THE MILLENNIAL BUSINESS (RE)MODEL
Millennials are increasingly driving the marketplace towards collaborative economy-driven channels of production and consumption. What’s working today is vastly different from what worked even a few years ago. Millennial-born businesses are capitalizing on hybrid infrastructure technologies and the affordability of social media to market to their customers in newly efficient and cost-effective ways. Below are the eight key traits that drive Millennial-model businesses:
1. Mobile-device centric: Users expect service wherever and whenever they please, which means they need mobile access. Portable media devices are the primary vehicles of Millennial brand engagement.
2. Graphic & pictorial communication: Modern communication is not necessarily word-based. The proliferation of communication applications that make use of photos and emoji graphics reflects the new language of today
3. Targeted advertising: Big data analytics allow companies to better market to consumer interests and demands. Today’s digital channels are rich in information that allow organizations to conduct their own research and access specialized consumer information.
4. Next-to-nothing promotional costs: Free advertising comes by way of social media-fuelled hype.
5. “Prosumption” (production and consumption) feedback loops: Giving customers a sense of agency and involving them in the conversation. Millennials came of age in a culture of self-expression afforded by social media and blogging sites, and they respond to companies that invite them to converse. Earnest ice cream engages in a “prosumptive” relationship with its customers by directly reaching out to them via social media. Below is a recent Instagram post by Earnest that asks, “Is there anything better than a sundae on a Sunday?!”
6. Outsourcing and peer-to-peer services: Millennials respond to idea brands that make use of principles of the sharing economy. New generations are increasingly urbanized and are moving away from traditional living and working styles; this calls for new business models that respond to Millennial (and Gen Z) desires for utility and cost-efficiency.
7. Instantaneous adaptability to consumer preferences: such as Netflix’s “Top Picks for You” function. Customers have come to expect on-demand servicing and interfaces.
8. Sense of corporate social responsibility: Cultivate purposeful, meaningful engagement with employees and consumers. A survey conducted by millennialmarketing.com found that 66% of Millennials would be more likely to seek employment with a company that supports a cause they care about, and 76% of them would think more highly of a company that allows them to support such a cause.