Millennials are big business, especially in Asia.
According to a 2016 report by Goldman Sachs, China has some 415 million millennials aged between 18 and 35. This is more than the entire working population of the US and Western Europe combined. India, one of the youngest countries in the world, has 440 million millennials making up 35 per cent of its population. And they are all more than ready to spend, spend, spend.
So, should you target this growing sector?
1. Determine if yours is a millennial product
In a bid to ensure generations of Americans continue to consume potatoes, the US Potato Board invested a great degree of time and research into understanding how it fit into the lives of millennials and, eventually, concluded that age was small potatoes when it came to potatoes. If, however, you’re a 21st-century product like dating app, Tinder, the same type of research would yield markedly different conclusions.
Your product will determine whether you should pay special attention to millennials.
2. Design for attitudes not age
Gather a random sample of a hundred people of the same age and you are likely to find a mixed bag of introverts and extroverts, thinkers and feelers, sportsmen and scholars, optimists and pessimists, and so on. In short, age is not always the most unifying of characteristics. So, even if you are targeting a younger sector, design for interests.
Take football boots for instance. Sports companies who produce boots for teenagers seldom brand them for youths. Instead, they target those who aspire to be defenders, midfielders, strikers and such, and design features based on the attributes of these positions.
This works because people tend to respond better when you appeal to their emotions and aspirations. And when you choose to speak to people’s passions and attitudes, you end up reaching out to more people outside of the conventional millennial group.
3. Know your millennials
A study conducted by global research consultancy, TNS, showed that millennials in Singapore spent an average of 3.4 hours a day on their mobile phones – scrolling Facebook, reading articles, watching videos and shopping online. They are what you call “digital natives”, spoiled by the vast amounts of readily available content and seamless user interfaces on intuitive apps and websites.
So, while millennials could possibly figure out how to use an app or site that isn’t well-designed, they probably won’t waste their time doing so. Because of where millennials spend their time, what you provide must bring value to their lives in ways other products may not, and personalising your design efforts helps – something that is almost expected in today’s generation.
Website-building site, Wix, exemplifies this notion. They’ve based their entire site creation process around intuitive, almost mindless drag-and-drop movements, making it simple for anyone to put anything they want on their site anywhere.
You may not want to design for just one segment of the population, but even if you do tap the rising power of the millennials, know that, in time, they will will change and another generation of customers will emerge. So, your design needs to keep up with the times so it can meet and even anticipate the needs of its day.