In 1997, Dyan Machan predicted that:
“Whatever the post-Generation-X kids end up being called, it looks like they are going to be a lot different from the generation that precedes them.”
Enter Generation Y – the Millennials. There is something quite different about them. They are the future. They think in new and exiting ways. And they could just be your most dedicated brand ambassadors.
Millennials, by nature, are curious. They live in a world of immediacy, so are thirsty for knowledge and hungry for change and development. They challenge traditional ways of working and can offer a different and more ‘youthful’ perspective on brand engagement.
And yes, they are human, too. This article was starting to sound like the script for a David Attenbiorough documentary!
But it’s true, despite the cultural stereotype that ‘Millennials’, employees who reached adulthood around the year 2000, are perpetually dissatisfied and afraid of hard work. We find the millennial generation to be an extremely valuable asset. They offer an alternative view to their older colleagues, understand the modern consumer and the channels through which they engage with brands. Their unique perspective can help shape the thinking of the future of brand engagement.
“Millennials are likely to sense when a brand’s values are just words, and are not acted on in an authentic way”
A highly engaged and motivated millennial employee will willingly promote brand values and successes and can become your most dedicated brand ambassadors.
Challenging the Status Quo
Millennials think differently about work. They do not adhere to the ‘9 to 5’ mentality, nor do they fear change or uncertainty. They want to work for ethical companies and a brand they are proud of. If they believe in the brand, they will promote it, shout about it, live it, breath it. As Ben Kingsmill, our Head of Brand Engagement, says:
“They can be fierce protectors of the brand’s reputation and can serve as an early warning system that organisations are not living up to their values or reputation”
Millennials want the freedom to think for themselves, take risks and try new things. They have high expectations when it comes to pay, progression and promotion opportunities and want to define and shape brand future. They expect their ideas to be listened to and acted upon, and hope for a symbiotic relationship with their leaders.
“what sets millennials apart is a greater emphasis on future career and development opportunities.”
The values of the company they work for are very important to millennials – they want to work in a cohesive and collaborative community with a clear company mission. If there is a gap between your brand promises and the customer experience you deliver, millennials will be quick to pick up on it, and turned off.
Once they are engaged with brand values, though, Millennials become the most vocal and dedicated ambassadors:
“They have at their disposal a myriad of social channels through which they can support and promote those values, so they can become excellent brand advocates.”
To some employers, this seems overly demanding. It’s true, millennials are fickle, and if they are not adequately rewarded, acknowledged or engaged, they will move on very quickly. But when you have an engaged millennial brand ambassador on your team, it’s all worth it.
To us, it’s an opportunity to mobilise an army of dynamic, progressive and hungry brand ambassadors. It’s all about how you manage them. You must communicate your values clearly, ensure everyone is driving for the same goal, and then unleash and empower your millennials.
Understand and celebrate the unique powers of the millennial. Want to know how you can turn them into engaged brand ambassadors? Get in touch, and let us design a brand activation programme for your millennials.