25 year olds today are drastically different than 25 year olds from 15 years ago. Pervasive technology has changed everything from the way we communicate, to the way we date and find partners; to the way we do business. If I had told someone in 2002 that I wanted to leave early to Facetime someone I met on Tinder, and thus would have to answer my emails on mobile, they would have no idea what I was talking about.
You have undoubtedly seen the term “millennial” used to identify contemporary 25 year olds. For the past few years, businesses have been exploring new ways to reach this target market - characterized by their iPhones and wanderlust. I have noticed an even newer phenomenon taking place over the past year or so, which is the development of the millennial mindset.
When I market to “millennial”, I am not targeting a certain group based on age; I am targeting a group based on mind-set. Everyone from the 14 year old emulating her older sister to 55 year olds with a Facebook habit can be considered millennial when it comes to marketing and selling products.
So what characterizes the millennial mindset?
I would say that millennial-minded people are overwhelmingly concerned with the consumer experience. Let’s look at Apple as an example. When you walk into an Apple Store, you are entering a space that is unlike any other store in the mall. It is white, sleek, and the products displays don’t feature any obnoxious point-of-sale signage. A hip-looking employee wearing a minimally designed t-shirt greets you personally, and when you are done shopping, they can ring you up using their personal devices so that you don’t even have to approach a register. Their products are often made fun of for being overpriced, but I see very few angry customers leaving an Apple store. The experience is so valuable that their prices can actually be higher.
So if you are looking to sell a product or service to the millennial market, try not to focus on price or materials, but instead sell the experience of using your product. You will be happy you did.