Customer Experience Trends: 3 Millennial Myths

As I have discussed in previous posts, the findings from our 2018 CX Trends Report highlighted several misconceptions brands have about their customers. These disconnects show up in different ways, including memorability of experiences or the creepiness of personalization efforts. In this post, I would like to discuss the false assumptions many brands make about Millennials.

It’s safe to say that Millennials (born 1981-1997) have been the subject of a lot of debate and generalizations by brands. It is incredibly common to see articles on their buying preferences and the way they are changing and even killing some industries on a regular basis. Organizations — many begrudgingly — have made changes in an attempt to connect with this generation, but our findings reveal that there are a few myths they have about Millennials that could be misdirecting their attempts.

Myth #1: Millennials don’t think twice about sharing personal data.

Brands tend to believe that Millennials are more excited about new technology than older generations, with few privacy concerns and no hesitation to give away personal information. In fact, the opposite is true: Older generations report fewer creepy experiences from brands, while Millennials report the highest (at 22%, compared to 11% for the Silent Generation and 13% for Baby Boomers).

Myth #2: Millennials are all-digital.

The next misconception brands seem to hold is that Millennials are exclusively digital, preferring to conduct all of their personal and commercial interactions from their mobile devices. Our research finds that there’s a lot more to the story — in fact, Millennials are true omnichannel consumers who find value in shopping online, through mobile apps, and in physical locations. For example, 32% of Millennials rank the ability to buy online and then pick up in store as very valuable, and 29% rank physical locations for e-tailers like Amazon as very important.

Myth #3: Millennials are unique in wanting brands to be aligned with their causes.

While there’s a lot of chatter about Millennials nearly forcing brands to advocate for their specific causes, the data tells a more complex truth. Yes, 58% of Millennials do feel that it is important or very important that brands they support invest in causes near and dear to them — but so do other generations. About 55% of Gen Xers and 51% of Baby Boomers said the same thing.

When it comes down to it, it’s vital that brands understand that Millennials are not all they’ve assumed. To combat misunderstandings, organizations should be transparent in how they use or Millennial data, offer choices in how to engage with the brand, and pay attention to the causes that inspire them without forgetting the basics like price, ease, and functionality.

To learn more about the latest findings in customer experience, download our 2018 CX Trends Report!

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