WARD’S WORDS SARAH WARD
How to capture a millenial audience Knowing your customers is paramount in retail and with half the world’s working population now made up of millennials, it’s time to grasp how best to communicate with them. The Giftware Association CEO Sarah Ward looks at how best to target this audience.
ith business being tough out there and marketing campaigns becoming more targeted and personalised to specific audiences, how does a business focus on the customers that they really want to buy their products? Millennials and Generation Z make up over half of the world’s working population, and command billions of pounds in buying power. Although targeting this audienc e is not as easy as first seems, as the recent study by the Boston Research Group has found, there are six segments within this demographic that all have their own behaviours and nuances. Even so, there are still familiarities that you can use to your advantage when targeting this audience, which are highlighted here.
FRICTONLESS EXPERIENCES This is something that we have seen traditional retail stores really get to grips with. Creating an experience within the shops to keep consumers in there longer, with the hope that they spend more. An example of this is a lot of department stores now have a coffee shops, or a juice bar, depending on what area of the country that you are in. More stores are employing this to help combat the issues on our high streets.
recent years with the rise of Instagram Inﬂuencers, members of this generation will for a fee, help promote your product, experience or brand. Though always be wary because as soon as they jump onto trends, they are just as quick jumping off them, as was proven with a famous Instagram inﬂuencer ARII, who has 2.6 million followers, but could not promote her own fashion label and was only able to sell 6 t-shirts.
SPEED AND FRESHNESS A GENERATION DISRUPTED Speed and freshness are key in According to the most recent Speed and capturing the hearts and minds of report by Deloitte, they discovered freshness are key millennials and Gen Z, they are that millennials are very disrupted. always on the look out for the next This could be because they are in capturing the new things, or next adventurous pop perpetually caught in the crossﬁre hearts and minds up, and exclusivity is a big draw. of social, political and economic Brands like Supreme have owned this of millennials and commotion. A lot of this has come exclusivity by having limited edition Gen Z, they are from the age at when they have t-shirts selling at high prices to the entered the working market, it always on the look was the time of the economic ﬁrst customers in line, with queues of 100 deep around their Soho store crash, making it hard for them to out for the next on release days. Being part of the ﬁnd work or stable jobs, this has new thing moment as well is another drawcard. led them to build up a distrust in Millennials like being able to capture big corporations and brands, and it on Instagram and then shout about where they instead preferring to look for the novel, the new were, what they have bought and how exclusive it is and independent. to their audience, brands copying in this are sure to As a retailer it’s important for you to research draw a buzz about their products to this social-media your audiences as this will provide valuable clues and tech savvy generation. about how you can respond to those generational differences in mutually beneﬁcial ways that could THEY HAVE A LOVE HATE RELATIONSHIP increase trust, generate positive societal impact, WITH SOCIAL MEDIA and meet their high expectations. As mentioned above, Social Media is a big part of millennials and Gen Z. It’s a place they can instantly share their experiences as well as tag in brands and further help promote products. As we have seen over
Sarah Ward is Chief Executive of the Giftware Association which is at the heart of the gift industry supporting members by offering invaluable advice and assistance. Coming originally from a retail background she then worked at Penny Kennedy gaining extensive knowledge in the card, wrap and stationery sector, and now utilises these skills across a broader environment. T: 0121 236 2657 www.ga-uk.org
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