Monday, June 16, 2014

Rise of the Millennial Influence in Retail

Millennials are poised to be the largest consumer group, forever changing the way we need to market and sell goods and services. This group, as defined by the dictionary, are a “generation, born from 1980 onward, brought up using digital technology and mass media; the children of Baby Boomers; also called Generation Y.”
Millennials – growing influence
Millennials tend to have a bad reputation with older folks like me (if you’re not sure what I mean, watch this Millennials in the Workplace Training Video – then you will understand.) Whether you buy into these stereotypes or not – Millennials are here to stay.   By 2014, Millennials are expected to be the largest consumer demographic and nearly a third of the U.S. population. 
Millennials – the skeptical, involved technocrats
Millennials understand technology and social media better than any other generation; as digital natives, they probably used a mobile device as a binky growing up.  Millennials like to know their voice is heard and respond better when they can directly influence a brand, in fact – 64 percent think companies should offer more ways to share their opinions online. They also tend to be skeptical of traditional media and sales approaches, only 19 percent found traditional media is an effective method of promoting a brand.  Millennials are also more environmentally and socially-conscious, taking pride in being a generation championing positive change and good in the world.
Millennials – the worker
In addition to growing in consumer influence, Millennials are also beginning to dominate the sales force. According to a study by Sibson Consulting, Millennials are interested in sales positions with growth and commission opportunities. The number of sales organizations where Millennials make up (on average) one-third of the workforce will more than double in the next five years.  Are you ready for this change?
Ready or not, the more important question to ask is – are Millennials motivated to promote and sell your product, in particular, when they represent multiple brands as in the case of the retail store associate?
Millennials – how do we engage the worker?
In our experience, to capture mindshare, the Millennial retail store associate needs an outlet to discuss, review, and interact directly with your brand in an authentic way.  While the desired outcome is to ultimately educate the retail associates and drive sales, the path to get there is through an authentic voice and positive interaction with the brand.
MarketStar helps clients create interactive, social communities where retail store associates could interact with one another through games, training modules, and participate in promotions for branded merchandise.  The community is staffed with community managers that work to create a direct, trustable dialogue for the brand.
Clients have found success with this tool, and some have experienced a 20 percent sales uplift within stores that are actively participating in the community.
Watch how this community tool works, and increases mindshare among retail associates: Connect+.
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