(photo by ojimbo)Going into my feeds for the first time this week (man how is it Thursday already) I came across a post by Carol Phillips, writer of the Millennial Marketing Blog and a professor at Notre Dame. In it she describes the feeling in the room at a recent presentation on Millennials that was presented by Millennials towards 70+ CMO's.
Millennials are the 'target of the future' and what better way to start to understand them than to listen to the Millennials in your own organization. While many of their tastes and habits are age-related, many others are generational. These differences will shape their lives as consumers for many years.
Here's my two cents.Companies that focus on gaining the trust and brand affection of younger patrons now with undoubtedly have more affect on long term growth and profits. Want examples.
Rock For Hunger.
At our nonprofit we aim to attract volunteers and donors from the college crowd. Our goal is to get into the mindset of the new freshmen coming into UCF. Why? I mean they have no money and no authority.
The reason is that over their 4-6 years at UCF they are going to develop, find career paths, skill sets and networks that can help any organization grow. If you get them early enough you will have them forever (or until they leave for a great opportunity). So over the next 4-6 years we get a devoted volunteer, one who shows up every week, makes small contributions, but more importantly, tells their friends about our shows and events, uses their network to help find sponsors and uses their skill sets to help us grow.
I love this company and their branding. They came quasi-mainstream when I was in high school and our entire team was fitted in their gear. As their marketing grew, they started to reach every level of youth activities. Want to know what happens next? When I have kids and they play sports do you want to know what I am outfitting them in?
Yup, Under Armor. So not only did they get me to buy some undershirts, but I am going to continue to buy them and then pass it down a generation so my kids can become rock stars in their Under Armor gear.
You see, if you treat Gen-Y great today, you will be rewarded with life long advocacy and loyalty. Talk smack to us and decide that you don't care, then we are just going to find the brand that does, and guess what they probably have a better product than you anyway. One that uses more efficient manufacturing, supports a social cause, goes green and tastes better and is better for us.
Pay attention folks, us mean old, self-serving Millennials want to make the world a better place and really there is no stoping us.