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29 July 2015

Millennials and Brands: The Relationship That Keeps Getting More Important

Written by: Sophie Menzies, Assistant Research Executive at Edelman

Consumer Trends & Insight

It’s a widely accepted fact that millennials provide significant opportunities for brands, services and organisations as they are a generation who act and react differently from those who came before them. If that wasn’t enough, millennials are also expected to spend £128 billion annually from 2017. Yes – over £120 billion every year.

So who are they, and why do they have money to spend?

Millennials arguably make up a larger generation of people than the world have ever seen before. They have grown up in a period of unprecedented change with a digital revolution, an economic meltdown and the end of Top Gear as we know it.

Joking aside, an upbringing in a world of change means they have developed a resilience to difficulty and an ability to embrace change. A significant proportion of this generation are underemployed, and many millennials become boomerang children (and return home after university), which has arguably resulted in an ‘access rather than own’ attitude.

Not only do millennials often rent rather than buy, they also car share and are more likely to sign up to streaming and sharing platforms.

Millennials also have extra time, they have managed to add two hours to the regular 24 hour day, utilising 26 hours as they multitask across several devices.

So why do we care? What difference does it make?

Ultimately, this means there’s more time for organisations, brands and services to hook in an innovative market with money to spend.

But when it comes to marketing and advertising, millennials have a new set of expectations. They want to be involved, have their voices heard and interact.

Surprising, as this generation is often condemned as being unsociably glued to devices.

However, being raised on social media means they are always looking to connect to a community of people who share their interests – and those communities can be businesses, services or organisations. An example of this is the way the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge took social media by storm – a desire to be a part of something and to share ideas and actions with friends and family raised more than $100 million for charity.

Time, money and a desire to be involved create a powerful mix – millennials really can be gold dust for brands, institutions and services when they are engaged in a meaningful way.

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