The defining feature of the millennial generation is technology. No one is surprised by this anymore, as we see the evidence ranging from the increase of deaths from drivers texting at the wheel to Pew's research that shows that most millennials respond that technology is the most unique thing about growing up in their generation.
I may not be speaking for all but definitely most millennials, then, when I say that technology is the way to a millennial's heart.
It starts early these days. Source: ninemsn.com.au
Seeing as how the millennial generation is so crucial to building a loyal customer base that keeps coming back over the period of a long life, one important question to address is how to increase millennials' brand loyalty.
This is a particularly challenging task because, according to Taryn Luna at The Boston Globe, millennials "have become skilled at finding ways to avoid the constant stream of advertising. They skip past ads, block them, or simply ignore the come-ons." We're skeptical, choosy, and armed with all the information we need right in our iPhones, making us a slippery target for marketers.
Here are some do's regarding increasing millennials' brand loyalty:
- DO be subtle. This is the most important point and deserves to be emphasized again and again, in a completely non-subtle manner. As mentioned above, millennials are not only cynical about advertisements, but they also know how to evade them altogether. Even tactics such as embedded marketing (otherwise known as product placement), which is built to be sneaky and subconscious, are susceptible to the cynics. Be evasive to evade the evaders. Whatever you do, never admit that the millennials are your target!
- DO emphasize the ease-of-use of your technology - and I know you have to have technology, or else you wouldn't be trying to appeal to millennials. Why are products like iPhones and Google's various services so popular? These are products designed to be intuitive, that you can pick up in minutes. Apple and Google are so ubiquitous that their design standard is what we expect now. This applies to small companies too - those that have websites lacking in flow are deemed less than professional. Millennials are so accustomed to technology that it's easy to tell when something isn't where it's supposed to be, so test, test, test!
- DO incorporate social media into everything you do. Social media time takes up 27% of Internet usage, and one can only imagine that it would be higher for the younger generation. In the age of constant notifications, you can be sure that buzzing them through their Twitter handle is a reliable way of getting hold of somebody. Furthermore, social media is so versatile and cost-effective that virtually (no pun intended) any company can fit it into their plans. It takes time to learn to incorporate social media into everyday happenings, but this way you provide the most engaging content through the most engaging channels to your customers. What's not to like?