Consumers are changing their reasons to buy – fact!
The younger generation – millennials and Gen Z are a brand new era of consumers and they want completely different experiences when it comes to products and services alike. They buy in different ways, they believe in different things and they are in charge with their buying power. This generation of the future wants to believe in brands that do good, brands that are on the same purpose driven journey that they are on. You have to stand for something to capture this new era of consumers, you can’t just be a good product anymore.
So, what has changed? Where have these purpose driven warriors like Greata Thunberg come from?
We have hit a tipping point of acceptance. This new generation of consumers hit a point of ‘no more acceptance’ for acceptance sake. Having seen their parents generation grow up on the traditional brands of old, those brands that cared for themselves, those brands that focused on customer capture and maintenance through constant brand exposure. This new generation want more and to be honest who can blame them.
It’s time for a revolution and this new generation are leading the way. This is now a time of brands with purpose, brands with ethics and brands that follow and include not lead from afar!
The brands of the future are ethical, purpose driven brands that really care – about their fans, the planet and the future!
Wake up corporate brands of old – this is your time to pivot and pivot fast, because the purpose driven start-ups in food, health, fitness are leading the way.
Where has this need for complete transparency come from? This millennial generation feel as though they’ve been told a fake story about their opportunities and have had the wool pulled over their eyes. No longer will they accept that all is well and that the planet and their future will be taken care of by governments, parents, generations before. Even if many previous generations don’t believe it – this new generation are smart, very smart. They are mentally fast too – having grown up in the era of internet ready, they expect it now, expect it 24-7 and expect honesty. They are not as loyal as previous generations either. Having a multitude of choice at their fingertips, they will desert your brand of you fail to excite, and deliver and not just from a product perspective either. As a brand – you now have to add MORE!
What do I mean be adding more?
You have to offer a purpose! Your brand needs to include this new era of consumers in a whole new way. They want to be part of something bigger, be part of the solution and they want social connection like no generation has needed it before! The internet generation are the most readily connected generation ever – but they feel secluded in so many ways. So, your brand has to not just behave like a friend – it has to be a friend too!
Communication timing is key for your brand
52% of consumers expect brands to know when the right moments are to communicate with them. That means don’t drop into someones Facebook messenger inbox when you’ve not even had a prior connection with them – it’s just rude!
You have to bring knowledge and training to your brand marketing
45% of consumers in this generation will unfollow a brand on social media if their channels are filled with sales and self-promotion. You have to bring value, offer your followers value and teach them, don’t just sell!
Your brand ethics will be the main decision as to whether this new generation buy your products or don’t!
The value of community
This is where being part of something bigger comes into play on a huge scale! This new generation of consumers want to be part of the solution, they want to belong and this is intrinsically becoming a bigger part of their choice to buy. Your brand has to be in their online social circle, it’s no longer a top down broadcast model of communication for marketers. It HAS to be an inclusive and supportive role to gain consumer trust and brand loyalty. Create an online community around the problem that your brand, products sell and you have a more loyal, ready made audience to sell to – when the time is right. In fact, you won’t have to purposely sell to them at all! You can just let them buy and support that buying process fully. This community will then do the word of mouth marketing for you – and my gosh they do it in a strong, loyal and impactful way!
So, as a brand, if your team are discussing ways to capture this purpose driven generation to come – talk ethics, nail down your brand purpose and be 100% transparent about it. For example if your packaging to date doesn’t tick all of the environmentally friendly boxes, but you’re constantly making improvements – be honest and tell this story in every detail. This new generation will listen if you’re honest, hey they may even offer some ideas too – its time to learn from them!
Sue Hay – Founder of Thrive Media and Thrive Magazine