3 Charts That Show How Millennials & Gen Z Wish Brands Would Talk To Them

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

As young consumers redefine how they communicate with each other, they’re increasingly expecting the same level of accessibility and relatability from brands...

Millennials and Gen Z are notorious for being addicted to their phones—but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Instead of isolating them, messaging apps and social media help young people feel more connected to their friends, family, and loved ones. This growing network of ways to keep in touch has not only led young consumers to redefine the way they communicate with each other, it has also caused them to redefine the way they communicate with brands. With the always-on mentality of smartphones and social media, 13-35-year-olds increasingly expect the level of accessibility and relatability from brands that they have with their friends—and that includes the myriad of communication platforms they have at their disposal. A study from GetFeedback found that 78% of Millennials wish brands offered customer service via text, and 25% expect a response within 10 minutes when they contact a company over social media. In other words, the days of dialing a 1-800 customer service number are long gone, and the brands that don’t keep up risk losing the hard-to-win trust of young consumers or—perhaps worse—becoming the next viral example of poor customer service.

While this has indeed led to a culture of calling out businesses online for poor service and interactions, it has also opened up possibilities for brands to reach young consumers where they’re at—and become more trustworthy and authentic in the process. According to Adweek, a whopping 93% of Millennials check out blogs and reviews before making purchases, and 77% trust the reviews they read on company websites. And with the advent of social customer service, these interactions are…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “I actively avoid discussions of TV shows.”—Male, 31, MI

Networks are launching an onslaught of new streaming services to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu. CBS, Disney, and now Warner Media are hopping on the bandwagon to compete for young cord-cutters' viewing time. The digital switch makes sense, considering 74% of 13-36-year-olds told Ypulse they watch Netflix weekly, versus 33% who watch cable weekly. But one eMarketer analyst predicts this over-saturation in the streaming wars will lead to “a shakeout," in which companies will be weeded out unless they consolidate their offerings. (THR)

Macy’s is putting virtual reality in 90 stores, with the “largest VR rollout in retail history.” Shoppers can don HTC Vive VR headsets to create 3D floor plans, design their living spaces, deck them out with Macy’s furniture, and then take a step inside of the room. The retail tech enables smaller Macy’s stores to offer a lot more inventory to shoppers, and follows in the footsteps of other reality-bending home décor brands. And, according to Macy’s, VR sales were 60% higher than regular sales in their three pilot stores. (MediaPost)

Prada is plotting a comeback among young consumers. They’ve been slow to adapt to digital, but now the luxury company is emphasizing Instagram and aiming to grow their online sales, which were just 5% in early 2018. While investors applaud Prada’s dive into digital, they also believe the brand needs to shutter several stores—not just to increase “profitability” but to create “the illusion of scarcity.” Prada also has to recover from being late to the luxury streetwear game. (Bloomberg)

Some teens are opting for technical school over four-year universities. At Queens Tech, high schoolers are trained to take on non-desk jobs, like being an electrical engineer or working for public transit companies. Earning a high paycheck that isn’t chipped away by student debt is helping to overcome the societal stigma of skipping college. According to one Queens Tech student, “If you’re a construction worker, you may get paid the same as a doctor, but you don’t look as good.” (Vice)

Don't expect to see macho men and swooning women in grooming brands' latest ads. Instead, companies across the industry are toning down the machismo for Millennial & Gen Z males. Some are blurring gender lines, like Dollar Shave Club, whose “Get Ready” spots debunked stereotypes by not just casting straight, cis males. Other brands are betting modern men are more in touch with their emotions, like Gillette, who shared the touching story of a man’s son becoming an NFL linebacker, despite missing one hand.
(Ad Age)

Quote of the Day: “[Zendaya] is such a beautiful human being and I grew up watching her on the Disney Channel.”—Female, 18, TX

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