The millennial market is sometimes both revered and feared in equal measure, it seems. Long touted a force that marketers ignore at their own peril, this group of 18 to 35 year olds is only increasing in its power to influence any number of commercial decisions.
From choice of distribution channels (online, please) to product design (convenient, digital, fast), this group is even influencing the way companies talk about themselves and their products in the public arena. Exaggerate even slightly, and you risk being mocked publicly in multiple online forums – and then having these posts go viral. In fact, the millennial generation will only increase its buying power and sway over business decisions as it enters its next stage of financial potency and finds some serious coin to play with. So what is there to learn about this generation, and how can financial technology services use this knowledge to tailor their offering accordingly?
They want what they want, when they want it….
It’s a digital world out there. Everything you might need or just want can be yours in a whim with the right app. From a relaxing massage in the privacy of your own home (thanks, Airtasker), to a puppy to borrow for a day (hello, Bark’n’Borrow), almost anything can be found and procured in minutes from a mobile phone these days. This is why financial services that require consumers to enter their branch for any reason are, quite frankly, going to die out. Financial services requiring long application forms are going to die out. Financial services that ask for physical paperwork are going to die out. If you can’t create a self-service offering accessible within minutes from a mobile device – and advertised in a no-nonsense way across social media – you are absolutely going to render yourself irrelevant to this important market. Fact.
They can’t be fooled
Millennials have grown up with the world quite literally at their fingertips – and by that I mean via their mobiles. No longer do they need to enter a physical store location to browse clothes, cars, electronics… or finance. Online fashion portals, such as ASOS or Etsy, mean consumers can view hundreds of brands from one single site. Financial comparison sites, such as Finder or Mozo, allow consumers to compare dozens of competitors on a single screen, meaning outrageously high prices will stick out like a sore thumb. So gone are the days of low accountability in financial services. Your product can be compared to hundreds of others in seconds. And a bad review will be similarly observable. What this means is that no amount of clever advertising will be able to trump a simply better product.
They will pay to get what they want, when they want it
Meet generation convenience. Studies have shown that millennials are busy, busy, busy. So they don’t have time to wait an extra week to receive what they want, just to save a buck. Typically, it’s a generation that would prefer to pay a few extra dollars in return for getting what they want, now. This isn’t to say that they are completely price sensitive. But it does demonstrate that it may pay to put more effort into delivering a super-fast and convenient product than cutting corners on cost to lower your price.
They don’t want to hear your bull…
Millennials don’t have time for your corporate grandstanding. Companies touting their own success… blowing their own horn… talking up their product and SHOUTING at their customers, potential investors, anyone else who may be within earshot…It’s no longer enough to tell people you’re good. The best products and services are simply so good that your customers will tell everyone about it on your behalf. As an example, think back to the first time you used Uber. Probably told a friend or two, right? Because it was just such an easy service to use. Create a product that will get spoken about naturally.
They will talk, whether it’s good news or bad
“The pizza #arnottsshapes are an abomination. They’ve totally ruined it! 🙁 ”
“We’ve had success hiring help thru AirTasker, definitely a fan. Great platform for finding people for one-off work.”
The rise and rise of social media means good news travels fast – but no one is safe either. Create a product that serves the consumer first. Speak about it honestly. Listen to feedback, and adapt accordingly.
Watch your popularity – and profitability – grow.