Millennials (also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y) is used to describe a group of individuals who were born between 1980 and 2000. This generation makes up for roughly 25% of the U.S. population with an annual expenditure of approximately $200 billion. They are known for being innovative, adaptable and trendsetting. Companies, especially those in the timeshare industry, have been struggling to connect with this generation because many traditional advertising methods have proven to be ineffective at capturing their attention.
In order to better understand the behavior of this extremely important group of consumers, Forbes partnered with Elite Daily, the voice of Generation Y, on a new comprehensive study that was released earlier this year. This research found millennials to be well educated, career oriented individuals who surprisingly are brand loyal to quality products and actively engage with brands. Here are the top 10 findings that were gathered from this study where 1,300 millennials were interviewed.
1. They would rather buy a car and rent a home.A whopping 71% of millennials say they would rather buy than lease a car, where as 59% would rather rent a house than buy one. However, 61% admit that they can’t afford to buy a house; so this preference makes perfect sense. The millennial generation has been severely impacted by the economy. A large portion of this age group is still living at home with their parents, has large amounts of student debt, and are underemployed. Consequently, they are getting married later in life and are waiting longer to own a home when they are more stable. On the other hand, owning a car is less expensive. Since they need to get around, and owning a car works out to be cheaper than leasing one in the long run, most millennials tend to go this route.
2. Their future inheritance won’t change their buying behavior.Accenture predicts that Baby Boomers will pass down $300 million in inheritance money to millennials in the upcoming years. However, an astonishing 57% claim that this money won’t change their spending habits. This is surprising because most people would expect them to spend more after receiving their money. This mentality indicates that millennials may be more practical when it comes to their finances than many realize.
3. They aren’t influenced by advertising.A mere 1% of individuals stated that a compelling advertisement would make them trust a brand more. Most millennials don’t believe that advertising is authentic and prefer to skip over commercials when possible. This is why commercial free TV such as Hulu and Netflix have become so popular over the past few years.
4. They review blogs before making a purchase.33% of millennials rely mostly on blogs before making a purchase, compared to less than 3% who rely on TV news, magazines and books. Older generations rely more on traditional mediums, while millennials turn to social media for a more authentic take on things. They are especially influenced by content written by their peers, whom they trust. This is why sites such as TripAdvisor have become so popular, because millennials tend to trust consumer reviews over advertisements.
5. They value authenticity as more important than content. The study shows that 43% of millennials rank authenticity over content when consuming news. They have to feel comfortable and trust a news source, company and/or blog before reading the content that is produced. Millennials connect best with people as opposed to logos and want to know that they are getting advice or reading news from an authentic unbiased source.
6. They want to engage with brands on social networks.As much as 62% of millennials say that they are more likely to become brand loyal to companies that engage with them on social networks. Millennials appreciate having a connection with brands and enjoy engaging with them. They expect brands to not only be on social networks but to also have interesting and entertaining content that attracts engagement. Companies with brand ambassadors tend to be very good at this because millennials feel a more personal connection with an individual.
7. They are brand loyal.Surprisingly, the majority of millennials are indeed brand loyal. 60% said that they are often or always loyal to brands that they currently purchase. They know what they like and they stick to it, so developing a strong connection with this group is key because they will continue to purchase from you over and over.
8. They want to be a part of the product development process.Known for being innovative and trendsetting, it should come as no surprise that 42% of millennials said they are interested in helping companies develop future products and services. Surprisingly many companies are not taking advantage of this. Typically, companies create new products in hopes that their target market will consume them. However, when it comes to millennials, they want to be involved in the product development process and companies that allow them to do just that.
9. They are using multiple tech devices.87% of millennials are using as much as two or three tech devices at least once daily. It is not uncommon for them to use a desktop or laptop at work during the day, use a cell phone all throughout the day and then surf the web on a tablet or ipad at night. 39% are either very or completely likely to purchase a tablet computer in the next five years, while 30% are for wearable devices. Millennials are all for new technology so it’s important for companies to make sure that their products/services are compatible with the latest tech devices if they want to reach these consumers.
10. They expect brands to give back to society.Millennials care about where their money is going. In fact, the majority of them prefer to purchase from companies that practice philanthropy. 75% said that it’s either fairly or very important that a company gives back to society instead of just making a profit. Millennials are still recovering from the aftermath of the financial crisis so many will not support or tolerate corporate greed. They love brands that support their local communities, this makes them feel better about their purchase.