Austin, Texas – January 30, 2012 – Millennials – currently in their mid-teens to mid-30s – will have more spending power than any other generation by 2017. According to Talking to Strangers, a new study released today by Bazaarvoice in partnership with The Center for Generational Kinetics and Kelton Research, Millennials shop in a whole new way from previous generations. The study finds that while all generations trust opinions of other consumers over brand messages, Millennials are far more dependent on these opinions when making purchases and, unlike their forebears, are just as likely to rely on the experiences of strangers they consider “people like them” as trusted friends and family.
Far from being overwhelmed by information, this generation is constantly connected and dependent on social. In fact, 84% of Millennials are comforted that they have access to the opinions and experiences of strangers, and they strongly feel that companies should offer more ways for them to share opinions and experiences online.
Talking to Strangers: 30-Second Take-Aways
The new study, available here, offers a fresh picture of Millennials as they research and buy today. This socially dependent generation actively uses Facebook (80%), as well as YouTube (49%), Twitter (28%) and Google+ (25%), and are much more likely to share both positive and negative experiences with brands via social channels (42% and 32% respectively) than by emailing their friends or calling up the company. This generation often understands social better than the brands trying to reach them, and makes its own rules of commerce.
Millennials Don’t Buy Without Consumer Input
Millennials have been exposed to more advertising messages than any other generation in history. As they browse store aisles or contemplate the “buy” button, they trust UGC more than other sources – and won’t complete many purchases without it.
Millennials Trust Anonymous Consumers
Millennials want to hear from friends and family, but when the time comes to lay down cash, the opinions of strangers like them – especially those with direct experience of the brand, product, or service – have more weight than they do for Boomers. Millennials are also much more likely to turn to social channels, not just personal connections, to find feedback from experts and people with common interests.
Millennials Question Companies’ Motives – But They Still Want to Engage
Millennials question the motives of companies that collect customer opinions. They believe that companies only care about how they look to other shoppers – they don’t really take feedback seriously. Millennials strongly feel that other consumers care more about their opinions than brands do, but they still want to be part of the conversation.
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Bazaarvoice’s Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions have powered more than 280 billion customer conversations on brand web sites like Best Buy, Blue Shield of California, Costco, Dell, Macy’s, P&G, Panasonic, QVC, and USAA. The company connects organizations to their influencers through a unique network that reaches hundreds of millions of consumers around the globe, enabling authentic customer-powered marketing. Through syndication, analytics, partnerships, and consulting, Bazaarvoice brings the voice of the customer to the center of their clients’ business strategy, proving “social” can drive measured revenue growth and cost savings for manufacturing, retail, travel, and financial services companies. Headquartered in Austin, the company has offices in Amsterdam, London, Munich, Paris, Stockholm, and Sydney. For more information and access to client success stories, visit www.bazaarvoice.com, read the blog at www.bazaarvoice.com/blog, and follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bazaarvoice.
About The Center for Generational Kinetics
The Center for Generational Kinetics converts generational trends and predictabilities into breakthrough opportunities.
We study what works to make the most of every generation in the marketplace and workplace. We then look at why it works and how you can benefit from that knowledge. The outcome is cutting-edge content, training, and thought leadership designed for leaders who demand results. This is what we do. It's all we do.
At The Center for Generational Kinetics we focus all our efforts on delivering tangible ROI for our clients around the world. Learn more at www.GenHQ.com, via Facebook.com/JasonRyanDorsey, and at www.GenHQ.com/blog
Kelton is a market research and strategy consultancy that works with some of the world’s largest and most recognizable brands to help them better understand and connect with consumers. Kelton provides highly customized qualitative and quantitative research for a wide variety of companies across multiple sectors including many in the Fortune 500.