Millennials brand-savvy and brand-loyal: Edelman

The public relations firm interviewed 3,100 people in eight countries and found that those born between 1980 and 1995 are brand-loyal and quick to share both positive and negative experiences online.

Global public relations firm Edelman released a study of millennials across eight countries and found that members of that generation are loyal and quick to share their opinions online, and that brand preferences are as important as religion and ethnicity as personal identifiers.

With its 8095 study (so named because millennials were born between 1980 and 1995), Edelman dug deeply, interviewing 3,100 people in eight countries. It found that 41% of respondents share positive brand experiences online and are just as likely to share negative experiences the same way.

In Canada, at least seven of 10 millennials have taken action on behalf of a trusted brand. As a group, they use brand relationships as a form of self-expression, and they usually use four or more sources of information to help them make purchase decisions, says Melissa Graham, account director, Edelman.

‘It’s no longer a one-way conversation with millennial consumers. It’s now a multifaceted, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week dialogue between brands and their customers, between their customers and those customers’ entire circles of friends and families,’ Graham says. ‘Brands and marketers need to listen to millennials and understand how to connect with them, where to reach them and how to satisfy them. This is important because millennials are not afraid to share their opinions when they feel mistreated.’

The study also found that 51% of 8095ers would volunteer to try new products from a preferred brand and 47% would post an online review of the product.

With millennials checking numerous sources of information before making decisions, and staying plugged in for all but one hour each day, according to Graham, the challenge brands face is to ‘break through the clutter and connect with them both directly and indirectly, through colleagues and influencers who transcend personal network.’