Millennials Haven’t Been Ditching Industries, They’ve Been Misunderstood

How well are brands’ marketing efforts resonating with different generations today? 

Upland Localytics released new research diving into the way consumers interact with, and fall in love with, brands. There were very interesting findings when it comes to the way Millennial and Gen Z shoppers interact with brands and how that differs from other generations like Baby Boomers. 

What we’ve found—brands have misunderstood millennials. And with the current highest purchasing power of any generation, it’s time for brands to think differently about how they approach building relationships with this generation.

When asked if they agree with the statement “Brands often send me irrelevant or unhelpful information, and I feel they don’t understand me,” Millennials responded “strongly agree” at an average rate of 41%, while Gen X and Baby Boomers responded “strongly agree” at an average rate of only 21%.  

Brands aren’t personalizing the customer experience as well as they should be for the millennial generation.

Millennials Lose Trust In Brands Faster Than Baby Boomers

According to our data, Millennials lose faith in a brand over ineffective and/or frustrating communications first at foremost, with a plurality (31%) of respondents. The second most popular factor in losing trust in a brand is an inferior product compared to its competitors (24%), followed by product being too difficult to use as the third most popular factor in losing trust. 

Gen X and Baby Boomers, on the other hand, are most likely to lose trust in a brand based on an inferior product, with 27% of respondents selecting that as their largest factor. The second most popular reason (15%) to lose trust in a brand was a product being too difficult to use, and in third was communications were ineffective (12%). 

How to win brand love with Millennials

On the other side of the coin, in determining which brands Millennials love, the most popular response was excellent communication (33%) followed closely by superior product (32.5%). This is compared to older generations who chose product quality as their top reason to love a brand (39%), with excellent communication coming in fourth most popular (7%), behind easy to use/convenience (12%), and superior reliability (11%). 

So how exactly can brands begin to earn Millennials’ trust and love? Brands have to personalize. As stated above, excellent communication was the top priority among Millennials. To achieve this, they want you to personalize. 

The most preferred method of personalization was for communications and recommendations from brands to be based on their known interests and preferences (32% of respondents). Other notable personalization methods include addressing them by name (29%), based on past purchase history and activity (19%), and hyper relevant and personal communications based on a multitude of factors (13%). 

To be able to succeed with building strong relationships with the Millennial generation these days, brands must start truly understanding the world’s current largest buying generation and then using that intelligence to better personalize their communications with them.

To understand this massive group of individuals, brands must not take a one-size-fits-all approach to the generation. Personalized communications treating each customer as an individual, personalized based on their past activity—the way Millennials will want, will lift brands up to be considered as one of Millennials’ top loved brands.  

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