Millennials pass on product reviews and expert opinions in favor of word-of-mouth input from personal connections.
Older generations tend to scour the web and read reviews about items on their wish list, or look to “experts” for their thoughts. Not Millennials. For them it’s often about word of mouth. These 18- to 34-year-olds want to know what their friends or a friend of a friend or social media connections think.
Who cares about five-star reviews? They’d much rather have the stamp of approval from an acquaintance they’ve only just met. Word of mouth speaks volumes. Millennials rank this as most influential in their buying decisions.
Don’t expect any traditional “referrals” from Millennials – they’re turned off by the very word because it often means companies are willing to pay for introductions to friends.
Millennials have no problems spreading the word about something they really, really like to their friends. They don’t need your stinkin’ money. Instead of asking for a referral, try asking that person for “help” in spreading the word about your product. Phrase this request just right and you’ve got yourself more Millennials in waiting.
Who do Millennials respect? Not doctors or the “experts” their parents favored. However, they’ll look to the opinion of parents, spouses and partners and especially celebrities. If a star says a product passes muster, Millennials are twice as likely to be influenced to purchase as a Gen-Xer (age 35 to 49) and four times as likely as aging Baby Boomers, (age 50 to 69).
Once you get them to buy, asking Millennials what they think about their experience with the product is vital if you have any hope getting word of mouth going. While only 35% of Boomers are asked for their opinions on products in the U.S., more than 50% of Millennials say others ask what they think about brands. On social media, more than half say they’re likewise willing to offer their brand preference versus just 31% of Boomers.
Millennials want you to be a friend and interact with them, with straightforward talk about any concerns. You want their loyalty and they want yours. More than any other group, a Millennial wants 24/7 availability. They have high standards when it comes to your brand’s conscience. If you’re involved in supporting social causes, they’re more apt to give your brand a try.
So don’t hide your product’s social conscience under a bush. Wrap an arm around a Millennial and befriend him or her. You won’t regret it.