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Building Relationships with the College and Millennial Market

“Millennial” has in a large way become a buzzword

Many people just use it to describe those who are younger than themselves. Because of this, it can sometimes be confusing when researching the best way to market to them. We’ve tried to fix this by writing a handy little guide! It should be noted that Millennials were born from approximately 1982-1996. This means that today they would be about 23-38. Contrary to popular belief, the youngest Millennial is already older than the typical college student. Fortunately for us, many of today’s college students have habits that fall in line with those of the Millenials before them.

Live experiences form a cornerstone of Millennial culture


Understanding who they are

Millennials prioritize experience over ownership. Many would rather go on a vacation than purchase a new tech item. While other generations would see extravagant purchases as status symbols, Millennials would be more impressed by stories of adventure and a life well lived.

Why your brand does things is almost as important as what your brand is selling. If your brand positions itself as building things for a specific reason, Millennials may find themselves agreeing with your cause.

If a portion of your companies profits are going towards something that benefits the greater good, you will likely cast yourself in a better light among Millennials. 

Why your brand does things is almost as important as what your brand is selling.

Millennials put a greater weight on how the company benefits society than any other generation. They will be more likely to purchase from companies that support their ideals, and shy away from those that go against them.

The most common of these ideals is environmentalism. It is becoming more and more common for Millennials to avoid companies that are known to be bad for the environment. However, if part of your proceeds go towards cleaning up the ocean or other social causes you can both do your part to help the community and pick up the handy side-effect of Millennials taking notice of your brand.  


Maintain an online presence

Millennials are more likely to make their next purchase through their laptop or phone than they are to purchase from a brick and mortar location.

Millennials are more savvy than other generations online, but still appreciate having a storefront to visit and see products. They like using things such as coupons, but if they have one it should be able to be used from a phone as well. If they have to print it out and bring it they won’t like it.

However, this isn’t to say that they don’t like visiting storefronts at all. They still appreciate being able to visit a location and see the product. They also like using things such as coupons, but they can be picky about them.

If they are expected to have a physical coupon rather than something they can scan on their phone, they are less likely to take advantage of the offer. They don’t want the hassle of carrying around a physical coupon or finding the means to print it if necessary.

When it comes to social media, most Millennials will follow a brand if they think they can get some sort of deal or reward out of it but will need to be extremely invested in a brand to follow it without an incentive.

Embrace the technological shift, but don't lose touch with reality


Personalization

60% of Millennials will remain loyal to a brand if they feel as though that brand is treating them right.

To earn this loyalty, companies need to respect them and treat them as human beings. Good customer service is a must.

... respect them and treat them as human beings.


Things like loyalty programs can be very effective for Millennials, and they also appreciate being shown items that you believe they would be interested in based on their shopping habits.



Advertising methods

Everyone knows that Millennials use the internet more often than any other generation. However, only 6% of them believe that online advertising is credible while 63% of Millennials use ad blockers when online.

However, this has occurred due to them feeling as though most advertisers are intrusive and irrelevant. When the advertising is more relevant and personalized, they are more likely to be influenced by it. 

They prefer in-feed advertisements so long as they don’t disrupt the overall experience of a website. 80% of Millennials find in-feed ads that are not intrusive a good user experience.

Essentially: If you are trying to advertise to Millennials online, your ad needs to be custom fit to the website you are advertising through. For example, Facebook ads need to be crafted in a way that matches the culture of the website. If they stand out too much, people will instantly be annoyed and skip past the ad. Ads should instead  follow the flow of the news feed and not interrupt the experience.

Check out this infographic for an even more in-depth look at the trends!

USCDornsife | Applied Psychology Degree


Author:
Gage Morrison