How to future-proof your business so it's relevant to millennials

Millennials have been a favourite topic of the media for some time now. They’re infamous for their love of avocados. They’re commiserated for their struggle to get on the housing ladder. And they’re known for spending most of their lives online – an average of 25 hours a week, according to Advertising Age.

But who are millennials exactly? And in terms of market trends, what characterises their behaviours? Here’s a short piece to give you a flavour.

Remind me – what’s a millennial?

Born

Millennial                         After 1980
Generation X                  1964 - 1980
Baby Boomer                  1946 - 1964

Experiences over items

Compared to other generations, millennials love experiences. Research carried out by Eventbrite shows that 78% would rather spend money on an experience or event than an item.

One reason for this is a phenomenon known as FOMO: Fear of Missing Out. Millennials are constantly surrounded by images and videos on social media platforms. They’re used to seeing their peers and idols experiencing the very best things that life has to offer. And constant exposure to this only fuels their FOMO.

This has had a big impact on the economy. Bloomberg reported that travel and leisure related stocks outperformed retailers in 2016. They believed that this was down to the changing way millennials chose to spend their cash.

A healthy bunch

Nielson’s Les Mills Global Fitness Survey in 2014 shows that millennials have embraced health and fitness more than any other generation. They see that pursuing a healthy lifestyle is the best way to improve their emotional and physical wellbeing.

One driving force in millennials’ keen interest in fitness is social media, particularly YouTube. Research carried out by the online platform suggests that it now reaches more 18-49-year olds than any TV channel. The rise of the fitness vlogger has helped to create online communities of millennials striving to reach the same goals.

Retailers have taken note of this active millennial lifestyle. Companies like ASOS have expanded their fitness clothing and accessories ranges to take advantage of this trend and their sales are soaring.

Sharing is caring

The CEO of Nestlé recently suggested that millennials are willing to pay more if they know that a product is ethically sourced. Research shows that 73% of millennials are willing to spend more on a product if they believe that their purchase will have a positive social impact.

Once again, social media is largely responsible for this phenomenon. It’s created an environment where millennials get to research and share the causes they care about. They also have the power to quickly and easily criticise companies they disagree with by voicing negative opinions online.

In addition, data collected by the Vegan Society found that 42% of all vegans in the UK are aged between 15 and 34. The perceived benefits of veganism have spread rapidly to millennials who are not only curious about improving their lifestyle but who also want to do their bit for the environment.

So, what’s your business doing to engage with millennials? Are you thinking about their habits when it comes to selling your services? And what about their expectations when it comes to career opportunities? One thing’s for certain, it’s an audience group all businesses should be thinking about.

April Bembridge
Head of the People Team

E: aprilb@pkfcooperparry.com

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