Millennials, the generation of people born between 1981 and 1996, are now an important demographic for companies looking to hire them and sell products to them. But millennial values differ from those of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. Here are the top 5 millennial values you should consider when millennials are important to your company:
Millennials are smart. They’ve grown up with the internet, and they do their homework before making big decisions. They’re not easily fooled by marketing or sales pitches. An authentic product is more important than a famous one. A real sounding conversational voice over in a commercial is more convincing to them than a announcer voice. These young people also care about where their products come from. Local companies, small businesses and natural ingredients all align with millennial values. Millennials want to know what they’re putting in their bodies and on their skin. They also connect with stories about company founders and appreciate being a part of a larger community.
Environmental awareness and sustainability
Caring for the environment is a core millennial value. One Nielsen study has shown that about 75% of millennials are changing their buying habits because of the environment, compared to just 34% of Baby Boomers. Millennials will also spend more on products with ingredients that are sustainable, environmentally friendly, organic, natural and socially responsible. These elements also appeal to millennials when they eat out at restaurants.
Transparency, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Just the way millennials want to know where their food and products come from, they also want to be in the know about the companies they work for. They believe they should try to improve the world and want their employers to support with their millennial values of diversity and inclusion. Millennials also care about equality, climate change, peace, justice, poverty, and prosperity. According to Forbes, 79% of millennial employees are loyal to companies that care about their effect on society. Young people don’t stay at their jobs as long as older workers, and many would even take a pay cut to work at a company that aligns with their values. These beliefs also guide millennial investments.
Millennials prize experiences over physical things. They use rideshare apps like Uber instead of buying cars; they take international trips instead of buying luxury watches. Other millennial experiences include music festivals, pottery, painting, cheese plate or flower-arranging classes, outdoor movie screenings, picnics, pop-up restaurants and unique fitness classes. Many startups have capitalized upon this; for example, Blue Apron offers convenience and healthy food while also turning weeknight dinner-making into an experience. Millennials are more likely to pursue entrepreneurial actives on the side such as graphic design, writing, voice acting, web development and online coaching.
Traditional retail companies have also realized that millennials will purchase items FOR their important experiences. Experiences can also lead millennials to new companies and products. A Paint & Wine night could lead millennials to discover a local art store, for example.
Millennials stay connected with friends and family, seek out products and share their experiences on social media, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. One study found that 95% of millennials also follow brands on social media. Millennials value authentic recommendations from friends, influencers, blogs and review sites like Yelp rather than established brand names. They also use the internet to find out about sales and promo codes, and appreciate when brands share funny or entertaining content.