Today we bring you a guest post from BJ Kito. Kito is VP of business strategy and general counsel at Digital Surgeons, a full-service agency driven by the relentless urge to move brands forward.
If you Google “Millennials are,” the top searched suggestions that pop up are, “lazy,” “stupid,” and “the worst.”
Such are the suspicions of the Googling public, hardly an endorsement of Generation Y. But before you target your next Millennial marketing campaign at a vapid, selfish protopersona with pain points that include “the iPhone losing battery power” and “to Nook or to Kindle,” let’s allow the Millennials to speak for themselves.
If you don’t understand where the Millennial zeitgeist is today, you won’t be there to capture its brand loyalty tomorrow. The preponderance of this generation, which will constitute 75% of the global workforce by 2025, is committed to actively creating social change.
Discard the cynical view of Millennials that permeates our culture and behold the truth of this much maligned generation. It’s downright shocking.
Millennials Support Non Profits
In stark contrast to the slander leveled at them, Millennials display a marked selflessness and generosity. A recent Trusted Partner study showed that 83% of Millennials donate money to nonprofits. And Millennials don’t just lay down the cash. They are surprisingly open to personal engagement with nonprofits. The same Trusted Partner study found that 72% are interested in participating in a nonprofit young professional group and 65% subscribe to email newsletters from 15 nonprofits.
Exploring ways to connect your brand with Millennials through a shared involvement in a nonprofit is an attractive strategy. Donating to and partnering with a nonprofit that is popular with Millennials can create meaningful engagement with the generation while presenting your business as a responsible corporate citizen.
Millennials Support A Democratic Culture
Social media has allowed anyone with a computer, tablet, or smartphone to have a voice and Millennials have fully embraced the democratic culture made possible by technology. We say life, liberty, and the pursuit of market share! The Center For American Progress reports that 58% of Millennials support marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples, 66% support a pathway to citizenship for residents who are in violation of federal immigration law, and 94% support interracial dating and marriage.
Millennials, the most diverse generation by the way, place the most value on the democracy of diversity. They exist in a digital-centric world that connects to all facets of their lives. Endure the chaos of digital egalitarianism and embrace this spirit of democracy. Entering the conversation as a respectful equal and finding ways to show your support for equality will resonate with a generation that desires social justice.
Millennials Invest In Causes
They may be progressive, but Millennials are not drawn in by vague ideals of reform. They care about actual benefits and deliverables. Generation Y is willing to get involved when a specific cause is on the line. Walden University found that 81% of Millennials have donated money, goods, and/or services to advance a cause.
Millennials are also willing to spread the word. Walden found that 74% of Millennials follow news/events related to positive social change and 70% educate others about a cause or issue.
That’s a pipeline worth investing in.
Looking for ways to tie your brand to issues Millennials care about is a winning move. Sometimes, just speaking out is all you need to do. Earlier this year the state of Arizona’s legislature passed legislation that many viewed as anti-LGBT. National corporations threatened to curtail their operations in the state and soon thereafter its governor vetoed the bill. Standing up for a cause that Millennials support is good marketing and good business.
Conventional wisdom can place us at a disadvantage. The disciplined approach is always to ignore the hype and stay focused on the numbers. What the numbers tell us is the Millennials are alright. Far from being the relentlessly self-indulgent cohort of Google searches, they are passionately involved in the world around them.
At Digital Surgeons we pride ourselves on understanding brands and consumers inside and out. We’re not swayed by conventional wisdom, or anything conventional for that matter. Take a look at some of our case studies to see how we think.