Much has been said about the millennial generation: Entitled and impulsive. Ambitious yet lazy. Classic narcissists who refuse to grow up. The word millennial itself has continuously been used in the media to discredit and belittle this entire group of individuals born between 1981 to 1996.
Regardless of the negative reputation millennials, in general, seem to effortlessly attract, the fact remains that they will soon dominate the workforce. With a population of 35 million strong, Filipino millennials, or Filennials, are ready to shake and reshape the country’s economic landscape.
Emerging millennial market
According to a 2015 census by the Philippine Statistics Authority, Filennials comprise 53% of the working age population, with 45% employed. The staggering rate at which they descend on jobs means that they also have a growing purchase power. Businesses must learn how to better market their brands to these young consumers, whose behaviors and ideals are drastically different from previous generations.
To successfully capture a stable Filennial market base, one must first understand what they value, which is central to how they behave. Their characteristics, after all, are not just randomly selected options in a checkbox; they stem from principles that Filennials respect. Indeed, despite how Filennials are often viewed as the Me Generation obsessed with selfies and the perfect Instagram shot, they are actually “politically and socially engaged.”
So what are the traits of a typical Filennial?
1. They value authenticity.
Hard selling your brand and product is just about the best way to lose a Filennial customer. They avoid brands that scream how great an item is or how a product is such a steal. Filennials want to make the purchasing decision themselves and they want authenticity from brands.
Brand authenticity simply means that the brand knows your consumers, their needs, and how to get that message across. One way brands are doing this is by using influencers to promote their products and services in a far more relatable way. Others, like Angkas, are using social media platforms to connect to their target market in a refreshingly candid way.
2. They want to be rewarded for their loyalty.
Older generations are loyal to brands for the sake of loyalty but this is not the case for millennials. Filennials want to make sure that the brands they are loyal to are also loyal to them.
Eighty per cent of millennials[i] subscribe to loyalty programs and 55% said some kind of reward card would keep them engaged with the brand. They also prefer digital rewards more than boomers, with 66% saying[ii] that they are more likely to shop from the store where they are part of the loyalty program.
3. They favor word-of-mouth recommendation.
Filennials don’t merely rely on ads and copies. They trust reviews from friends, family, and even strangers. Before ordering food or visiting a restaurant, they will first check reviews on Zomato[iii]. When planning trips, they will browse TripAdvisor[iv] first before booking a flight or hotel.
Brands must take steps to build a good reputation through relevant user-generated content. This can help show Filennial audiences that they are trusted by other people and can deliver high-quality products or services.
4. They are tech-savvy.
Millennials spend 5 to 10 hours[v] a day consuming numerous online content—and that’s a modest estimate. As digital natives, they are a highly mobile generation who rely on technology to help them perform their jobs better. With smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other gadgets, millennials are often plugged in and online—ready for communication, shopping, entertainment, and everything in-between.
Millennials don’t just love consuming content but also sharing it within their circles. Whether it’s eating, drinking out, or watching films, they like documenting their experiences and letting other people know about it, perhaps even get influenced by it on some level. Each real-life activity is a digital activity, and vice versa.
Brands should invest in taking their business digital, whether through social media, a mobile app, or an e-commerce website. The goal is a simplified, engaging, and intuitive digital experience.
5. They will pay for experience.
Millennials want to experience life[vi] the best way possible with their friends and they are willing to pay for it. They like travelling and even view it as a necessity rather than a luxury[vii]. They would rather attend the actual concert than to buy the band’s merchandise. They always crave new adventures and discoveries and want to put thrill in the mundanity of every day.
Millennial consumers appreciate brands that put value to their experience—something exotic, adventurous, memorable, and perhaps a little bit dangerous[viii]. An astounding 98% of participants in a survey conducted by Factory360[ix] admitted that they are more inclined to buy a product when they participated in an experiential campaign.
6. They are socially conscious.
For 76% of millennials[x], it is important that the brands and stores they purchase from are doing some good for the local community. Furthermore, 44% of millennial parents[xi] claim to shop only from brands that reflect their social and/or political values.
When a brand makes a mistake, the backlash can be quite harsh, especially in this age of social media. Millions of losses[xii] can be incurred once consumers decide to boycott a brand on social media sites.
Brands should be very careful about the values they espouse, especially since millennials are an entirely new breed when it comes to advocacy and social justice.
7. They carefully consider prices.
According to Goldman Sachs[xiii], 57% of millennials compare prices in stores. That doesn’t mean they won’t consider buying more expensive goods, though. Your brand can be a pricier option and millennials will still make the purchase, as long as they are confident in the quality of your product. Consistently good quality is one of the factors that make millennials loyal to a brand.
8. They love good content.
Filennials like witty and thought-provoking content. They are just as likely to share a branded post[xiv] as they are to share a photo from a friend. They just have to find in it a story they can relate to or even simply find funny.
Just take a look at the hugot culture[xv] that has been making its rounds in brands, who utilize heart-breaking but humorous one-liners to connect easier and better with their markets.
It is important for brands and business owners to consider the effectiveness of digital marketing in the Philippines; Filennials more often than not rely on information from digital platforms to influence their purchase decisions.
9. They have a selective attention span.
In a study conducted by Kelton Research[xvi], millennial business professionals reported that they had increased attention span. However, they became more selective in the content they pay attention to. When selecting content to consume, millennials consider a solid narrative and the story behind the content. Video and animated visuals also help in keeping them engaged.
Brands can bridge gaps in connecting with the millennial market through storytelling that is as effective as it is compelling. Tap into what moves them—without being fake or patronising—and your brand is golden[xvii].
10. They go at their own pace.
Millennials live by their own terms. They solve problems and make decisions through processes they made for themselves, and don’t like anything that hinders their creativity.
Millennials love their individuality. Brands can knock on this creative sensibility through personalised[xviii] or out-of-the-box[xix] ads with a powerful, socially relevant message that makes it easy to forget they’re ads in the first place.
Understanding why millennials behave the way they do is the first step to getting valuable insights into what they want from your brand. Businesses and brands that manage to do this can gain long-term consumers from the largest generation thus far.
Need help with understanding your millennial customers? Get in touch with LeapOut Digital today!
[i] Nielsen Global Retail Loyalty Sentiment Report