How Can Small Businesses Market to the Millenial Generation?


Whether you think the millenial generation is entitled and depersonalized by over exposure to the internet, or the greatest new wave of thinkers in decades, the truth remains that this demographic of those born between 82′ to 93′ is becoming an increasingly important one as the boomer generation retires. Not only are millenials a larger generation than the Boomers, numbering around 777 million as reported by a recent Forbes article, but they are gaining purchasing power as they start to move up in the workforce. Small business owners should take the growing importance of millenials and their influence on consumption habits within the US as a signal to start thinking towards the future, defining how their brands can grow as their customers change.

Understanding the millenial generation is the key to creating brand appeal for your small business. A report by the US Chamber of Commerce on the millenial generation defines them as optimistic, diverse and generally accepting, as well as driven by a deep understanding of technology as well as a desire to connect while maintaining a personal image or brand that reflects their unique values. Many will serve as active advocates for brands they are interested in, meaning that the love of a connected audience can be hugely beneficial for brands seeking organic exposure. In order for a small business to create bonds with the millenial generation, it should therefore take the time to develop a social media presence that encourages engagement and discussion on the part of customers. Millenials want to have their voices heard and seek to engage with brands that they feel are genuine and offer a well crafted product. Success on the part of message driven brands like Chipotle demonstrates that a well planned, message driven video campaign can  create huge buzz among these connected consumers.

How can you connect as a small business owner? One of the best ways to connect with a millenial customer base is to make your brand visible on social media such as instagram, and even newer methods of consuming video like Vine. These networks are very popular in particular on mobile devices, which are important to the millenial generation as a means to stay connected remotely. Coming across as genuine is also another important aspect of appealing to millenials, many of whom are wary of large corporations after living through news of scandals and collapses of Lehman and Enron, to name a couple notable events. Be accessible, encourage discussion and be yourself are the best pieces of advice for those looking for a stronger relationship with millenial consumers.

Photo Credit to ITUPictures on Flickr

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