Future profitability hinges on engaging millennials

By 2025, the majority of workers in the U.S. will be millennials. In just 10 years — you better believe that is much sooner than it sounds — the decision makers, money earners and, more importantly, the money SPENDERS will be those born between 1982 and 2002 (although the exact years vary slightly, depending on who is defining the generation).
Here’s a little-known secret: Estimates suggest they are already spending $1 trillion annually.
What does this mean?

As a business owner, it means you better be able to communicate and connect with this demographic...SOON. If you can’t, there’s a good chance you’ll be OUT OF BUSINESS!
So, how do you do that? For some, it may seem like an easy thing to do. For others, the thought of it is horrifying.

Let’s assume that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
After all, if it were easy, every business-owner would do it and would be an overwhelming success — and we know for certain that will not be the case.

In 2025, millennials will be (approximately) 23 to 43 years old. The first step is obviously determining whether or not your product is a fit for this demographic. Many are not, but most are.

If your product falls in the “yes” pile, the focus then shifts to introducing it to this group of men and women, and raising your brand awareness among them. And that, as you would imagine, is where it gets tricky...or fun, depending on your outlook.
Here are a few things to consider when planning your company’s “Operation: Millennial” mission. It’s certainly not intended to serve as a road map for success, but hopefully it will steer you in the right direction.

1. First, you must realize that millennials — for better or worse — don’t do anything or go anywhere without their cellphones. So, while other mediums are still effective, be sure that you not only have a strong online and social-media presence, but that your efforts are all very “mobile friendly.” If they’re not, you have almost no shot of connecting with this group.

2. Members of the millennial generation like to feel invested in many of the products they consume. Whenever possible, allow them to participate in the process. This includes soliciting their opinion during a product’s conceptualization and production stages, and also asking for feedback following the product’s launch. But don’t just go through the motions. This group expects to be heard and, if you’re asking for their loyalty, they want to see their ideas incorporated.
And remember, we now live in an instant-gratification society (Translation: They want these changes made NOW).

3. It would obviously been unfair to make a sweeping generalization about an entire generation of people, but the fact is, many millennials are cause-driven. They are attracted to products that are part of, or somehow associated with, a cause or movement. It doesn’t always have to be a major cause, but as a rule of thumb, they want products that they can not only buy, but believe in.

This doesn’t mean that every product you sell or market needs to be hyper-important, but if there is an opportunity to identify your company’s or product’s values, you’re likely to gain more traction with the millennial generation, resulting in greater brand awareness, more traffic, and stronger returns.