Who are Millennials?
Millennials are the Digital Generation – they are raised by the Internet and thrive in a digitally social environment. Digital marketing therefore takes precedence over any other forms of engagement with Millennials. Millennials are the fastest growing consumption market globally, and therefore worth investing your brand to engage.
Born between 1980 to 2000, they’re the new homeowners, prospective parents, and working professionals entering the prime of their earning capacities. Millennials are commonly misperceived as self-absorbed and disconnected with society, but Euromonitor research has revealed that they are in fact a pluralistic segment with three dominant sub-types emerging across cultures. They are: the Undaunted Striver, the Social Connectors, and the Independent Skeptic.
The Undaunted Striver seeks to make the most of the changing times. You can spot them carrying the latest gadgets and often narrating their latest accomplishments. They are status conscious, living by the motto “Show the best and hide the rest”.
Appearances and status matter to the undaunted striver, they want to be esteemed as rising stars, young upstarts, and first adopters of technological solutions. Undaunted Strivers represent about 1 in 5 of Millennials globally, with an average income of S$72,000 annually at age 35.
Marketing Potential: Undaunted Strivers are most likely to endorse an opinion on social media and most likely to make online purchases related to their social endorsements. 42% of them actively contribute to social media content, and 74% of them make at least monthly purchases online. Thus they are often the most targeted Millennial consumer segment.
Digital Marketing Approach: Undaunted Strivers are highly opinionated and status conscious. Thus digital marketing has to engage their egos: campaigns that align with their ambitions, digital content designed to facilitate their self-promotion online, and products that they will be proud to carry and able to flaunt.
The Undaunted Striver is often the most targeted group among the Millennials due to their high earning capacities, and willingness to spend. However instead of engaging their egos, most brands miss the mark and try to engage them via their social connections (group discounts, content sharing campaigns, etc.).
While Undaunted Strivers do maintain large social networks, these networks serve more as audiences than as fellows. Campaigns that target social connections should instead be targeted at the next group, the Social Connectors.
The Social Connectors is the stereotypical Millennial. They carry the archetypal stigma of preferring to spend rather than to save, and would want to own something because their friends have it. They are the ultimate social butterflies, wanting to connect and fit in to the friends around them.
Social Connectors do not consume to show off, or to satisfy their ambitions. They consume to identify with their social groups. Thus they are almost never at the cutting edge of technology, but form the majority of early and late adopters to new tech. Social Connectors represent about 1 in 10 Millennials generally, with an average income of S$54,000 annually at age 35.
Marketing Potential: Social Connectors are moderately likely to make purchases related to what they have endorsed (liked or shared) on social media. 29% of them actively contribute to social media content, and 49% of them make at least monthly purchases online. These purchases are often made as part of a larger social group action – following similar fashion trends, group leisure and travel plans, and refer-a-friend promotions.
Digital Marketing Approach: Social Connectors are socially-oriented, and extremely relational. Thus digital marketing has to engage their social networks: campaigns that are inclusive in nature, digital content designed to promote social engagements, and services designed for group experiences.
The Social Connector is typically the most misunderstood group the Millennials. While their earning capacities are not stellar, Social Connectors are not overly critical with the products and services that they consume, as long as it helps them relate and include their social groups better. Essentially they are looking for a good time, and value for money is not their top priority.
Campaigns emphasising value and values should be instead targeted at the third most prominent group among Millennials: the Independent Skeptics.
Perhaps the most misunderstood segment, the Independent Skeptic is often misconstrued as aloof and stand-offish. In reality, they are among the brightest critical thinkers and are extremely sensitive to the world around them. They are most likely to not only endorse pro-social and green initiatives, but volunteer actively, and manage their own carbon footprints.
Independent Skeptics are jaded by consumerist narratives in popular culture, and prefer to critically evaluate what they see and take in. They act only when they see value in acting. Independent Skeptics represent 1 in 10 Millennials, with an average income of S$58,000 annually at age 35.
Marketing Potential: Independent Skeptics, true to their namesake, are less likely to make purchases purely based on their social media endorsements. Only 20% of them actively contribute to social media content, yet 44% of them make online purchases at least monthly. Their purchases are critically measured based on perceived value, and are largely unconnected to ambition or other social objectives. Thus their namesake, “independent”.
Digital Marketing Approach: Independent Skeptics are value-focused, preferring brands that align with their values and create value in general, such as environmental causes, social movements, and the like. Thus digital marketing has to engage their identities: campaigns that create support causes (environmental or social issues, etc.), content that Independent Skeptics can identify with based on their life values, and high quality products and services (value for investment).
Independent Skeptics are not swooned by hype, nor persuaded to consume under a herd mentality. Each decision is almost always consciously weighted out, or at least resonates with their value systems. Independent Skeptics are widely considered to be the hardest to persuade, and the most demanding in terms of brand authenticity, but are also the most brand loyal of the Millennial segments.
The marketing cost of acquisition is typically higher than other segments, but the investment more often than not pays off in terms of long term business.
Designs by Millennials
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