Buying behavior is changing and some customers are putting a premium on speed, ease, efficiency and convenience over friendly service. According to the Boston Consulting Group, companies who want to differentiate themselves in the marketplace and forge long-term customer relationships are responding.
In The Millennial Consumer – Debunking Stereotypes, they explore the idea that millennial customers of today are all about “I want it fast, and I want it now” but is this stereotype really true? What does it mean for the marketing industry?
With the millennial generation growing rapidly and number over 79 million in the US, it’s plain to see the importance this generation has on the world and the future. This is no surprise then, that marketers are interested in what these near-80 million people think.
It’s important when exploring this that we understand that millenials think differently than other generations. They want different things. Companies need to rebrand their business models and market accordingly with these changes. Some businesses are getting on board quickly while others struggle in the quickly changing times and aren’t quite up to speed with what this newer generation is looking for.
The research from BCG Perspective shows some interesting facts. The Boston Consulting Group, along with Barkley and Service Management Group, surveyed 4,000 Millennials (ages 16 to 34) and 1,000 non-Millennials (ages 35 to 74) in the United States and this helps us to understand a great deal more about this generation, how they think, how they spend and also about the risk and dangers of stereotyping.
Our survey asked U.S. Millennials and non-Millennials which words best describe the Millennial generation. While Millennials’ perceptions of themselves are generally favorable, non-Millennials tend to view them far less kindly, often referring to them as “spoiled,” “lazy,” or “entitled.” (See Exhibit 2.) These perceptions may be coloring how executives view the Millennial consumer, preventing companies from understanding and fully addressing the product and service needs of this generation—and establishing strong brand relationships.
If you are a non-millenial, you can see how this biased thinking might affect who you market to and how. You could potentially be shutting out your largest market by assuming they are immature, spoiled or lazy. The stats in the article are well worth reading and understanding to see if you’ve been closing the door to this particular generation.
That said, the research also showed some really interesting things about generational attitudes and behaviors. Some things that are pointed out and then explained include:
- I want it fast, and I want it now.
- I trust my friends more than “corporate mouthpieces”.
- I’m a social creature- both online and offline.
- I can make the world a better place.
Understanding that this generating thinks and feels this way will help you to connect with them, to adjust your marketing strategy accordingly and also to understand the importance of staying on top of the trendsetters. Non-millenial executives need to be aware of their attitudes toward this generation and ensure they are not allowing stereotypes to cloud the facts or to harm their marketing efforts.
As the article states, Millennial attitudes in such areas as media consumption, social-media usage, advocacy and cause marketing, marketing messages, and shopping technology are leading indicators of future trends.” How will this affect your business?