Are you connecting with the millennial mindset?

How a new era of PR can revitalize your relationship with those who will shape your future.


The word millennial has come to mean two very different things.  On one hand there is the label of privilege and entitlement affixed to an entire generation who grew up in an age of prosperity. On the other are young people faced with dim employment prospects, skyrocketing rent and mortgages, and crippling student debt – economic challenges they are struggling to overcome.

Regardless of where the truth lies, there’s a need for financial services brands to better connect with this generation that’s grown up in the digital economy.

And time is running out.

Six months ago, we quietly entered a new era. As of last April, the number of millennials officially outnumbered boomers. This has started a generational trajectory that won’t end until 2036, when we’ll hit peak millennial. We may be over a half century into the digital revolution, but we remain on the cusp of even bigger things.

We have come to think of millennial as young, which is true – for now. But it’s more important to look at Millennials through the lens of mindset. They’re a cohort with a very different take on the world than those held by the people currently leading most of Canada’s financial services sector.

They face different challenges, and have different priorities, and expectations. They don’t just want their concerns and opinions heard; they want to be consulted, considered and engaged. Furthermore, they want whoever and whatever they’re engaging with to be accessible and accountable; something today’s social and digital platforms have empowered.

The financial sector is not immune to this scrutiny. At High Road, our years of experience working with leading financial companies such as American Express, Tangerine, Scotiabank, Hollis Wealth, Pavilion and Sun Life have revealed a central truth – millennials want a relationship.

The need for financial services isn’t going away but what’s very much up for grabs is who will provide it. According to Viacom Media Network’s 2016 Millennial Disruption Index:

  • Banking is at the highest risk of disruption compared to 15 categories
  • 53% don’t think their bank offers anything different than other banks
  • 71% would rather go to the dentist than listen to what banks are saying

So, how do you differentiate yourself and engage this very important and rapidly growing market – particularly as they look for a partner to help in buying a home, starting a family, launching a business?

Firstly, it takes effective targeting; focusing on millennials may now be the most important thing you can do. But it’s not just about reaching them through the right medium, it’s using the right voice and language, keeping a finger on the pulse of what matters to them – not just within your sector but holistically – and being able to be agile and adapt to their evolving priorities and concerns.

To be this partner for millennials, you need the right relationships. Just as millennials are looking for a trusted partnership to guide them towards their goals, brands need that too. High Road makes building relationships easy. It’s our strength, and we know the new era of PR has the power to transform brands.

High Road has been at the forefront of this transformation. We help some of world’s leading brands leverage the power of storytelling – emphasizing the heart over the head – to strengthen brand, drive consideration and build loyalty.

Learn more about how High Road can help you build powerful new connections with millennials. Contact us today by signing up for a complimentary Power Hour session where we’ll bring you fresh ideas that will put your brand in touch with this new generation.

By Michael MacMillan