Who are millennials? According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, millennials are persons born in the 1980s and 1990s. Also known as Generation Y. According to the Pew Research Center, the millennials have outnumbered the population of Baby Boomers.
Based on data from the Census Bureau in 2016, the millennials were defined as ages 18-34 (in 2015) comprised a population of 75.4 million while Baby Boomers were 74.9 million. Due to an expansion of young immigrants, the millennial population continues to grow. Due to globalization, millennials share more commonalities than previous generations and this is greatly influenced heavily by social media, dynamics of trends, an influx of Western culture and technology.
Although technology has created a fast and global way to communicate, it has created a generation that is tied to their mobile devices. It is estimated millennials check their devices every hour throughout the day. The social media trends are so dynamic and this demographic will always remain on the pulse of connecting and building opportunities.
Another unique factor with millennials is the synergy between this generation and their parents. The parents of millennials are connected on the same social media platforms as well as pop culture. Millennials are more likely to consult with their parents when it comes to making life decisions. This generation offers a major advantage for entrepreneurs to gain brand recognition and significant sales due to their buying power.
Reaching Millennials – How Entrepreneurs Can Close the Sale
Now the question, what can this close to 80 million population offer to an entrepreneur? According to Entrepreneur magazine, this generation brings global spending wealth of $1.3 trillion dollars and they love to spend money in diverse ways, unlike any previous generations. Some of the key points summarized from the Millennial 20/20 Summit(included investors, corporate executives, and startup founders) are as follows:
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- Millennials have high expectations when it comes to a purchase, it is about more than just promoting a product. They need to feel connected to the product and/or service.
- Brands that offer a story connected to the product and/or services will resonate more than the product features.
- Brands are using a few methodologies for reaching millennials. Reaching millennials is a strategic move to win over this valuable consumer. Brands are using influencers to promote a brand’s story, brands using events to connect to millennials, and also encouraging their peers to share their experiences with a brand’s product and/or services.
- Millennials are predominantly online consumers and this creates another opportunity to connect with brands through the online experience.
- Millennials do not respond well to multiple choices. They need solutions to a problem and this one stop shop drives the sale.
How to Close the Sale with Millennials
- Determined the preferred way to communicate. According to Entrepreneur magazine, there is a hierarchy so keep this in mind with the millennial.
- texts/texts apps
- email – Subject line – attention grabbing
- social media
- phone calls
- face to face
- Millennials are not sold by flashy campaigns. They need to be educated on why the product will solve their problem. Does your product offer unique value-add vs. competition? Millennials have to get hooked immediately or they will search the web for the next product(s).
- Millennials are advocates for social good and charitable causes. They have an affinity for products and services that are linked to these missions.
- Brands that offer are completely honest about their products, services, company policy, etc will reach the millennial. In some cases, they are willing to pay more if this information is divulged before the sale is completed.
- Brand tag lines that quickly identify the benefit to millennials is more effective. Keep in mind millennials function through mobile devices and are inundated with updates and notifications which mean messages must have a powerful hook within a few seconds.
The millennial population of over 75 million brings a breadth of self-awareness, social consciousness, technology experts, social media gurus, and the buying power to influence brand recognition and sales. Entrepreneurs must be proactive when reaching millennials and understand the factors that drive this demographic toward a brand’s product or service.