The Cambridge dictionary defines a millennial as anyone born between the early 1980s and 2000s. India's population is roughly 1.2 billion strong with almost 0.8 billion of working age. It's no wonder that marketers are interested in targeting this group.
We spoke to different marketers to understand more about millennials and what it means to market to them. A shared insight that came up was that this group of consumers are both hyper-connected and have an incredible amount of exposure to international trends.
So, what sort of challenges does this give rise to? How do you grab a millennial's attention? How does a marketer even define a millennial? Here's what some experts had to say...
Nitin Sethi, VP Digital, Indigo
Millennials are the group that is driving the majority of growth, whether it's a global brand or a startup. Most of our TG is from Tier II and Tier III cities; 35-40 per cent, that's a growing group for us. India is one-fifth of the population of the world. Of that, roughly 50 per cent constitutes young people and most are millennials. Anybody between 18-30 years is a millennial. From a personal perspective, a guy who's finishing school, entering college or starting a new job. They're vulnerable, experiment a lot and have high aspirations.
Spending money is not a problem in India anymore. They can and want to spend. But for their own choices, they want to be informed, empowered and in control. They're cost-conscious, but do splurge when they like and want to. For example, they may not choose a paid seat for a short flight, but for a flight that's slightly longer (Delhi to Bangalore), they would not compromise on the kind of seat they select.
If you keep your hygiene right, your chances of growth are high. They don't have any brand loyalty and they like to experiment with different brands to find out what they like. They look for brands that give them experiences. It works well for us because we're good at unbundling. Millennials buy what they like and they don't like to be forced. As a brand, if you empower them, give them choices and you're clear about what you're offering and what you're charging, then they don't mind spending.
Our first user who flies with us - there's a probability he will come back because we are delivering what we promise. As a brand, if you deliver what you promise, there are higher chances of retention. We use to-the-point communication that are absolutely clear. We don't like ambiguity and neither do millennials.
Bhavishya Kelappan, Business Head, Mia by Tanishq
As a brand, Mia by Tanishq has been focussed on the 18-35 age group for the past two years. The millennial woman today, whether she's working, a housewife, an entrepreneur or an artist... she's always in action, at work or with her friends.
The main problem when you're trying to talk to millennials is that there's a lot of clutter. Everyone is trying to approach and move her. What makes it even harder for marketers is that she has brains, money and an incredible amount of exposure.
The internet has broken many mental and geographic boundaries. If you have to talk to her, the idea is for her to associate with you. No brand can afford to talk down to a woman. They're all talking to her. That makes everyone's job harder because they might buy what you have, but they may not necessarily associate with you.
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The challenge of marketing to a hyper-connected consumer is that it's difficult to keep her attention and difficult to keep her loyal. She's being fed so much of content by so many people. To get her to watch your entire video is not easy; just a swish of a finger and her attention is gone.
Also, today she'll see your website and she might want to buy something later. There might be thousands of reasons why she doesn't choose to buy it at that minute. But an hour later, someone else might have fed her an ad and she might choose that brand instead. There are price options, design options, brand options... It's easy to reach the consumer, but it's difficult to keep her attention.
Roch D'Souza, Chief Marketing Officer - Brand Factory
If I have to define a millennial, I would say he is free-spirited, aspirational, but more importantly, money doesn't define his lifestyle. They are a very unique group who don't believe that only if you have enough money can you live a certain lifestyle. The generation before them had that attitude, but I think that's a big myth that these individuals have broken. Earlier, status would be around a house that you buy to establish a lifestyle. But millennials don't believe in that; they have changed the paradigm in a big way.
They have come up with a whole new way of thinking. For example, if you don't have enough money, you could travel to a budget destination, but still explore as much as you want. Also, as individuals, they are opinionated and don't really have any qualms about raising their voice. If there's something around them that affects them, they make themselves heard and that shows how independent they are.
That's a big shift that is currently driving a lot of consumption in many ways, which otherwise would not have happened earlier.
Exposure is a big reason that drives a mindset change. You can see international trends in India in real-time. Millennials have that accessibility and exposure; these are key reasons why this shift has occurred. What I like about millennials is that they're unpredictable in many ways; that is a big challenge for a marketer.
When I'm conceptualising something, I can't bore them. They're unforgiving. As a marketer, I can't take that lightly. If they don't believe my cause as a brand, they will not give me another chance and they may be vocal about how good or bad my brand is. Millennials are also forever evolving. It challenges a brand to keep evolving as well.
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