Published on Feb 14, 2017

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Marketing to Millennials – Walk your Talk.

Millennials (Gen Y) aged between 18-35, make up an increasing percentage of today’s consumers. Understanding what they want and how they respond to marketing is becoming more  important as they continue to shy away from old-fashioned selling.

Get it wrong and you may see your customer base up and walk away.

It’s not only independent retailers who are wrestling with the
changes. Even super-brands like McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken are feeling the heat as the cognizant Gen Y’s and Gen X’s start to give those companies a wider berth.

In December 2016, Roy Morgan looked at visits to McDonalds, Grill’d, and Hungry Jacks from Pre- Boomers through to Gen Z.

Results show a decrease in visits to McDonalds from Gen X over the last several years. Even more alarming for the burger-joint is a decrease in Gen Y and Gen Z visitors.

Grill’d also saw a fall in the number of visits all generations except Gen X and the Pre-Boomers, while Hungry Jacks saw visitor numbers decrease across all generations except Gen Z and the Pre-Boomers.

Roy Morgan found that Gen Y and Gen X consumers have started to visit ‘other’  hamburger shops and avoiding the larger franchises.  Roy Morgan indicated that those generations may be seeking a more personalised fast-food experience.

This might be a reflection that today’s consumers are looking for a shopping experience that they perceive as more authentic and personal.

What do they want and ‘Y’ do they want it?

More than any other generation, Millennials look for a shopping experience that engages them. They are looking for products and brands with a story they can relate to.

Social and environmental responsibility are also high on consumer’s list of expectations, according to Cohn and Wolfe’s Authentic 100.

Millennials look for a genuine commitment from brands to deliver on their promises. What you say about your product has to be true – you have to walk your talk!

Retailers who fail to do so will find quickly enough that consumers can always turn to social media and product reviews.

All of this makes an already challenging industry even more so.

You can adapt your marketing by remembering that:

  • Millennials tend to shy away from hard-sell tactics and are no longer centre on maintaining brand loyalty.
  • Retailers need to stay on top of the game with product quality and constantly adapt products to meet consumer expectations.
  • Millennials are highly mobile and tend to be connected and engaged in social media well outside established retail hours.
  • Keeping your relationship with your millennial customers may mean being available outside regular hours and having a responsive social media presence.
  • Millennials are focused on authenticity and sincerity.
  • Millennials tend to trust online reviews to ensure they are getting what they want.

Get the full run down from Cohn and Wolfe at Authentic 100 or read about Roy Morgan’s results at Boutique Burgers and Fancy Fowl.