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Gaining a customer’s attention was probably a bit simpler back in the 90s.
Apart from the fact that there were fewer competitors to tackle, the customers were simply different. The change came once a new generation was born. The kind of generation, which requires a lot from any service or product and one that hasn’t been understood fully just yet - millennials.
So - what characterizes millennials?
Simon Sinek - a British marketing specialist and author - characterizes the millennials in a humoristic way as a "generation of weakness".
But a more truthful view would be that they value independence - especially job-wise. There are multiple articles, books and views on how millennials behave in workplaces and how individual they wish to feel. It’s no coincidence that a startup is what many millennials dream of. A workplace with a flatter hierarchy, where people actively support and influence the business idea - rather than being a cog in the machine. Take us as an example - Packhelp is currently covering the whole EU, we have recently localized our website for new markets, whilst still maintaining a start-up structure and atmosphere.
As customers, millennials can be characterized by several traits.
For example, they love variety. That’s why travelling or being a “foodie” is such a big thing for them. It’s all about trying new stuff and being open to new experiences.
But at the same time, millennials love their phones and social media accounts. Sometimes it’s hard to glue them off from the screens, in order to grasp their attention. Their portrait paints quite a challenge for modern businesses. People, who love exciting experiences in the real world, but also tend to spend lots of their time in the virtual one.
The key should be their biggest addiction then - the Internet. Because that’s where they are mostly, right?
That’s a really misleading presumption. It’s not that simple. Although it has become a popular statement - “ to be active on various social media”, not so many understand its true meaning. Its true meaning is that a company needs to use diversified channels and really take care of the content.
And by diversified channels, we don’t mean social media only. You can post every day on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope and dozens of other platforms and still have no conversion.
People will be viewing your profiles and your content, but in the end, they will not go to your website and be intrigued enough to purchase the product.
You need to create a need to buy, astonish, intrigue. Hence, diversified channels require a mixture of social media promotion, but also strategies like guest posts and branded packaging. If you plan a campaign, make sure you utilise more than just Facebook.
Furthermore, many companies misunderstand this generation’s traits.
Millennials are egocentric - that's true. But try to see it this way - they are interested in nurturing their private lives. They see the need for self-development and enriching life experiences. Furthermore, in an article published in Business Insider, we find:
- That apart from loving healthy “fast food” and emojis, millennials tend to value time management, customer service and creative marketing.
- At the same time, they usually dislike false and out-dated services.
Plus, there's one more thing. Even if millennials love to text and post stuff on the Internet, they firstly need something interesting to post first. That is the key to the excitement they crave - if someone buys a product in an ordinary box, there is no reason to post it online, is there?
What is the solution then?
One of the solutions is packaging.
In Packhelp, we know that a box is no longer just a piece of material that is supposed to protect the product until it’s opened.
A box is the beginning of an experience for the customer. Especially for a generation so obsessed with lots of content generated constantly. If a product is delivered on time, in a smartly designed packaging, the chance to appeal to millennials is much higher.
And more generally speaking, millennials are a generation fascinated with the words like “custom”, “individual” etc. Therefore, the product should be tailored to meet those personalised needs. In planning communication targeted at millennials, you should remember:
- The strategy needs to be rich content-wise, with lots of pictures
- The service needs to be transparent for the customer
- Apart from social media, utilize other tools to increase brand awareness - like customised boxes!
And one last advice - don’t call the millennials “millennials” - apparently they dislike it!