Death by Millennial. This generation is accused of killing multiple industries such as: diamonds, bars of soap, homeownership, and more. These 23-38 year olds have different preferences than the generations before them, but this is a continuing cycle that will go on for generations to come.
Millennials are stereotyped. Simon Sinek’s analysis on Millennials in the workplace artfully points out why Millennials are so different to manage and the circumstances that created a generation accused of entitlement, narcissism, self-interest, lack of focus, laziness, and an addiction to social media.
And on the other side of the negative attribute coin, Millennials are explained as wonderful, idealistic, hardworking, and smart adults who struggle to find meaning in corporate life and at developing real relationships. No generation is easily summed up, and this one likes to be particularly complicated. But as your customer, what’s relevant to you is that illennials are notorious for being adventurous, impatient, tech savvy, and are evolving to 75% of your customer base.
Millennials are impatient. They have absolutely no qualms with letting industries that don’t innovate fall to the side. People are accustomed to having everything at the tips of their fingers to help in making their lives more seamless. Time is considered a luxury. One of the reasons that the on-demand economy has taken off is that consumers, particularly young consumers, desire to cut out steps and streamline their lives so they can gain more time to do what they actually want — whether that be collecting experiences or binge-watching shows on Netflix.
Retailers and tech giants too are reaping the benefits of society’s growing impatience. Walmart and eBay have challenged Amazon and Google in a battle of which company can deliver the fastest, because consumer habits have made it clear that they will pay big bucks to avoid the wait.
Does your company have an app? Businesses are expected to have one to accompany their purchasing experience to streamline access. Young consumers are expecting everything faster, easier, and more effortless than ever before and experimenting with tech that takes care of everything they don’t want to. If your company doesn’t have an app – or at the very least a fully functioning website optimized for smaller screens, you need to get on it.
Mundane, irritating, everyday tasks? Nobody has the time for that anymore.
Millennials and Gen Zers are tech savvy and love social media. In fact, 90% of the Gen Z generation make travel decisions based on what they see on social media. To keep up with these trends, popular music festivals (Coachella, Outside Lands, etc.) and the Glendale Galleria mall (with their Instagram worthy Lego statues) use social media almost exclusively to promote their content.
Considering that 40% of your consumers will be Gen Z by 2020, go ahead post a snap story that features your flashy mustang convertible in front of a popular landmark in the city.
With Millennials being known for cultural immersion and Gen Zers being known as the “YOLO” generation. Whether it be with friends or family, they travel differently and more often than any other generation. Players in the tourism game are trying to capitalize on these preferences by making people feel like insiders, helping people understand “how the locals do it.” For instance, tourism destinations are now more focused on identifying underlying themes to their destination that weave several
experiences together to help people understand and truly feel part of a destination.
They also travel frequently for business and they’re taking in the sights, as well. “Bleisure” travel (business + leisure) has seen rising popularity among Millennials and Gen Zers alike. In fact, 62% of Millennials are more likely to extend their business vacations and 88% of Gen Zers save money for bleisure travel to gain cultural experience and see more of the world, taking advantage of their company footing part of the bill.
Millennials are falling out of love with car ownership. Half of adults between the ages of 22 and 37 say a car is not worth the money spent on maintenance, and that they would rather be doing something other than driving. And 16% of Millennials say they could live without access to a car. Millennials have a lower rate of car ownership than previous generations at their age, with only 76% of 20-24 year olds possessing a driver’s license, down from 82% in 2008. But when Millennials do actually buy cars, about 15% of them purchase with a plan to drive for Uber or Lyft.
The auto industry is shifting rapidly. The concept of ride sharing wasn’t that well known until the last five years, but today Uber is estimated to be valued at over $120 billion dollars with 15 million completed trips per day. And Lyft was launched into the New York Stock Exchange earlier this year. The days of being skeptical of these ride sharing companies are over. They’re taking hold and becoming a competitive part of the industry.
So, what should you be considering?
First and foremost: hire Millennials, provide the best vehicle at the lowest rate and monitor your competition; enhance your social media presence and make it aesthetically appealing; get an app, and consider offering flexible return options for your customers in addition to incorporating hourly rentals into your daily operation.
The point is, these younger generations do and see things differently than any other generation. Therefore, you need a unique consideration when creating marketing strategies and new products.
Your customers have changed. Have you?
Kaila Hart is a senior client services manager with Frontline Performance Group with a focus in short-term mobility and the rental car industry. She started her career with Enterprise Holdings and has since worked with over 50 car rental and automotive clients.