Why Entrepreneurs Should Launch New Businesses Specifically Targeting Millennials
Upon the realization that the 83 million Millennials possess $1.3 trillion in annual buying power, and are set to inherit $30 trillion more from their Generation X and baby boomer parents, Fortune 500 companies have been investing heavily in ‘Marketing to Millennials.’ These companies are complementing their “core” business model and trying to tap into the now largest population in the U.S.
For example, fast food giants are adding healthy items to their menu, automobile companies are offering energy efficient cars, and traditional media outlets are transitioning into the 140 character world.
The only problem is that reaching the 83 million members of the “selfie” generation can be a difficult proposition. They are the first generation not following the script of education, marriage, house and then family, leaving advertisers perplexed.
They have a world of information at their fingertips allowing them to form their own opinions about brands, are the most educated generation in history and are highly diverse — white, black, brown, Asian, and on top of all that they like being ‘Green.’
While many of these big companies have been making significant gains, they may not be nimble enough or focused enough to fully adapt to the constantly changing needs of this market.
This creates an enormous opportunity for the entrepreneurs of today and tomorrow. Those that can cultivate a business model from scratch that will specifically target Millennials and figure out their diverse needs, will have the opportunity to change the world.
Trung Pham, CEO of AXIS, a company that designs do-it-yourself (DIY) home products for a generation of Millennials that are tech-savvy but not handy, offers six reasons entrepreneurs should not simply ‘Market to Millennials,’ but should make it the primary focus of their business.
- SOCIETY FOLLOWS THEIR LEAD: The entire world is following the lead of the current youth generation (See Facebook). While conventional wisdom suggests an entrepreneur should target the widest group of people possible, it is even more brilliant to focus on the trendsetting Millennials. Those who can resonate with this group will then have the rest of the population following suit.
- APPEAL TO THE TECH-SAVVY BUT NOT HANDY: The younger generation is between a rock and hard place when it comes to being handy. Our parents were able to build and fix things, where increasingly the current generation is not. While young people prefer to do a lot of things virtually, there will always be a need to develop physical products that function as seamlessly as their Apps do.
- BENEFIT FROM SPEAKING THE SAME LANGUAGE: While entrepreneurs can be any age, the majority of entrepreneurs are young and hungry. In fact, many of them are Millennials. The ability to speak the same language as their target market offers a huge competitive advantage and will yield impressive results.
- ENJOY TWO TYPES OF ‘GREEN’: Targeting Millennials offers the opportunity to enjoy two types of green; the type that has a positive impact on society in addition to the type that lines pockets. While often characterized as lazy and self-absorbed, the Generation Y truly element to it cares about going green. Whether their concern is creating green jobs, global warming or getting away from foreign oil addiction, they will feel better about supporting you if there is a social responsibility. This gives young CEO’s the chance to do good things for society.
- CONSIDER THEIR LIFETIME VALUE: Baby boomers are certainly still a big market. However, they can be seen as getting a little long in the tooth. If the Millennials develop brand affinity, they will stay with you for life. It provides an opportunity to grow and evolve as they do and makes for a sound business model for the next 50 years or so.
- BE GLOBAL, MOBILE AND SOCIAL: The key to doing good business is reaching consumers wherever, and whenever they are. Current and future generations will be increasingly global, mobile and social. By creating something viral, a business in Boston can sell to a consumer in Beijing or Belgium. This ability to overcome geographic barriers should excite entrepreneurs and give them license to think really big.
Trung Pham is the Founder and CEO of AXIS. The company designs unique do-it-yourself (DIY) home products for a generation of Millennials that are tech-savvy but not handy. DIY has long been associated with a world of buy-and-build products, complicated manuals and uninspired design. With a set of products initially focused on window treatments, AXIS is redefining the DIY space around simplicity, convenience and design.
Pham founded AXIS after encountering the common headaches of a young professional renter furnishing his apartment and found the DIY products on the market to be not so DIY friendly after all. He is a graduate of the Schulich School of Business at York University and previously co-founded an online event management platform.