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If you are in a traditionally “cool” business, like a coffee shop, indy bookstore, or juice bar, it’s likely you have scads of skinny jean-wearing (or is it mom jeans now that are on trend?) young people around your store. But if you’re reading this article, most likely you don’t but you know you need them.
Roughly a quarter of the US population is considered Millennials. In 2019, they outnumbered the largest generation before them, the Baby Boomers.Plus, Millennials are no longer teenyboppers. With the oldest of their generation approaching 40, they’re coming into their steepest earning years. For a successful future, your business needs this generation. Here’s how you can get their attention and keep it.
Be About More Than Just You
In today’s business climate it is essential you stand for something outside of your own business interests. Millennials appreciate companies that give back.
If there’s a cause you’re a part of, talk about it. Make it part of your business and don’t be afraid to use cause marketing. Millennials respond very favorably to it. It makes them feel good knowing they are contributing to a worthwhile effort.
However, there’s a fine line between doing something because you believe in it and doing something because you know it will bring you attention. That line is governed by authenticity. Do not be inauthentic in your marketing.
Give Them Opportunities to Have Fun
The youngest Millennials are around 24. Many of the generation are marrying and having children later. They are waiting before they tie themselves down with responsibilities. Part of what’s behind that is that they value experiences over things. If you sell “things,” consider how you might tie that into an experience or market the experience behind the thing, showcasing what it can bring to their lives.
Appealing to their sense of fun in branding opportunities and the tone of your content is important in getting their attention. Don’t market like Don Draper if you’re trying to reach them. Chuck the stiff suits and formal language.
A pop-up used by the BrandingMuse, a site devoted to helping Millennials with their personal brand, offered a fun way to get attention. The site suggested it could make subscribers “Kardashian Famous (for the right reasons).” While this might not appeal to, or resonate with, those of us north of 45 it means something to them.
In addition to adjusting your tone to be more appealing, look for ways to reach out to them on social media. Create contests that help them shine. Post-a-“selfie” contests have big draws for this generation.
Give Them a Say
Millennials don’t believe in spending time on the sidelines, waiting for their turn to be noticed. They are ready to get involved right away. Use that in your marketing by giving them a say in product design, product offerings, and listening to their opinions. If they have input in what you’re doing, they’ll be more invested in your brand.
For the purposes of this article we stuck with generalizations about a generation. Not all will fit every person in that demographic so it’s essential you understand what works for your audience. This information can be applied to creating effective marketing campaigns to help reach Millennials but once you have, this should not be seen as a complete guide to their preferences. Get them in the door with the suggestions here and find out what appeals to them individually to keep them coming back.