Technology Breeds Humanity
While there would be no technology without humanity, Millennials actually flip the statement and look to technology to make their lives more human.
Personalized and Tailored
Amazon.com has been around for many Millennials’ entire lives. They’ve grown up with the ability to customize many of the products they buy, the option to access personalized content and discover new entertainment recommendations based on purchase behavior. They view technology as a facilitator that allows companies to cater to consumers and create uniquely personal experiences. For instance, in creating their virtual companies, Millennials who were designing fashion solutions explored developing an in-store system that can scan a customer’s body measurements, compare them to carefully designed algorithms and match that customer with clothes that fit their body type perfectly.
Millennials want idea development to come directly from real people so that brands can deliver products that meet consumers’ needs and incorporate their collective creativity. In their virtual companies, both groups perceived crowdsourced business models like Threadless as being very effective.*
While user experience design is a relatively new field (particularly outside of websites and technology gadgets), it is intrinsic to many Millennials’ perception of brands both online and off. They expect to be able to intuitively navigate products and services so that technology enables a seamless user experience. This is clearly illustrated by Millennials’ obsession with Apple Technology, which has as much to do with the physical design of devices as it does with the simple and intelligent user interface. Millennials want to minimize the device (or more precisely, the feeling of the device) while still maintaining the experience that technology enables. The Wii brought Nintendo exceedingly high
sales through a simple, nearly button-free controller. Now Xbox’s Project Natal wants to remove the game controller completely, leaving only the gamer’s actual body movements to guide the experience.
Quality is Core
While many brands incorrectly view the youth market as caught up in flashy trends, quality products are what ultimately gain their purchase and loyalty.
Quality Evokes Love
While Apple, Sony and Nike all make seriously stylish and innovative products, they are Millennials’ favorite brands because they have become synonymous with quality. In describing the brands that Millennials love, quality was the #1 trait cited by a landslide.*
Longevity Creates Value
Creating long-lasting products may largely be out of fashion in favor of offering cheaper alternatives, but Millennials still value longevity as a measure of quality, value and sustainability. *Only 11% of Millennials disagreed that they would not spend more for items that they knew would last..
“When I purchase something, I want to know that it’s going to last for a while. I don’t know, maybe it’s just the nostalgia of getting things handed down to me from my parents and grandparents and the history they had but it makes me sad to think that our generation’s purchases won’t go through the same ordeal – everything’s ‘insta-use’ and once it’s used it’s gone.”
–Brittney, 21, Seattle
Expectations Not Forgotten
For brands with products that meet and exceed consumer expectations, Millennials’ cry for quality is a reassuring message. And for brands that oversell, overhype and under deliver– well, be warned. Millennials are the savviest consumers ever. They are wary of ads and become more so when they witness products not living up to their claims. They get recommendations from friends, read reviews, post on Facebook, chat on message boards and do research online. The truth doesn’t escape the Millennial. The only way to gain their trust is to deliver and do so consistently.
Eco is Nice
Despite widespread belief that Millennials are highly eco-conscious, it is not a key driving factor in product choice.
Eco Awareness But Not Concern
Millennials may be concerned with the effects their lifestyle has on the environment but it doesn’t drive their day-to-day actions. While recycling and other eco-friendly actions may have become more integrated into their lives, it may be providing them a false sense of their overall contributions to environmental issues. In fact, only 20% of respondents in the international study were concerned about the effect their lifestyle has on the environment.*
Millennials want to feel as though they are making as little negative impact on the world as possible as long as it doesn’t change their lifestyles drastically. They view the responsibility to move towards greener lifestyles to lie with businesses creating greener products, rather than with the individual. When these products fit their needs and are convenient to use, they will make a switch if it’s costeffective and non-intrusive.
Good for Profit’s Sake
In creating their businesses, one of the initial goals Millennials had was to create a model that is both eco-friendly and conscientious. They keyed in on business models like Toms Shoes to integrate a positive world contribution with sales. However, as they further explored costs and business planning, Ecology and humanitarian causes became less of a focus. Ultimately, Millennials see value in positive messaging when it helps with the core selling proposition and brand DNA, but were reluctant to acknowledge the usefulness of these components beyond that initial context.