Can you believe it’s already 2020? For so long, that number seemed like a distant placeholder date for science fiction movies set in the future. But 2020 is now, and so much has already changed since the beginning of the 22nd century. For one, the millennial generation (who get their namesake from the transition into the new millennium) now makes up a majority of the workforce (56%, according to Pew Research Center) and make up a significant portion (30% of retail sales) of the purchasing force. 2020 signifies a time of change, and it’s important now more than ever to understand what drives and motivates this diverse segment of the population.
The millennial generation (born between 1981 - 1996) and the upcoming zoomer generation (aka Generation Z, or Post-Millennials, born between 1996 - 2010) have had unique circumstances and advantages that have shaped their larger worldview. These generations have practically grown up using the internet, and have had the benefit of being instantly connected with businesses and news sources from their computers or mobile devices (82% of the US population has smartphones). However, because of this, traditional advertising and marketing efforts have become less effective and less trusted over time.
Businesses are at a pivotal moment where the growing influence and purchasing power of these generations can no longer be ignored. Figuring out what to say or what to do to captivate the millennial and zoomer audience may seem like an overwhelming or daunting undertaking, but the core of their motivations are simple: they want businesses to be kind.
Addressing Millennial & Zoomer Employee Motivations
As the majority of the workforce, millennials and zoomers are now expecting different things from their employers and job positions. The Gallup How Millennials Want to Work and Live report published in 2019 found a few key overarching takeaways that can be beneficial for business owners and managers to understand about the millennial and zoomer workforce:
Businesses that make charitable giving a part of their operations are already creating a positive culture that will meet the needs of their employees. With seedership, we’ve created a collaborative platform that invites managers and employees to track and measure the good they do in the community in a fun and engaging way. When businesses invest in charitable giving, it helps strengthen communities and connect with employees on a personal and emotional level.
Purpose-Driven Businesses Attract Millennial and Zoomer Consumers
Just as a purpose-driven business is important for millennial workers, so it is with millennial consumers. Living in the digital age has made brand-consumer collaboration more accessible than ever. According to a recent consumer study by BrightLocal, 90% of consumers used the internet to find a local business within the last year. Being online is a must to attract millennial and zoomer customers.
Sites like Google Reviews, Yelp, Angieslist, and Facebook are used to get “authentic” (though they can get biased) customer reviews and feedback about a business. Reputation management on these sites is crucial for local businesses to facilitate trust and to engage with their consumers. When businesses are actively engaged in community giving initiatives, these efforts help create positive PR, brand trust and loyalty within the community. Further, 37% of millennials are more likely to frequent businesses that are associated with a cause.
With seedership, we make it easy for businesses to track and share the good they do with their customers on their websites or through social media. When businesses are committed to giving back to the community, everyone benefits--from your employees to your current customers and even future customers.
As Bob Dylan once sang, “the times, they are a-changin’.” Although there may be a generational divide between the millennial generation to the next, there are some things that never change, and that’s the long-lasting impact of being kind and charitable. Kindness is a language that knows no age or culture. So when it comes to understanding millennials, or zoomers, or any other generation, it’s best to remember: kindness is the best policy.