Millennials Don't Trust You: What This Means to Marketers


millennials are more likely than other generations to believe that working hard and saving/living frugally are the ways to achieve success


Even if you're not a millennial - born in the 80s or 90s - youwill someday soon:

  • hire a millennial
  • have clients who are millennials
  • work for a millennial
  • target millennials as potential customers

Millennials are the biggest generation ever, and they suffer from a bad reputation. Neither slackers nor idealistic cry-babies as frequently portrayed, millennials are the least trusting generation ever, according to The Brookings Institute. What does this mean to marketers?

Millennials less trusting - what does this mean to marketers
Millennials less trusting - what does this mean to marketers

To market to Millennials you must accept that this generation is changing the way we market

1.  Millennials worship their technology ~ Social Media Today

Millennials are used to and expect to get their information from their tech. At the same time, millennials are used to dealing with people who aren't as tech savvy as they are - namely their parents and grandparents. If your business isn't online, millennials probably won't trust you. Print media is still effective for this generation - think of the current trend of graffiti billboard ads - but after they read your print ad they're going to verify it online.

2. Millennials are not loyal customers

This generation is brand aware, but not brand loyal, said Larry Chiagouris, a marketing professor at Pace University. "You can't base your business model on repeat purchase," he said. "You have to compete for the loyalty with each purchase." ~ CNBC.  What does that mean for business? You have to be where your customers are: don't expect them to come find you. And where are they? Millennials are online!

3. Millennials like to share their knowledge

Millennials consider friends a trusted source - even online friends - and are likely to trust product reviews from friends. Millennials also like to share their recommendations: which is why millennials make excellent brand ambassadors: they like and expect to talk with their tech!

Millennials are spending money in ways that are different from their parents: but they are spending money. As they mature and become parents their spending patterns change: but their expectations for immediate gratification and high quality do not. If they don't find what they like, they won't buy: or they'll move on to another supplier.

For More About Marketing to Millennials
Jeff Fromm and Christie Garton: Marketing to Millennials: Reach the Largest and Most Influential Generation of Consumers Ever