ImageGeneration We, Millennials, the Net Generation, whatever you want to call them, are your biggest potential ROI asset. They are tech savvy, they grew up on it, they rely on it to perform their jobs better, they are armed with their smart phone and tablets and are researching your products and services before they buy.

The Gen Y market is maturing, the oldest of which are 30, the youngest around 15. With the worlds average age being 28 (CIA World Fact Book) we live in a Gen Y world, what are you doing to activate the loyalty generation? In a recent study done by the Edelman group they found that 86% of Millennials, once they find a company they like, keeping coming back. What are you doing to ensure that they like you?

Many Gen Y'ers identify themselves by the brands they like. In fact, brand preference is the #1 personal identifier they are willing to share online (Edelman). They're even willing to share their personal information with the brands they trust.  

Activating The Gen Y Market

They aren't all techie, family is important and are willing to trade the big bucks for a better work/life balance. They are confident  and ambitious, they're expectations are high and feel that businesses should be socially responsible. They are looking for quality products from authentic companies that have a purpose and are integrity driven.

Building Trust Leads To Brand Loyalty

In order to build trust with the Gen Y market you must meet 4 criteria, they are:

  • You must have quality products, in both workmanship and features.
  • You must be real. Authenticity is important to Generation Y.
  • You must have a social purpose. 1 in 3 say that they look for brands that have a positive impact on the world.
  • You must have integrity. Your business must be moral and stand for something great than just profits.

Implementing these 4 criteria is paramount to the future of your business. According to the World Bank, by 2015, 47% of the world's population will be under 25.

The goal is to get the attention of the Millennial's in order to build trust with them so that they begin to identify themselves with your brand. From there, they will do the rest. They want to tell others about their positive experience, 47%  write about them online, their happiness increasing with each person they tell their story to (Edelman).

Gen Y'ers will help to market your business if they feel that you are investing in them. This help will come in the form of online promotion, in-person word-of-mouth and online reviews. They will feel compelled to tell others about you as they are better able to identify with your brands purpose.

It's through this identification that many of them are identifying themselves through your brand. Think about it, do you consider yourself a Mac or a PC? An Android or an iPhone user? It's because of this identification that the Millennials will tell others about your brand in their online social networks. They are, in effect, telling others about themselves. By telling others about how great Android is, they are, in effect, elevating their own status because they have identified themselves with it.

When interacting with this important group online, make it about them. Make it about what they are most interested in. Work to build trust by being authentic, create high quality products and support a purpose that impacts them directly.

Since nearly 70% of Gen Y'ers recommend their favorite products to friends and family it's important to give them an experience that is second to none. Millennials are known for having high expectations, they do expect the best, but in order to truly activate this important segment of the market you must go above what's expected, if you want to stand out in their minds. Remember, in order to influence word-of-mouth you must go beyond what's expected to get it. If you are only able to meet expectations then there will be nothing about you that stands out. Nothing about you that is talk-worthy. Keeping the 4 key criteria above in mind, what do you need to change to be more Gen Y friendly?