A Guide to Millennials for 12 Volters

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Millennials, age 18 to 34 are a key demographic for car audio products. So it’s important to get a handle on this often misunderstood group.

Millennials “are profoundly different from those who came before them,” reports Recode.  Learning to market to them is critical because they are about to become the largest generation in the US, larger than baby boomers. In fact, at 80 million, they “are about to become the most important customers your business has ever seen” says Forbes.  They will be spending an estimated $200 billion annually by 2017.

But here’s the thing. They hate advertising even more than their elders.

So how do you reach them? Here are some tips:

Millennials trust social networks more than older people do. They are much more likely to act on what friends suggest on Twitter or Facebook, so it pays to have business accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.

Millennials MooslyvaniaMillennials want their ads in the form of information and entertainment. Advertising directly to this generation doesn’t work as well as getting their attention through information and entertainment on social networks, says Recode. So posting instructional or entertaining videos and articles on your Facebook account and web page, can go a long way.

Millennials love brands. And they tend to stay loyal to them. Their top 5 favorite brands are Nike, Apple, Samsung, Sony and Walmart. Best Buy is ranked 28, just behind Verizon at 27. The first car company appears on the list at number 19 as Ford, followed by Chevy at 23 and Honda at 31. It looks like Ford’s aggressive lead in infotainment may have paid off with younger consumers.

Millennials have grown up with smartphones that are easy to use. They don’t have memories of sketchy MP3 players or pre-Blackberry smartphones. So they expect their technology to work effortlessly and well so you better make sure that it does.

They also like their technology mobile. According to Pew, more than four out of five sleep with or next to their cellphones. Forbes says, “They own more cellphones, use their cellphones more, text more and text while driving (yikes) more than other generations. They’re also more likely to own a cellphone as their only phone: 41% have no landline.”

You may draw a conclusion from the above that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are key technologies to emphasize to a Millennial.

Millennials like adventure, more than the older folks. Forbes says, “When shopping, they prefer an ‘experiential’ retail environment, where shopping is more than a transaction and the pleasure of being in the store isn’t limited to the goods that customers take home.” They like the new and exotic and they seek out restaurants along those themes. Conclusion– Spiff up the store.

Source: Forbes, Mooslyvania, Pew Research, Recode

Photo via Huffington Post

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  1. I don’t believe millennials will be much of a going concern until they pay off student loans, move out of their parents home and fly on their own. Too many have a sense of entitlement due to the parents giving them everything from an early age. Not to mention the poor attitudes regarding respect and common sense. If you start life with the “perceived” very best of everything, what’s to look forward to down the road? Business owners, Parents and Fellow citizens know the pain that comes with having to deal with these individuals as employees, customers, friends or family. If these are the people we are counting on to keep our world afloat, we are in serious trouble.

  2. Good points, and accurate in my opinion. I have a 21 year old daughter who sleeps with her phone as the article suggests, pays no attention to advertising, and uses friends, the web, and social media to form all of her opinions about products. As for the 41% without landline; I’d say that number is skewed by those who are still living at home. If they’re on the their own, I’d say they have no landline. The cell phone is everything to them. My daughter could go without her laptop and internet connection in favor of her iPhone.(Actually, I think she does go weeks at a time without turning on her laptop, but is always connected with her phone).

  3. “The first car company appears on the list at number 19 as Ford, followed by Chevy at 23 and Honda at 31. It looks like Ford’s aggressive lead in infotainment may have paid off with younger consumers.”

    Really?! Or maybe it’s because Ford and GM heavily market pick-up trucks and pick-up trucks are the biggest selling vehicles in the US.

    Talk about jumping to conclusions.

    1. I think the point of the article is to get us thinking of that demo. I personally don’t see pickup trucks being the vehicle of choice for the Millennials. 10-20 years from now this Millennial group will probably be buying pickups, but I don’t see it now. I’m sure my observations are very location oriented. My Millennial daughter lives in Portland, OR. Hipster capital of the west coast. They aren’t buying trucks… 🙂

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