We are Gen Y and the “why” is how you need to rethink everything you know about marketing because we're a cohort over 80 million strong in the U.S. alone, who, by the middle of the next decade, will constitute over a third of the workforce.
Born between 1976 and 2001, we currently represent $200 billion in purchasing power and, collectively, we are expected to generate $3.4 trillion of purchasing power over our lifetime. But far beyond numbers and spend, our real power is an unprecedented influence on the opinions and behaviors of each other and the rest of the world. It's this influence that makes us the holy grail of consumers.
So, as a financial institution, how do you win loyalty from the least loyal generation ever? With the new rules of marketing still being redefined, it's no easy feat. If you want to wow and woo us, here's where you should start:
Be where we are
We've cancelled our landlines and cable. We're still home, but our attention has shifted to the devices we don't put down. On average, we each have three of them. And what's on those? Exactly what we want, which is our very own curated digital life. If you want in, and we know you do, we've got to let you in.
We like, identify with, and actively advocate for brands that give us something in return. Help us manage our money. Digital convenience is table stakes. Financial information is at our fingertips anytime, anywhere, but 84% of us are seeking real financial advice. Personalized, relevant consultation in a tech setting (57% would select a financial provider with video conferencing) may define whether or not we do business.
Win our trust
Brands that do well for us, our communities, and our world are brands that matter. Ninety-two percent believe our own business success is measured by more than profit, and we endorse brands that give back to causes we believe in. Be a genuine part of lives. If we believe you get us, we'll start to trust you.
Take us seriously
The average Gen Y-er has $45,000 in debt and six of 10 are unemployed. Of our 63% with a bachelor's degree, almost half work in jobs that don't require it. But despite our economic hardships, we're highly educated, skillfully adaptive to change and upwardly mobile. In fact, one-third of U.S. workers say their boss is younger than they are. We already make up 10% of affluent investors. Win us now for major opportunity later. We're smart enough to make sound financial decisions, but value advice and personalized service. The good news for credit unions is that you're perfectly poised to deliver these things.
Gina Bleedorn is the executive director of Adrenaline Inc.
CONTACT: 678-412-6911 or email@example.com
Read more in the Nov. 13 Gen Y Focus Report:
- No Secret Sauce for Connecting With Millennials
- Marketing Gen Y Stats Worth Noting (Infographic)
- In exclusive content to Credit Union Times’ readers from the Filene Research Institute, read how credit unions can form long-term relationships with young adults in Filene’s full report, “Next Generation Needs: Examining Credit Union Loyalty Among Young Adults.”