World Economic Forum – Millennials as brand advocates

Engaging Tomorrow’s Consumer

January 2013

A report by the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Consumption initiative. Prepared in collaboration with Accenture.

Some excerpts:

Millennials are a dominant consumer group: While baby boomers have accumulated wealth and are today’s leading consumer segment, millennials represent 25% of the global population (and will still represent 20% of the global population in 2030).

This generation has started, or will soon start, their professional careers and are positioned to be the world’s wealthiest generation.

In the US, for instance, millennials are projected to earn as much as US$ 3.4 trillion annually by 2018, surpassing the earnings of the baby boomers. Millennials will also be tomorrow’s biggest spenders; in the United States alone, they are projected to spend more than US$ 2.45 trillion annually by 2015.

Millennials are action-oriented: At least 80% of global millennials have acted in support of a brand they trust. They have shared brand experiences, joined an online brand community and posted product reviews. 61% of them seek and buy environmentallyfriendly products, where possible

Brand loyalty is often a matter of trust: Brands are personal identifiers for millennials. One noted, “In today’s society, brands are everything – what you wear, who you wear, all matter…”Beyond product affordability and quality, which top their list of buying concerns, they look for brand characteristics that relate to sustainability. These include trust (78%), environmental friendliness (71%), ethical practices (71%) and alignment with a cause or social issue (61%).Once trust is established, companies can develop a deeper relationship with their millennial consumers: 58% of millennials would be willing to share more personal information with a trusted brand in exchange for greater access to the company (for example, receiving coupons, free samples or previews of new products).

Millennials are adapting differently to constant connectedness: Because they are “online all the time”, millennials are bombarded with information and tend to be more self-reliant when making purchasing decisions. Globally, they look for product information an average of 7.4 times each month; the majority consult up to six different information sources before making a purchase.

In response to the steady stream of information, they turn more frequently to close friends and family for advice and critical information. In recent surveys of US consumers, millennials were two to three times more likely than individuals from other generations (baby boomers or generation X) to value the advice received from friends and family.

When making important decisions, millennials’ most trusted information sources are still close friends and relatives. For major decisions, 77% of them consult family members and 64% consult friends.Their next most frequently consulted information sources are search engines (by 21%), expert websites (21%) and co-workers (20%).

Millennials want to connect digitally with brands to make a difference: Many millennials want to engage more directly with brands and develop their relationship with their favoured ones. In a survey of 1,000 Indian millennials, 75% said they wanted to contribute toward improving available products and services; 51% wanted businesses to create interactive channels to make this easier.

Full Report: http://www.accenture.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/PDF/Accenture-Engaging-Tomor…

~ curated by TME World of Marketing. Source: Accenture, Engaging Tomorrow’s Consumer, January 22, 2013

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