There is plenty of serious and breathless research out there about what Millennial consumers want. And no wonder: various retailers are scrabbling for the money of this group, and they are becoming more important than ever.
However, humor remains the true way to someone’s heart. If you want to truly understand Millennial consumers, it’s time to stop being serious and start finding out what they’re laughing about!
Keep reading to discover five surprising things that are making Millennials laugh.
1. Traditional Advertisements
One big thing that will make a Millennial laugh is traditional advertisements. There is a simple reason for this: they can see through the marketing buzz and BS better than any generation before them.
This demographic cares about what other consumers think way more than what product makers want them to care about. This is why things like word-of-mouth advertising and customer testimonials are so important to Millennials: they are likelier to trust their peers when it comes to what to buy.
Keep in mind that old media is pretty dead to them, too. If you want to market to Millennials, be sure to do something online so they can see it on their smartphones!
2. The Ideal That They Prefer Online Shopping
As we just said, Millennials spend a lot of time online. This has led to the rise of the myth that they prefer online shopping. Millennials laugh at this because the truth is much more complicated.
In their heart of hearts, Millennials prefer great experiences over anything else. This is why, all things being equal, they prefer a good brick-and-mortar store: it offers atmosphere and engagement that online can’t match.
However, Millennials usually aren’t swimming in money: many of them juggle multiple low-paying “gig economy” jobs to get buy. Therefore, they will sometimes have to choose the best deal, and that usually means using an online retailer.
Brick-and-mortar stores can win them over with things like coupons and loyalty programs. Trust us: when things are more wallet-friendly, Millennials prefer the personal touch of a real store to some unknown Amazon algorithm!
3. Boomer Values
That relative lack of money is at the heart of the next thing that makes Millennials laugh: Boomer values. Simply put, there is a constant stream of articles each week that act shocked that Millennials are not buying homes, not joining country clubs, and so on.
Part of this is just that relative lack of money: when even a down payment seems intimidating, you’re a lot less likely to imagine home ownership like Boomers once did. Part of it is psychological, though: something like a car seems more attractive than a house because it opens the door to more experiences (and the ability to easily travel if they find a better job).
Finally, part of it is just their world. Millennials grew up in a vastly different world than Boomers, yet everyone from parents to publications are shocked every week that Millennials do not hold Boomer values!
4. Lazy Social Media
The old saying that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” is actually true when you’re marketing to Millennials. Some companies get the memo that this demographic likes social media, so they slap together a really lazy Facebook page or Twitter account for their company.
Once again, Millennials can sense BS. They don’t care equally about everything they see on social media, and when they see a company on there, they are expecting something actual useful.
The “secret,” then, to good corporate social media is simply offering relevant content. Let people know about sales, post videos about how to use your products…heck, make some coupons only available online!
Millennials know that following a company on social media is simply transactional. So why not offer them more value for their transaction?
5. All Those “Millennials Killed X” Headlines
If you could only pick one thing that would give a Millennial consumer a big old belly laugh, it would be all those articles about the businesses and industries that they are killing.
For instance, there are plenty of articles each week with titles like “Millennials are killing Applebee’s” and “Millennials are killing movie theaters.” A humorous favorite is “Millennials are killing marriage.”
None of this is intentional, of course. It’s just an inevitable aspect of changing times and changing minds. Millennials prefer authenticity, for instance, so they’d rather take their limited money to that new family-run food truck instead of to a chain restaurant.
And this demographic prefers to watch movies and shows at home in a more social setting. Streaming is what’s killing movie theaters, and who doesn’t love streaming?
Finally, those breathless “they’re killing traditional marriage” articles are mostly lamenting that the average marriage age has crept up to twenty-seven. Millennials aren’t rushing to get hitched, and why would they? Dating apps like Tindr make it easier than ever to date plenty of people before finding the right one.
Ultimately, there is no business or industry that Millennials personally killed. However, any business that cannot adapt to changing times is effectively killing itself!
That’s All, Folks
Now that you know what makes Millennial consumers laugh, what comes next?
If you’re a business, then it’s time to channel your inner Alanis Morissette and go from “we laugh” to “we learn.” By understanding what this demographic really wants, you can help to transform and expand your business like never before!
Chris S is a professor of English at a small college in Northwest Florida. He has over ten years of experience in teaching others how to write and uses his knowledge to provide clients with well-researched answers and explanations. He has answered over 1500 questions for Ask.com and written hundreds of articles for other sites ranging from entertainment-centric “Top 10 lists” to detailed breakdowns of how to enter new career fields. From blogs to lists to any custom content, he is here to impress you.