Millennial consumers, comprising the biggest spending generation ever, have already started transforming the global economy. In a forecast by Rappler.com, about half of the global workforce by 2020 will come from this generation. Filipino millennials, for instance, have already comprised one-third of the country’s total population. Hence, millennial consumers have been fueling the local economic growth since the past few years.
The Millennial Consumer: Debunking Stereotypes, published by The Boston Consulting Group (2012), affirmed that millennial consumers have already been shelling out and influencing the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars annually – a figure expected to balloon as these millennials reach their prime earning and spending years.
Forming a megamarket, millennial consumers have always been a target to many companies, however struggling connecting with them primarily because their spending behaviors remain far beyond accurate account.
In a Forbes article, Dan Schawbel presumed that the fierce competition among companies for millennial mindshare has just begun. Equally important, the struggle in establishing a connection with millennial consumers lies on the fact that many traditional methods of advertising are found ineffective at capturing their attention. Backed by research, here are the six (6) surprising facts about millennial consumers:
1. Millennials spend more on experiences over material things.
Millennial consumers have been observed fueling the growth of start-ups like Airbnb, WeWork, Uber, and those on the forefront of ‘experience economy’ upon assigning greater importance to personal experiences over cars and homes, as per CNBC report. In an Eventbrite’s research with American millennials conducted by Harris, it has been found that more than 8 in 10 millennials (82%) actively participate in live experiences – concerts, parties, performing arts, and themed sports.
In the Philippines, data gathered by Google Trends (2017) conveyed a significant online search growth (19%) for travel and tourism in the 2nd quarter among Filipino millennials. Hence, it is indicative that more and more millennial consumers have been showing interest in gaining experiences over material things. They spend on bigger and more adventurous bucket lists to build unique experiences, Adobo Magazine confirmed.
2. Millennial consumers shop with a conscience.
Millennials celebrate brand purpose. As millennials get older, they demand more transparency in terms of sustainable and ethical manufacturing standards. Millennial consumers give their brand loyalty and trust to socially-responsible companies that direct their initiatives towards the betterment of the society.
Surprisingly, millennials are a cause-conscious generation. Yes, majority of millennial consumers are willing to pay more for products and services made available in the market for positive social and environmental causes, according to the 2015 Nielsen’s Global Corporate Sustainability Report.
3. Millennials are skeptical about advertisements.
Millennial consumers, being a highly brand-focused cohort, mistrust traditional advertising. With accessible social networks, they have developed reliance on their friends’ recommendations and online reviews when making big purchases. Hence, millennial consumers believe that their social media friends are more trustworthy sources of information, according to B&T Magazine.
Being ad averse, millennials have learned how to get rid of these online advertisement banners and distracting pop-ups with installed adblockers. Though a threat to lucrative revenues, online publishers and marketers should take it an opportunity to innovate and provide a better user experience.
4. Millennial consumers want to co-create with brands.
Millennials are empowered digital creators and critics. Millennial Marketing, in an effort to provide insights and commentary on the latest millennial consumer and marketing trends, revealed that 40% of millennial consumers demand involvement in co-creating with their trusted brands.
Millennials admit that they need not reject the status quo, rather rework things out to leave a lasting impact. Hence, they always welcome dialogues and demand innovative consumer experience to meet their changing needs.
5. Millennials put a premium on speed and convenience.
Filipino millennials invest in broadband speed, trust convenience stores for emergency purchases, rely on the web for quick how-to guides, and find convenience in doing online banking transactions.
In addition, young millennial investors have opted for online stock trading and investing platforms. Aside from speed and convenience of transactions, these platforms offer greater investment control and personalization.
6. Millennials develop a social responsibility to provide feedback.
As said earlier, millennials demand involvement in the upgrade of products and services. They understand much how social media create a ripple effect upon sharing good and bad experiences with brands. With this, companies and service providers are forced to treat customer satisfaction a priority.
Overall, a great deal of misinformation and stereotype exist about millennials. However, one thing is certain – they are transforming the global economy with their distinct earning and spending habits. Understanding the attributes of millennial consumers is imperative to the success of innovative marketing strategies.