Global 2015: THE FUTURE OF BRANDS | MILLENNIALS
Millennial values and attitudes impact and shape all categories
Millennials expect selection, style, and price. They want it all. They want it now. And conditions along the supply chain matter to them.
For millennials, a bank is a mobile phone with apps for moving money around. They’re more likely to trust a digital brand than a bank brand for financial transactions. However, as millennials enter their family-formation years, they will need banking relationships, which is an opportunity for traditional bank brands.
Their sweet palate and preference for high alcoholic content influenced the new product introductions of major brewers, but the millennial need for authenticity, and for brands other than those their parents drink, also drives the craft trend. Millennial tastes will mature, but that could mean a greater preference for spirits or wine.
To their parents, a car meant freedom and status. For millennials, it’s just one mode of transportation.
It doesn’t require ownership or confer status, which is more likely gained from a mobile device. Outside of urban areas, car ownership will still be important, but more as a need than a want.
Millennials love a juicy burger too, but
they like it better if the beef is locally sourced from responsibly raised animals. They prefer to eat in comfortable settings that remind them of their favorite coffee restaurant. That they’re willing to pay for all this drives growth of the fast-casual segment of fast food.
Not much into ownership of cars or homes, millennials are tough customers for property and casualty insurers. Transactions typically happen online. As millennials reach family- formation years their attitudes may shift and life insurance brands in particular may find opportunities.
“We see change, and we see it massively with millennials empowered by technology. Historically, you had a product and you sprinkled some brand magic around it. You painted on some values and emotion. The brand values might have been synthetic 10 years ago. Now – and in the future – brand values need to be genuine and authentic.”
Rob Alexander, Global Planning Director J. Walter Thompson
Millennials like the fundamental idea of luxury – craft and authenticity – but not the way it’s traditionally expressed, with logos that speak more loudly than the product. That said, millennial luxury can be a mobile device decorated with a stylized apple missing a bite.
OIL AND GAS
Less likely to own a car or a home, millennials don’t get too fussed over fluctuations in gas prices. Oil spills grab their attention, however.
Oil and gas brands can either ignore this constituency or realize that it will soon produce the next generation of policy influencers.
The male grooming trend reflects how millennial attitudes and spending can drive a fast-growing category segment. Changes in product formulation – more natural ingredients – and notions of beauty also reflect millennial influence.
Millennials know what they like. They mix and match from a fixed repertoire of brands. Shopping either in physical stores or online is fine, but the experience needs to be fast and friendly.
When millennials get thirsty, they drink varieties of water or other beverages that seem healthier than colas. They drink cola too - sometimes craft brands that seem more authentic than the global brands but aren't any healthier.
It’s the sweet spot, but not without its threats. Millennials adopt quickly and move on quickly, so it’s easy to become last year’s news. On the other hand, being too aggressive opens a brand to being seen as too corporate and all that implies – big, remote, imperialistic and narrowly profit-driven; that is, not millenial.
These are the arteries that pump the voice, text messages and entertainment with which millennials fill their days. However if there’s a way to get all of that faster, better, or cheaper, whether by renting, borrowing, owning, or sharing, millennials will find it.