Generally speaking, Millennials were born into a more financially stable generation. The Ipsos Mendelsohn Affluent Survey shows there are currently 11.8 Millennials living in United States households with annual incomes over $100,000. Thirty-four percent have also been raised by wealthy parents, allowing them to stay wealthy throughout their lifetime.
Luxury is the most identifiable differentiator between Millennials and older generations. Money, cars and clothes that were once conventional status symbols, are very distant from Millennials. We see that they care less about the logo on their car, or the tags on their clothes because they have grown up accustomed to an affluent lifestyle. A PR plan which appeals to those who want more “stuff” will not appeal to the younger generations. Millennials are more in tune to experiences versus material items; they prefer to take trips and throw parties which can then be shared on Facebook and Twitter.
Although experiences reign supreme, this does not mean Millennials are ready to give up their upper-class lifestyles. Forbes.com names this paradigm the “we are like you, but slightly better” model, stating that affluent Millennials may outwardly purchase the same brands as their less-affluent peers. Forbes gives an example of the differences at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. While many Millennials attend this event regardless of their economic status, less-affluent guests stay in tents; while the affluent are willing to pay higher amounts for the VIP experience which includes private accommodations and a golf-cart chauffer. Millennials from all financial standings attend the festival, but their expected experiences differ.
The Luxury Institute reports six out of ten Millennials rely on user generated content, meaning, if your brand as no online ubiquity, it might as well be nonexistent. As stated earlier in this series, this generation is engrossed in the social media explosion. Because of their presence online, centering your communications campaign around social media is a practical use of time and resources. The emotional aspect of Millennials should be taken into consideration when brainstorming these campaigns. Since this younger generation is oriented towards experiences, PR plans should tap heavily into their emotional side.
Coca-Cola demonstrates this idea through their description on their Facebook Page which says, “The Coca-Cola Facebook Page is a collection of your stories showing how people from around the world have helped make Coke into what it is today.” This description encourages users to share their stories, a strong characteristic in both affluent and less-affluent Millennials.
It’s always pertinent to remember, affluent or not, Millennials are more attentive to their purchasing decisions than any other generation. Their spending habits are projected to increase as they age and their spending expectations will continue to heighten throughout their life. PR professionals can easily and successfully target the affluent by staying in tune with Millennial spending patterns and their definition of luxury.
This is the last in a series on Millennials. To read the other related blog posts: