping major cultural movements, or contributing to the tech industry, the power of millennials is resulting in a shift toward company habits that appease their demands. If companies don’t want to be outcompeted, they need to become familiar with the millennial attitude.
Our work at InterQ Research involves a lot of time spent interacting with this cohort. From numerous focus group discussions, to analyzing quantitative data measuring their influence, to understanding their mindset through ethnographic studies – we’ve done it all. Using our experience and expertise, we have compiled a short list of tips to help you better target this influential population.
Millennial Market Research Tip 1: Grassroots outreach is the way to go
Although social media may seem as the best way to reach them, it is not. Having a more grassroots approach by focusing on local events, the arts, the community can prove beneficial to your marketing campaign. Of course social media is essential, but it lacks what this set of individuals craves most – “community”. Millennials are so used to the presence of social media in their lives that they get weary of and immune to the marketing, or over-marketing, that occurs on the platform. Maintaining a balanced approach, without an over-reliance on one method is ideal.
Millennial Market Research Tip 2: Be unconventional
Work environments are moving away from conventional office spaces with 9-5 work schedules, and closer to unconventional work routines. When catering to this population, bear in mind that millennials are looking for unique atmospheres. Whether it’s a shared working space, a café, or a home, anything outside the boundaries of a traditional work environment seem appealing to them. Having fun and innovative events that don’t feel too corporate and restrictive are good opportunities to attract the millennial crowd you’re looking for. When you’re organizing a traditional event like a networking opportunity, a seminar, or a launch event remember to always think outside the box.
Millennial Market Research Tip 3: Have an impactful mission
You may not find millennials living fully eco-friendly lives, buying only sustainable products, and volunteering all the time but they do support initiatives that engage in social good. Although they might be known for their egocentricity, it’s the concept of a cause that matters to them. Thus, they are attracted to those companies that are honest and transparent, have clear and impactful goals, and invest in their people. In a recent study we conducted with college students, Patagonia was most students’ favorite brand as they go beyond just the sales of clothes and gear. Considering the millennials control a large chunk in spending power, think about having an angle that showcases the impact side of your mission to gain their loyalty and retain it.
Millennial Market Research Tip 4: Stay away from your corporate identity
When it comes to millennials, “corporate” is not the best pull factor. If your story is about the number of years you have been around, the complex internal structure, your extensive reach, stability, and isn’t new, innovative, and unique it will be less engaging and will likely turn them off. While you could say differently about the Gen X and Baby Boomers, most millennials do not put their trust in corporations. Having spent most of their childhoods observing the consequences of the Great Recession, they view corporate entities as money-hungry and selfish, with little to no focus on social impact. Growing up they witnessed their parents stress about job security, financial struggles, and investments, all due to an event that was caused by large corporations.
Thus when pitching your narrative to millennials, stay away from your corporate identity as much as possible. Many corporations are thinking about ways to distance themselves from their parent companies and appear less corporate. Rebranding or creating small subsidiary companies may be better options.
Millennial Market Research Tip 5: Contextualize your work
Once your company realizes how important millennials are to your growth and success, make sure to understand how your company or your products can be used to cater to them. This would mean adapting your company to suit the tastes of millennials, making sure your brand stays relevant in the long run. Thus, market research should be one of the first steps you take when thinking about capturing millennials’ attention and support. This would allow you to determine the viability of your company in the up-and-coming millennial market.