Millennials open to brand engagement

6 December 2012

NEW YORK: Over three-quarters of millennial consumers worldwide want to be "entertained" by brands, and a similar proportion are willing to provide feedback on goods and services.

Edelman, the PR network, polled 4,000 people born between 1980 and 1995 and drawn from 11 nations, including China, India, the UK and US. Just 3% of interviewees agreed "all advertising is boring".

Some 80% of the panel wanted brands to "entertain" them, with co-creating products the most popular option, mentioned by 40%, ahead of receiving real-time answers to social media enquiries, on 33%.

A further 32% cited sponsoring events, while 31% were keen for companies to deliver engaging online content, and 21% would like to connect with other fans. Forming tie-ups with admired celebrities or public figures scored 19% here.

More broadly, a 74% majority of respondents thought they influenced the purchase choices of peers and older buyers, and 63% regularly went shopping with their friends, partner or family.

For 73% of the sample, sharing feedback with companies after a good or bad experience was a "responsibility", peaking at 90% in China and India, but falling to 59% in Germany and 57% in Canada.

When making purchase decisions, it was revealed that 94% of participants used at least one external information source and 40% employed four or more, with search engines and word of mouth from friends and family the most common.

Upon being asked what wider assistance brands could be in their lives, fully 77% of contributors pointed to the provision of financial assistance, such as grants and scholarships for studying.

Exactly 75% desired opportunities for more "life experiences" like trips and lessons in interesting subjects, and 65% proved enthusiastic about being provided with a mentor to help guide them.

An additional 60% wished to tap a brand's "audience", like its Facebook page or ads, to connect with similarly-minded people, and 56% said the same for sharing their views with a wide group.

"It's time for marketers to rethink their perceptions of Millennials as the generation grows up," said Alex Abraham, director of the 8095 insights group at Edelman.

"In 2013, the oldest in this generation will turn 33 – many of them are now parents, have careers and wield an incredible amount of spending power and influence in today's world."

Data sourced from Edelman; additional content by Warc staff