At roughly a quarter of the US population, millennials represent $1.3 trillion in annual buying power (LeadsCon). So the question on everyone’s mind: how do we market to millennials and garner their brand loyalty for years to come?
The biggest mistake that a company can make is lumping all millennials together and assuming that a marketing strategy that worked well for some millennials will intrinsically work for all of them. Although there are some similarities (yes, millennials are all on social media and they touch their smartphones upwards of 45 times per day – SDL), the reality is that millennials are a diverse group of people with different needs and unique lifestyles. The key is for your company to identify which millennials will relate best with your specific products and brand, then target them with messages that will reflect that.
Start by figuring out your strengths.
Do you have a lot of talented interior designers on your staff and extensive custom furniture options? Do you specialize in bargain deals and complete room packages? You need to figure out what you have to offer in order to target your marketing to the right group of millennials.
How will that help?
Let’s say that you have a great selection of inexpensive furniture, including pre-selected packages for every room. This could be a perfect fit for a millennial who just relocated to a new city. Or maybe you would be great at helping out a young person who just moved into their first apartment and they still need a few odds and ends after clearing out their parent’s garages.
Some millennials are also getting promoted or entering the professional workforce, and they want to invest in furniture that befits their new lifestyle. If you offer upscale looks and quality furniture or one-of-a-kind treasures, this might be your sweet spot. Millennials are using Pinterest and other social media sites to get inspiration for home design, so you need to be ready to help them replicate the looks for their homes.
You’re probably already do this type of self-analysis for your other marketing strategies. Marketing to millennials does not have to be so different from creating a strategy for specific income groups or lifestyles, you just have to adopt a slightly different lens to understand the world from a millennial’s perspective.
Become relatable. Just like any other age group, millennials identify best with their own peers. Think about it. Have you ever seen a commercial marketed to children that featured an elderly person, or vice versa? Probably not. So why are we trying to market to millennials as outsiders? Bring one (or two even!) on your team and listen to their input. Millennials can spot insincerity like they can spot a filtered photo on Instagram, so don’t think that a “hip” jingle or inactive Yelp account will help you blend in with younger companies.
Get on Social Media. Five out of six millennials in the US follow companies on social media (SDL). If you aren’t already on Facebook, Instagram, or even Pinterest, they will be connecting with brands that aren’t you. Plus, boosted Facebook posts are an inexpensive way to promote your events in a media that your audience voluntarily visits. What could be better than that?
Above all, millennials care about stuff. They read up on current events and they have stances on the issues. They will research your brand and will avoid your store if they feel like you’re stuffy and superficial. But, they will visit your store if they believe that you treat your employees fairly and provide quality, sustainable products. Millennials value community and authenticity, as do you. So don’t try to that person who tries too hard to be the “cool mom” and ends up embarrassing herself and her kids. Just show millennials that you are good people who can fulfill their specific home furnishing needs.