Millennials use the internet more than any other online generation and are subsequently changing the way brands express themselves and communicate with customers. Having grown up with mobile phones and computers in their life, the majority of millennials are much more tech savvy than most the previous generation X.
It is obvious that millennials are more inclined to shop online, stream video content and use social media networks. Yet understanding the consumer psychology of generation Y is more difficult than you imagine.
On the surface, there appears to be a conflict in terms. For example, millennials do not trust traditional advertising and prefer brands that show authenticity. Yet 82% interact with brands or retailers and 49% are happy to follow their favourite companies.
Brands with social responsibility receive a high percentage of the following, but millennials are also more inclined to discover new brands with 38% actively searching for experiences from undiscovered brands.
Generation Y are also more influenced by blogs and use brand content as a top media source before making a purchasing decision. They have little interest in TV and magazine ads and are not persuaded by marketing that feels deceptive.
What brands appeal to millennials?
Brands will find most millennials through mobile devices although consume more content across multiple devices than any other generation. The favourite hang outs are social media networks and 62% report they are more inclined to purchase from brands and become a loyal customer when there is engagement through social networks.
So what content is generation Y mostly drawn to? They prefer content that is personalised towards their own interests – both in-store and on digital platforms. This is why consumer data is vitally important to analyse and act upon. Misplaced advertising is treated with contempt as millennials do not waste their time with brands that send them offers for products they have no interest in.
The reason for that is because millennials are particularly cash conscious and can only afford to spend money on things they need; clothes, foods and services, although socialising is where a good percentage of their money goes. They have little left for luxuries.
Brands that offer economy rates and good value for money can capitalise on the psychology of young shoppers, but the most successful brands targeting this age bracket are companies that produce goods with social or environmental benefits.
One of the biggest surprises is that millennials are not persuaded by advice given by industry experts. Their purchasing decisions are mostly influenced by family, friends and strangers on peer review sites and celebrities, particularly when it comes to lifestyle choices and apparel.
The consumer buying habits of generation Y is changing the way marketers have to consider marketing strategies and the type of content you publish. Whilst millennials look inwards and prefer personalised services, they are also highly conscious of the world around them and care about social and environmental issues.