Millennials or Generation Y has its common characteristics just like other generations. They are self-expressive and tech-savvy. Most Millennials grew up in an era of electronics overload with access to the internet and social media. Twenty percent of these young adults have at least one immigrant parent and they are the most ethnically diverse generation of all times. This makes them more tolerant and community minded than any other generation before them. Generation Y saw their parents slowly climbing the corporate ladder through hard work and had their lives turn up side down when their parents were laid off during the economic downturn. As such, Millennials do not wish to suffer the same faith and are making their own rules.
This generation proved that they are not content with the status quo and they are challenging society regarding a host of social issues including faith, sexuality, gender roles, environmental issues, discrimination, immigration and education. If the excitement about Senator Bernie Sanders running for president or the warm welcome of Bruce Jenner becoming Caitlyn Jenner is any indication then this generation believes that it is time for a change or what some of their parents would call an “unconventional approach”.
No wonder, therefore that these young minds believe that organizations must act for the benefit of society and will turn away from those organizations that are not socially responsible or have conflicting values from their own. 76 million Millennials with $1.68 Trillion in purchasing power are forcing companies to listen and take notes. Their purchasing habits are different and they do not respond to traditional messages that pressured most of their parents into marriage, corporate jobs, buying cars, buying houses with a white picket fence, or having kids at an early age. In order to communicate with Millennials organizations should consider the followings:
• Most Millennials are no longer watching TV, reading the newspaper, or listening to the radio. Communicate with them through new channels where they can be reached such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat.
• Millennials are smart, practical and tech-savvy. This means that they are accustomed to doing their own research and reading reviews. Provide sufficient resource material that can facilitate their research, show how you can solve their problems and monitor and address reviews.
• Crowdtap reports that Millenials spend 17.8 hours consuming media in a 24 hour period. Since they are bombarded with messages any communication needs to be short, meaningful and attention grabbing.
• Millennials are aware and it is important for them to know who they are doing business with. They want to deal with companies who support progression; as such companies need to communicate such values in their messages.
• Once they have an experience with your company, compel them to share their experiences with their friends.
• As we noted this is also the generation that does not want to be just a number, but wants to be unique. As such, companies need to give these young individuals the opportunity to “customize” products as much as possible.
• Lastly, listen to them! They are smart, fascinating and forging great changes that should have taken place a long time ago. Companies who listen and embrace the new ideas advocated by Millennials will not only be more successful in business but will be assisting this great generation in their quest to change our world for the better.
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