millennialsAlso known as “Generation  Y”, Millennials are those 9 million Canadians who were born between 1980 and 2000 (13 – 33 year olds).

They represent the largest generation in Canada since the Baby Boomers…and are expected to have just as much impact.

By 2020 Millennials will represent more than 40% of the Canadian working-age population (Abacus Data).

They are the consumer group you need to get to know. 

Those companies that truly “get” the Millennials and engage with them appropriately have an opportunity to differentiate themselves in the marketplace and forge long-term relationships with their customers. (The Millennial Consumer)

For years Millennials have been the subject of surveys, research, commentary, news headlines and even a few books.

Like with the Baby Boomers, there is no shortage of information about this generation. For you, the business owner, let’s look at 5 big ways your company can stay relevant among Generation Y.

Five Ways to Stay Relevant Among Millennials

1. Be Accessible on Social Networks

It’s no surprise that Millennials are connected on social media websites, 9 in 10 have a Facebook account, compared to 7 in 10 Boomers (Are You Ready for Us? An Introduction to Canadian Millennials).

Social Media AppsAccording to the 2013 Millennial Impact Report, 1/3 of Millennials prefer brands that have Facebook pages and mobile websites; and 1 in 2 explore brands on social media websites (Boston Consulting Group).

Although Facebook is still the most popular (93%), other frequently used social channels are Twitter (53%), Google+ (45%), Tumblr (31%), Pinterest (26%) and Instagram (Millennials Are Leading The Social Media Explosion).

Attempting to go “all in” with every social network out there can be overwhelming…and over kill. So here’s what I recommend: pick the one, or three, that are most relevant (to your brand and customers) and do them really well.

What you don’t want is to appear out of touch when customers and potential customers look for you online. What you also don’t want is for them to find your competitors, instead of you.

Contact us if you need help with social media.

2. Allow Them to Customize Their Experience

Last week I was in Fredericton and wanted to check out the new Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt that opened on Regent Street.

Menchie’s is different from the places you’re used to going for an ice cream.  Rather than choosing from a pre-defined list of ice cream creations, at Menchie’s you create your own.

Menchie's ToppingsWith nearly 20 flavors of frozen yogurt, and dozens of toppings – it’s a serve-yourself ice cream buffet.

Menchie’s is the poster child for a company creating relationships with Millennials.

And you know what else? The place was PACKED. Packed with teens, young adults and kids with their parents…all willing to spend $5+ for a frozen yogurt – their frozen yogurt.

Are there changes your company could make that would allow your customers to create or customize their own experience?

Another brand that gets this right: FRANK Personalized Debit Cards

3. Be Easy and Convenient to Do Business With

A survey of U.S. Millennials by the Boston Consulting Group found they value speed, ease and convenience when transacting with a business. Things like getting through the line quickly were valued more than ‘friendly service’.

Think about the experience of doing business with your company…could something be added, or taken away, to make it more convenient? Easier? Faster?

Your answer may lie in technology, as you’ll see below.

4. Keep Up With the (Technology) Times

Millennials Using Their Mobile PhoneUnlike previous generations, the Millennials have mostly grown up WITH technology, and the Internet, as part of their lives. As expected, Millennials tend to be early adopters, and frequent users of new technology.

It’s no joke to say that Gen Y can’t live without their cell phone or laptop. I recently read about a survey that found 53% of those aged 16 – 22 and 48% of those aged 23 – 30 would give up their own sense of smell if it meant they could keep an item of technology like a cell phone or laptop!

Are you keeping up with the times and allowing customers the ease and convenience of doing business with you on their terms?

If you’re a car dealership, can your customers receive a text message (rather than voicemail) when their vehicle is done being serviced, or due for service?

Doctors, Dentists, salons…you could all be offering your customers their choice of contact method.

If you’re a restaurant, can your customers make their reservation easily online?

Is a list of your products, including prices, available online? Can customers shop online via your website if they prefer?

5. Be Socially Responsible

Millennials care about social issues, and expect the companies they buy from to care as well. This finding comes up again and again.

Be Socially ResponsibleA report by Abacus Data reveals that 51% of Millennials over the age of 18 consider themselves to be someone who shops for products and services they consider to be ethically made.

AND, they’d be willing to pay 16% more for such a product, higher than any other generation (Are You Ready for Us? An Introduction to Canadian Millennials).

Also falling into this category of top-of-mind issues important to Millennials are: environmental protection, public health, the green movement and eco-friendly living.

Need Help With Any of This?
Please contact us via this website, or call 506-645-7402. ~ Sara


Photo Credits:
Social Media Apps by Jason Howie
Menchie’s by Dale Chumbley
City Bus by Official Blackberry Images
Laughing Girls by Martin @ Flickr