The Secrets of Engaging and Retaining Millennials

It’s a challenge all businesses face – how to grab and keep the attention of millennials, a generation that represents one-quarter of the population and $200 billion in annual buying power. These 18 to 34 year olds are often characterized by:

• Relative lack of attachment to traditional institutions and organizations
• Leading-edge digital and mobile skills
• Low levels of social trust
• Personalized networks of friends, colleagues and affinity groups
• Lower levels of wealth and income than predecessor generations
• Multitasking proficiency [They are easily distracted.]
• Instant gratification and recognition
• Team-orientation [They seek collaboration.]
• Fierce brand loyalty

Here’s how Honda rose to the challenge. In its quest to lure the millennial generation to its products, Honda dispensed with the typical car ad. Instead, it chose to behave like a brand outside the car industry, with an emotional appeal delivered principally online and through music.

The “Honda Stage,” is a multi-platform music program designed to meet millennial music fans where they are attitudinally, and where they consume music specifically. Among its components are a “Honda Stage” YouTube channel, Civic Tour, live events, and connections and associations with known music icons such as Live Nation. Honda has entered the music content and curation business to build awareness of its brand and ultimately convert its millennial music fans into customers.

Consider the following strategies in your business for attracting and engaging millennials:

• Create a millennial-friendly customer experience. Place emotionally engaging resources where they can easily access them.
• Be omnipresent online so that you can connect with them in multiple ways.
• Create ads, promotions, etc., that are about sociability and are easily shareable. Millennials love to share information.
• Invite connection. For example, invite them to co-create a product with you.
• Demonstrate your values and beliefs in your communications. Millennials care about the beliefs, values and causes of the companies they support.
• Make interacting with your brand fun and authentic.

Millennials will feel understood, needed and appreciated. It’s a win/win for all.