Posted April 1, 2014 4:47 pm by with 1 comment

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moosylvania millennialsI’m always suspect of any research published on April Fool’s Day and even more so when it comes from a company called Moosylvania (any Bullwinkle fans in the house?). But “Truth, Justice and the Millennial Way” is an excellent presentation / infographic with a style that totally grabs me. Hey, I know I shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover or a presentation by its graphics, but anybody who puts a retro cat clock on the page deserves your attention.

The overall point of this piece is that Millennials aren’t easy. Unlike their parents before them, they aren’t prepared to jump at what ever you dangle in front of them. They want to be wooed. They want a relationship and if you can impress them they’ll be yours forever.

Let’s begin with an introduction. There are 86 million Millennials (ages 13-24) out there and they represent $1.3 trillion in spending power. They’re the 2nd biggest spenders online.

When asked what brands they love (no prompting or lists to choose from) they mentioned Nike, Sony, Apple and Samsung. Wow, three tech companies and a pair of sneakers. That says a lot right there.

59% said they follow the brands they love on Facebook but only 20% follow on Twitter. 40% have signed up to get emails from the brand and 57% said they tell their friends about their favorite products.

This is all fine once they’ve found you and like you, but how do you grab hold of a Millennial in the first place?

The key is authenticity.

moosylvania millennials 2

If they feel like you’re hiding something or that you’re trying to be clever, it’s not going to work. Millennials are as invested in the companies they buy from as they are in the products. Which means they’ll gladly buy from your competitor if they find out your company is doing something they see as bad for the world.

Because of this, they’re into research. I know this from my own experience. I have a Millennial in my house who reads every review of five different products before he settles on the one to buy. He doesn’t have a lot of money to spend so he wants to make sure he’s spending wisely. And when he does buy on impulse, he regrets it deeply and that’s a brand he’ll never go back to.

51% of those surveyed said they turn to Facebook for pre-buying information. Then, they trust friends and family and their own eyes when they see it in a store. Only 30% will go to the brand website and only 15% try other social networks.

40% said they shop with a friend which means you have to convince both of them that this is the right product. 22% said they’ll even call or text a friend for advice while shopping. This concept is very ironic. On one hand, Millennials see themselves as independent thinkers who aren’t swayed by public opinion and yet they’re reluctant to make a purchase decision without encouragement from a friend.

Finally, some sobering facts about what doesn’t work; paid search ads, Facebook ads, YouTube ads and sponsored blog posts or any kind of paid endorsement. So basically. . . the whole world of digital marketing.

What does work? Recommendations and proof with their own eyes. Not much you can do about that last one, but you can make it easier for customers to leave public reviews after purchase. Scary, I know but it all comes down to belief in your own product. If you don’t trust your own work, Millennials won’t throw a dime your way.

Want more information? You can see the entire Moosylvania study right here.



  • Authenticity is probably the best thing to strive for with any age group.

    I think the good strategy for small to mid size brands is to provide value. Get creative and offer special deals or some reward. If nothing else have a stream of entertaining content. If you run a car mechanic shop, chances are people don’t care to see how to rebuild an engine on their newsfeed. It shouldn’t be boring “shoptalk” all the time.