Businesses are increasingly investigating how to best define and address younger generations. They understand they need to develop their presence on new media, but also question the benefits of developing products specific to Millennials. Through inspiration and purpose, they seek to develop new codes and visions that could bring young generations on board, whether they are consumers or future leaders. This second part of Innotrends on Generational Changes for Innovation is looking at business experts’ strategies to communicate with young generations. The first part, “Empowering New Generations“, investigates views of Education, Press and Media, Customers and Influencers.
C-Level and Leaders
As communication tools and media evolve, brands and companies leadership embrace new ways to develop their audience. They now seek to inspire Millennials, developing a transparent dialogue about their successes and failures, ultimately showing a human face behind the logo. As a way to develop and attract new talents, C-Level and leaders share pieces of advice for young entrepreneurs in Jacquelyn Smith and Rachel Gillett’s article for INC. Among other ideas, Hermione Way, founder of WayMedia, explains that “there has never been an easier time to start a business. There are so many free online tools. Just start, and if you fail you can always go and get a normal job, but you will learn so much along the way it will be a great experience.”
Is inspiring millennials a better solution than designing products specifically targeting this generation? In their article for HBR, Timothy Morey and Allison Schoop suggest that in the end, it is difficult to find enough common behaviors among an entire generation to create dedicated products for Millennials. As they say, “A better approach is to design for archetypes that are representative of certain attitudinal and behavioral traits, and then combine these with social, market and emerging technology trends—all things that transcend age or generation. Defining an ideal customer for a potential product or service using broader human themes allows you to create solutions that resonate with a larger group of people.”
As Millenials enter the labor market, HR experts also investigate how they potentially need to adapt their recruitment strategies. In her article for EducPros.fr, Marie-Caroline Missir explains that “we cannot really say that Generation Y is drastically different from previous ones: expectations are the same, but they are more intense. The idea is to have a passion-driven role that interests them, while making sure it does not invade their entire existence”.
Business Experts and Professional Communities
It seems Millennials bring passionate discussions about how to best address them. Marketing professionals are encouraged to investigate multiple ways to engage with this generation as they increasingly influence market potentials. As Heidi Cohen reminds for Tech National News, among other specific behaviors, “Millennials expect a two-way relationship with companies and brands. (…) Think multi-directional engagement.”
Beyond engagement, Millennials are seeking for purpose to work for a company. As Scott Parish writes in his Linkedin post, “Growing up with a powerful global media, Millennials have developed a strong understanding the world’s problems, and deep desire to feel a part of the solutions. A study by Net Impact, found that compared with other generations, Millennials have more of a desire for a job that has an impact on causes or issues that are important to them.”