Why Businesses Must Grasp Millennial Thinking or Face Economic Calamity

Guest post from Gui Costin:
When it comes
to shopping and buying, the Millennial generation appears to play by its own
rules.
And businesses
that fail to understand the Millennial mindset are destined to fall behind
their competition – and perhaps plummet into irrelevancy, says Gui Costin, an
entrepreneur, consultant and author of Millennials Are Not Aliens.
“Millennials
are changing how we buy, how we sell, how we vacation, how we invest, and just
about everything else,” Costin says. “If you’re running a business, you have to
pay attention to how they think and act.”
Millennials are
the generation born roughly from 1981 to 1995, meaning that the older
millennials aren’t that far from 40. There are about 80 million Millennials, or
nearly one-third of the adult population in the U.S. – and that’s a lot of
buying power.
Millennials
grew up under very different circumstances than Baby Boomers and Generation X,
though, and the way in which they came of age greatly influenced them.
One example is
their relationship with technology.
“All of us,
regardless of which generation we belong to, have been impacted by technology,”
Costin says. “But the generation most affected by the digital, connected world
are the Millennials. You could think of it this way: If technology were a
geyser, Baby Boomers and Generation Xers have been sprayed by its impact, but
Millennials got drenched.”
And their
natural use of technology transformed the way they act as consumers, Costin
says.
“Bargaining is
a part of their process,” he says. “Because they are facile with technology,
they rely heavily on their cell phones to price shop and hunt the best deals.”
Costin says
there’s plenty that businesses need to understand about Millennials, but here
are just a few other facts about their consumer habits worth paying attention
to:
They let
everyone know about their buying experiences.
 It is not uncommon for Millennials to candidly share
details about their buying experiences, good or bad, on their public social
media platforms. “This can translate to bad news for businesses that
underperform or, conversely, great news for those that exceed expectations,”
Costin says.
Big
purchases can happen virtually. 
For
many older people, it’s difficult to even conceive the idea of buying a car,
for example, without ever physically seeing or touching it first. “Millennials
do it all the time,” Costin says. “In fact, they are the very first of all the
generations to make a large purchase without first performing an on-site
inspection.”
Brand
loyalty means something.
 No
matter how fickle many people believe Millennials to be, they are extremely
brand loyal, Costin says. In fact,60 percent of Millennials say they almost always stick
to brands they currently purchase.
Information
is essential. 
Millennials
scour the internet to learn about a brand or product before making a purchase.
They check websites, blogs, or peer reviews that they trust.
Instant
gratification is paramount.
 Because
they have grown up in a digital age, Millennials are used to speed and
immediate gratification. “They value prompt feedback and communication and do
not like wasting time,” Costin says. “Think emails, text messages, and online
messaging.”
“The
environment you grow up in determines what you become accustomed to,” Costin
says. “Gen Xers and Baby Boomers need to realize that how they grew up is
affecting the way they are selling and marketing their organizations. But you
cannot sell and market to Millennials the same way you were sold and marketed
to.
“The good news
is, many companies are listening. They are actively replacing dated, manual
processes with more efficient, cutting-edge tools to promote the convenience
and speed Millennials crave.”
About Gui
Costin
Gui Costin (www.guicostin.com), author
of Millennials
Are Not Aliens
, is an entrepreneur, and founder of Dakota, a company
that sells and markets institutional investment strategies. Dakota is also the
creator of two software products: Draft, a database that contains a highly
curated group of qualified institutional investors; and Stage, a content
platform built for institutional due diligence analysts where they can learn an
in-depth amount about a variety of investment strategies without having to
initially talk to someone. Dakota’s mission is to level the playing field for
boutique investment managers so they can compete with bigger, more well-resourced
investment firms.