Are you trying to make your small business’s brand more appealing to Millennial consumers (generally described as people aged 18 to 33)? That’s smart, since Millennials boast some $600 billion in annual purchasing power. A new study by Adroit Digital polled 2,000 U.S. Millennials who own both computers and smartphones to see how they choose brands and what builds their brand loyalty.
While Millennials are sometimes portrayed as fickle consumers, in reality nearly two-thirds (64 percent) cite levels of brand loyalty the same as Baby Boomers or Generation Xers parents. In fact, about one-quarter say they’re more brand loyal than their parents are.
However, while Millennials have strong brand loyalty, 77 percent say they use different criteria than their parents in choosing their favorite brands. This makes a lot of sense, since other studies have shown Millennials care more than other generations about factors such as social responsibility and consumer responsiveness.
Specifically, more than half of survey respondents (52 percent) say brands that want to stay relevant to Millennials must be open to change based on consumer opinion. Millennials expect to have a big say in how their brands act, with nearly half (44 percent) saying they expect brands to engage in open dialogue through social media channels. In addition, 38 percent want brands to focus more on the consumer and less on the brand. And almost half (47 percent) of Millennials say that if they discovered a favorite brand engages in bad business practices, they would switch allegiances.
TV still matters most when it comes to creating a brand’s image in the Millennial mind, but social media is catching up quickly. Seventy percent of Millennials say TV advertising has a strong influence on how they perceive brands, but 60 percent say social media does, too.
What doesn’t influence Millennials’ views of brands? Radio advertising, billboards and other out-of-home advertising, and magazines barely made a blip on their radar. However, mobile and online advertising have a fairly strong effect on their views of brands.
What should you do if you want to appeal to Millennials?
- Advertise on TV as well as social media, online and on mobile.
- Promote your social responsibility.
- Listen to their input about your brand—and act on it.
- Don’t bother with radio, out-of-home or print ads—they have negligible impact.
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