POST SUMMARY: Every generation has its story: Baby Boomers, America’s greatest generation; Gen X, the slackers; and lastly Gen Y, the boomerang generation—digital natives, or as they’re best known today, Millennials. For marketers, Millennials are the most important generation to come along in the last 100 years, perhaps ever. This group of young adults is the largest generation by number in US history. Millennials number more than 80 million. That’s a population larger than the Baby Boomers, and it outnumbers Gen X almost 3:1. Millennials came of age in the wake of massive advancements in technology, unparalleled communication access, and media exposure that allowed people to spread information faster to a wider, more diverse audience than in any generation before them.
- 60% of Millennials said that social advertising has the most influence over them in how they perceive a brand and a brand’s value. This compares with TV at 70%. Traditional media outside of TV fell flat. In the realm of influence, radio, billboards (OOH), and magazines finished last with mobile and online—both display and video—comfortably in the center.
- 64% of Millennials are more brand-loyal or as brand-loyal as their parents. 24% consider themselves to be more brand-loyal than their parents. As marketers look forward, they can rest assured this generation demonstrates strong brand loyalty.
- 39% of all respondents think that brands that don’t advertise through mobile channels, smartphones, and tablets are outdated and undesirable. While the tides of advertising channels are changing, brands still have an opportunity to keep ahead of the transition.
- 32% of those surveyed said social advertising lends the most credibility to influencing their brand decisions, compared to 35% who indicated TV as the most influential advertising channel.
- 26% of Millennial respondents said social is the most likely channel to introduce a new product they will consider for trial. Only TV, at a very small margin of +3%, outranks social.
- 77% of the Millennials surveyed said they are evaluating brands on a different set of criteria than their parents. Millennials may be brand-loyal, and many use several of the same products their parents are loyal to, but they’ll be evaluating them against a new yardstick.
- 55% of young shoppers said that a recommendation from a friend is one of the strongest influencers in getting them to try a new brand. 47% consider brand reputation to be almost as important. Product quality ranks fourth at 35%, while price has the most sway at 62%.
- 36% of Millennials believe digital advertising is the most effective method of influencing their brand decisions, with traditional advertising as a standalone showing markedly less influence at 19%.
- 52% of Millennials want brands that are willing to change based on consumer opinion and feedback to maintain future relevance. 44% want to have open dialogue with brands through social channels, and 38% want brands to be more about the consumer and less about the brand.
- 38% of Millennials will switch brands if a company is found to have bad business practices —ethics matter to Millennials. Outside of financial factors, a business found to have bad business practices is the number one reason that Millennials will switch brands. This carries the same weight as a recommendation from a friend, at 38%.