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Calling Millennials "the darlings and devils of marketers," the firm highlighted five traits of Millennials that may crack their path to purchase.
The Hartman Group found that:
- "Millennials are brand agnostic." - Millennials thrive on technology and seek to customize a lifestyle on their terms. According to the Hartman Group, they are "overrun with choice, suspicious, and non-responsive to traditional advertising." As a result, Millennials have less definitive relationships with everyday brands and products, and 60 percent who said they do not want a relationship with a brand have not thought about why. This does not mean that connecting with Millennials is impossible. Rather, it means that marketers should "rethink" and "reimagine" their approach.
- "Marketers may think technology is synonymous with Millennials, but Millennials don’t think this is such a good thing." - Millennials are aware that technology -- especially in the form of cell phones -- detracts from social interaction. They would rather marketers reach out to them via Facebook or e-mail than via text messaging.
- "Millennials tend to follow prevailing trends in personal care." -- Millennials are showing increased interest in heritage or specialty products and personal care regimens. They are more likely to pay attention to online recommendations, friends and family in this category as well.
- "Millennials don’t want to be advertised 'to;' they want to be advertised 'with.'" -- Millennials often have selective listening and tend to value entertainment over information. "Most winning communications simply offer an opportunity for entertainment, whimsy, or play," noted the Hartman Group. They advise marketers not to take themselves too seriously.
- "Millennials are no more likely than older consumers to consider environmental concerns when shopping." -- Sustainability is not necessarily this generation's passion. However, when sustainability does impact their purchasing decisions, it is usually from the organizational health or social responsibility perspective. Millennials also care if companies act as the "good guy" and treat their employees well.
The Hartman Group further stressed that for Millennials, the formation of brand preferences occurs in the home and not in the store. Approximately 20 percent of Millennials will change brand preferences when they leave home to live on their own.
Also, while Millennials characterize their food and beverage choices as more healthy or organic compared to their parents' choices, they also say they are more expensive, indicating an expectation for paying a higher price for higher quality.