The Most Demanding Consumer - The Millennials

Millennials are the sector that retailers need to think long and hard about as there will be over 17 million of them by 2019 and already they make up one quarter of the UK population. The “Millennial” label refers to consumers who are between 12 to 34 years old, born between the 80s and 2000s. They frequently live at home or house share with their friends, many do not have any children and have grown up with and on the internet. Working Millennials have plenty of disposable income because they do not have the usual challenges of mortgage or children which makes them a lucrative demographic sector for retailers and one that it’s important to understand and take seriously.

Retailing effectively to Millennials is complex and requires an approach built on extensive research and understanding. As a sector of the UK consumer pie they have very different needs and are potentially less forgiving and often labelled deservingly or not the “want it now” or “I deserve it” generation. Initiatives such as Click & Collect, Uber & Amazon Dash to name but a few suit this demographic because they perceive themselves as busy and technology very savvy. Primarily social media and social content designed to be rapidly consumed and instantly shared are key to effectively targeting Millennials. Clever marketing departments get this and create and expedite campaigns that enable fast consumption and sharing pushed through social media channels with content being to the point and highly visual with messages being collaboratively formed and authentic.

Remarkably in recent studies Millennials also have values which are in opposition to their narcissistic labelling and stereotyping. An example of this is that on the whole Millennials value memories over commodities as concluded in the Thisisinkling White Paper. Furthermore Millennials value health, with mental health of highest ranking, closely followed by physical health and spiritual well being. Millennials also have more defined religious/righteous beliefs and attitudes when compared to baby boomers or generation x’ers with giving to charity, spending time with friends and being close to family all perceived as important.

Millennials value recommendations, particularly from trusted friends and family. This sector is super-well informed and is hyperconnected, it understands online better than any other. Millennials know tech and expects brands to get that as well as being plugged into who and whatever is hot for their age group at any given time. Younger Millennials set and dictate trends and are on the pulse, they expect retailers to be too with technology brands such as Apple and Samsung finding the sweet-spot as has Amazon with it disruptive new Amazon Dash offering which is perfect for time poor, cash rich Millennials because it plays to their expectations. Millennials are complex, ethical and intellectual , retailers have no choice but to understand what makes them tick if they are going to connect. Brands need to understand Millennials and their sub categories to hit the mark or miss at their peril.

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