Millennials aren’t likely to work 9 to 5 jobs, and they won’t expect your brand to either. And having grown up with email, texting, and the Internet, they are used to getting instantaneous responses from those that they contact. Customer service and a social media presence outside of normal work hours build trust in and reliance on your brand.
Don’t try to hard sell
Most millennials have been bombarded with advertisements since birth, and as a result, traditional advertising has lost a lot of its punch. They also value authenticity, so superlative-laden promises clearly designed to sell a product are much more likely to bring mockery than actual attention.
Think word of mouth
Word of mouth marketing has always been effective. People have always been much more willing to trust friends and acquaintances with recommendations, rather than make purchases based on advertising. But in the past word of mouth has been difficult to enact as part of an actual advertising campaign.
But now, with millennials (and many others) plugged into social media and the Internet, word of mouth can be utilized easily and cheaply by savvy businesses. Feature customer reviews on your website or social media, maintain an active Facebook and Twitter and watch Internet trends to see what’s working. For the next step up, some brands choose “influencers” –popular social media users who promote your brand through their channels, blogs, or pages.
You won’t get everyone
Millennials are a highly diverse group. Some work high-paying tech jobs. Some are deep in student debt and struggling with unemployment. Some are parents. Others are single with little thought towards marriage or children. Add in differences in education level, region, race, culture, gender, and age (someone who is 21 and someone who is 33 will have very different needs), and you’ll realize how foolhardy it is to try to appeal to all millennials. Instead, think of who your product or service will benefit and target those subgroups.
Maintaining loyalty is harder
Millennials have a reputation for being disloyal to brands. In some ways, this is true: they are less likely to stick with one brand that they are satisfied with. Instead, as they are exposed to countless alternative products through media and the Internet, they may want to experiment with different brands. However, you can maintain brand loyalty by emphasizing your purpose over your product. Brands that are doing good the in the world, or that have particularly lofty or interesting goals, are more likely to keep millennial customers loyal.