Millennials are not angst-filled, skinny-jeans-wearing, side-swept-bangs-sporting hipsters, according to Mooslyvania, an independent digital advertising agency.
The company recently conducted a survey that refutes the most common myths associated with this generation and presents data on what really motivates Millennials in how they think, shop, buy and continue purchasing their favorite brands.
While there’s no cookie-cutter recipe for defining a Millennial, Moosylvania says the 2014 Moose Millennial Study Data can help marketers eager to please this generation—defined as anyone between the ages of 13 and 33—better understand how to connect and create a long-term friendship with Millennials. Millennials in general account for nearly $1.3 trillion in consumer spending and spend the second most amount of time online—87 percent as much as Gen Xers.
Overall, Millennials identify with themselves as being incredibly self-confident and independent yet seek constant reassurance from friends and family when it comes to shopping, buying and making purchases. Whether shopping alone or in a group, they remain digitally connected, contacting friends and family for advice or opinions via text, phone call or social media. While 57 percent surveyed say they tell their friends about their purchases, 44 percent prefer to “show off” their purchases, even if it’s in subtle ways. Millennials are not alone; of the 1,000 surveyed nationwide, the study reveals 85 percent of them live with a significant other, roommate or parent.
In addition, it’s not about major brands, but brands that have done their homework to connect with the Millennial consumer across multiple touchpoints—to “friend” them, so to speak. For example, when asked—unprompted—to name their top three favorites, 58 brands were mentioned five times or more. The survey results reflect what these 58 companies are doing right to connect with Millennials.
Millennials fully expect marketers to be upfront when it comes to answering questions, to practice what they preach and build trusting relationships with them by using context-driven content spread across a variety of platforms. It’s definitely not a one-hit ad crowd.
“For years, advertising served the role of reassurance and endorsement,” said Norty Cohen, founder and CEO of Moosylvania. “That role has changed tremendously. Our job as marketers is to understand how dynamically the connectivity of the next generation of consumer is evolving. For example, 40 percent of these Millennials have signed up to receive emails from their favorite brands. Think about that—the average person looks at their phone more than 150 times a day—and email is right in there with social media for this hit of self-assurance.”
Millennials are definitely head over heels for certain brands they perceive to be as authentic as themselves, according to the study. In addition to Facebook (59 percent), the top ways in which Millennials advocate for their favorite brands include telling their friends (57 percent) and shopping in store (54 percent). Facebook also is a natural stopping-off point for Millennials to learn more about brands they love. In fact, the ubiquitous social media platform outranks brand websites nearly two to one as the go-to for product discovery.
In advertising, Millennials desire ad experiences that are more context driven and spread across multiple platforms. Videos, product reviews and how-tos for many product categories resonate with this generation.
The 2014 Moose Millennial Study Data surveyed 1,000 people about their buying, shopping and purchasing attitudes. The online study was finalized in January by Moosylvania and Great Questions.