Millennials. Who are they and what do they need?

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Each generation of consumers thinks differently, and this time we’re going to analyze millennials.

Not long ago, we talked on this blog about Generation Z as consumers and strategies to attract them.

Let’s now explore how millennial consumers think, what their needs are, and what they value when purchasing products and services. This will give you an advantage when preparing your strategies.

Millennials or Generation Y: Who Are They?

The millennial generation is also known as Generation Y and includes people born approximately between the years 1981 and 1996.

It is characterized by experiencing the rise and popularization of digital technology, as well as significant changes in society and culture.

Some common characteristics of the millennial generation include:

  • Technology Usage: Millennials have grown up with technology and are considered the first digital generation. They are familiar with using computers, the internet, smartphones, and social media.
  • Connectivity: Due to technology, millennials are highly connected with each other and the world. Computers and mobile devices are extensions of themselves in their daily lives. Social media is a common tool for staying in touch with friends, family, colleagues, and sharing their lives and opinions.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Millennials value diversity and inclusion. They believe in and seek equality of rights and opportunities for all people, regardless of their ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.
  • Optimistic and Ambitious: Despite growing up in a time of economic uncertainty and social issues, millennials tend to be optimistic and have a strong desire for success in their careers and life in general.
  • Work-Life Balance: Unlike previous generations, millennials tend to prioritize work-life balance. They value leisure time, work flexibility, and seek jobs that allow them to pursue their passions and interests outside of work.
  • Social and Environmental Awareness: Millennials often have a stronger social and environmental awareness than previous generations. They care about social and environmental issues and look for ways to contribute to positive change.

What Do Millennials Look for in Brands?

The characteristics mentioned above influence how individuals belonging to the millennial generation behave in their relationship with brands.

This is the first generation accustomed to interacting with brands through digital channels, such as customer service and social media.

In these interactions, they seek and expect brands to align with their values.

Authenticity: Millennials value authenticity in brands. They look for companies that are transparent, honest, and consistent in their communication and actions. They prefer brands that display their true identity and align with their values.

Purpose and Values: This generation seeks brands that have a purpose beyond just selling products or services. They want companies to care about social, environmental, and ethical issues. They value brands that commit to important causes and work to make a positive impact on society.

Not just talking about it but demonstrating it through concrete actions.

Experience and Personalization: Millennials seek unique and personalized experiences. They value brands that offer products or services tailored to their individual needs and allow them to actively participate in creating their shopping experience.

Innovation and Technology: Since millennials have grown up in the digital age, they tend to appreciate innovation and technology in brands. They will appreciate companies that use technological advances to enhance the customer experience, such as mobile apps, online services, and streamlined processes.

Transparency and Responsibility: Millennials care about the impact brands have on society and the environment. They look for companies that are transparent in their business practices and take responsibility for their social and environmental impact. They value brands that adopt sustainable and ethical practices in their supply chain and operations.

According to a study conducted by Zebra Technologies, for example, 80% of consumers consider sustainability and personalization when making vehicle purchase decisions.

Interaction and Participation: Millennials seek a more interactive relationship with brands. They want to be heard, participate in conversations, and have the opportunity to collaborate with companies in creating products, services, or campaigns. They value brands that encourage customer participation and respond quickly and effectively to their feedback and concerns.

How Can Brands Strengthen Their Relationship with Millennials?

Millennials are a desirable group for brands. If we look at the numbers, they make up the largest consumer group in recent years. They are young, educated, and willing to invest and spend money on products and services of interest to them.

It’s important to note that their values determine what and how they consume. The use of social media is one of the defining characteristics of millennials, even in consumption: they seek promotions, compare products, and rely on the comments of peers.

Millennials are entering their 40s and are an economically active population. It’s important to consider that they are more established at this age, and in many cases, they are the parents of Generation Z, so much of their perspective will pass on to them.
Therefore, this is a strategic generation for brands.

We’ve seen that flexible work, sustainability, and responsible consumption are some of the key indicators in their decisions.

What can brands do to connect with the millennial generation? Here are some key strategies:

  • Active Listening
  • Generate Relevant Content
  • Interact
  • Create Shareable and Personalized Experiences

Adaptation of Brands to Millennial Consumer Trends

Given what we’ve discussed, here are some strategies that brands should consider to adapt to millennial consumer trends:

  • Presence on Digital Platforms: Brands must have a strong presence on digital platforms relevant to this generation, such as Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. It’s important to use these platforms to communicate with millennials, share relevant content, and promote products or services.
  • Personalized Customer Experience: We’ve mentioned that millennials value personalization and unique experiences. Brands can offer customization options for their products or services, allowing customers to tailor them to their individual preferences. Additionally, providing a seamless and hassle-free customer experience across all touchpoints, both online and in the physical environment, can build loyalty in this generation.
  • Social Responsibility and Sustainability: Companies should be transparent about their business practices, demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility and sustainability, and support important causes. This can include using sustainable materials, supporting charitable organizations, or promoting equality and diversity.
  • Authentic and Transparent Communication: Communicate honestly and consistently, avoiding excessive use of advertising messages and focusing on genuine connection with your audiences. This involves sharing the brand’s story, core values, and concrete actions that support its claims.
  • Technological Innovation: Embrace technological innovation to provide relevant experiences. This can include using artificial intelligence, virtual or augmented reality, and other emerging technologies to enhance customer interaction and create unique products or services.
  • Active Interaction and Participation: Surveys, contests, events, or even inviting them to participate in the creation of new products.
    Listening to and effectively responding to millennials’ opinions and feedback helps strengthen the relationship with them.

How Can We Are Testers Help Brands Win Over Millennials?

By adapting to these consumption trends, brands can increase their relevance and appeal to millennials, building lasting relationships and generating loyalty in this key market segment.

We Are Testers can assist brands in various stages of these processes through our tools.

  • Active Listening: We can research their interests, needs, pain points, and concerns. Specific tools may vary, including surveys, focus groups, or online communities.
  • Online Sales Analysis: We can analyze consumption patterns, product preferences, and purchasing behaviors.
  • Usability Analysis: We can help identify usability needs and issues with tools and platforms. Improving and ensuring a good user experience is essential.
  • Benchmarking and Trend Analysis: We can assist in identifying current trends. This helps understand their tastes, interests, lifestyles, as well as opportunities and challenges for your brand to reach this generation.

In any case, our research is conducted in a personalized manner. We will take care of the design phase, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

Update date 22 December, 2023

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