NEW DELHI: Millennials are not particularly faithful but they do expect that quality, along with honesty and transparency in the brands they patronise, according to some of India's leading marketers.
"They [Millennials] are loyal to no one. They are, however, loyal to themselves," Rajiv Mehta, managing director of Puma India, told the Economic Times as he explained the difficulties this attitude created for the marketing community.
"As marketers, especially the bigger organisations, we are not allowed to make mistakes because there are no second chances," he said.
Brands have sought to reach this group via social media. A recent report from JWT Intelligence, Meet the BRIC Millennials, found that Indian Millennials were most engaged with this channel, followed by Chinese and Brazilians. Russians were by far the least engaged.
But the same study showed that social media had created a fear of missing out, with nearly seven in ten Indian Millennials admitting to feeling this way while more than six in ten became uneasy or nervous when they learned that their friends or peers were doing something they themselves were not.
This had resulted, said Ann Mack, director TrendSpotting, JWT in "an unprecedented dependence on peer validation", with 80% of those surveyed by JWT in India saying it was important their social media profile conveyed a certain image.
The fear of missing out has also meant they displayed diverse and ever-changing interests, or as K Ramakrishnan, head of marketing at the café chain Cafe Coffee Day, put it: "The Millennial's interests are very ephemeral".
"The only way to work around is by having a constant dialogue," he suggested, "and the only tool that allows that is social media." That dialogue has been instrumental in the chain's decision to launch three new products, including a chewable drink.
Sameer Satpathy, executive vice president at consumer goods business Marico, observed a generation that had a widespread breadth of knowledge "but also a certain loss of depth".
"Everything has to be new, exciting and interesting," he said, "and everything we do must be shareable".
While brands may continue to look to exploit sharing, converting popular Millennials into advocates and creating events online and off, Mack noted that some of this group were now starting to feel their lives were over-documented and they wanted to be able to customise what they shared, when and with whom.
Brands that could offer this menu of choices could steal a march on the competition.
Data sourced from Economic Times, JWT; additional content by Warc staff