Millennials are an often-misunderstood generation, being called everything from lazy and entitled to bold and empowered. One thing’s for sure though – they’ve grown into savvy consumers who have increasingly high expectations for the brands they give their money to.
The Millennial generation is made up of people who were born in the 80s and 90s, quickly becoming the largest group of shoppers as they’re growing up and becoming financially stable. Retailers have already noticed that the shopping habits of Millennials are vastly different than the generations before them, and businesses need to continue to adapt if they want to attract and retain Millennial customers.
Audio branding is one of the most cost-effective investments you can make in boosting employee performance and improving customer experience. Any time you can do both, your company’s profit margins are going to benefit.
HOW TECHNOLOGY IMPACTS MILLENNIAL SHOPPING HABITS
There are many ways to characterize Millennials, but perhaps the most important for retailers is that Millennials are quick to adapt to technology. Unlike Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, Millennials were introduced to technology during their formative years, growing up with the Internet and relying on it to make all kinds of purchasing decisions.
MILLENNIALS SHOP DIGITALLY
Millennials use technology to shop in several ways. First, they shop online. Having instant access to retailers through apps makes it easy to find whatever they want, whenever they want. Stores that have the option to shop online and pick up in-store have more Millennial customers than Gen X or Baby Boomer customers, according to a recent report. Retailers need to have a good online and in-store experience to capture the repeat business of millennial shoppers.
MILLENNIALS INTERACT WITH BRANDS
The Millennial generation also use the internet to interact directly with brands as they don’t necessarily like to think of companies as a faceless organization. Millennials expect that they’ll be able to reach out to a brand with a question, comment, or complaint, and get a quick response from a real person. The same Marketing Land report found that millennials are more likely than older generations to use social media to communicate with brands.
MILLENNIALS TALK ABOUT YOU ONLINE
In addition to connecting with brands, Millennials also use social media to talk about their experiences and write reviews, for better or worse. Therefore, this generation is such an important target market for retailers. When you have a base of loyal customers, they’re going to do the work of advertising for you by talking about you on social media and write reviews on various mediums.
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MILLENNIALS AND THE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE
The reliance on technology hasn’t made the Millennial generation as anti-social as it might appear. Contrary to what you might expect, some Millennials want to have a social experience when they go to the store. Because so much is available online, when these individuals go into a store, they may be looking for more than just an item or two. Think about the shopping experience – it’s becoming a social outing for friends and family rather than a mission to grab an item and leave.
In your store, members of the Millennial generation want to connect emotionally and expect a sensory experience. This can range from everything from sights and sounds to the personal connection they make with employees. They expect to talk to your staff and want to be able to connect on a personal level.
For some millennials, going into a store is an event. When so much is available online, there needs to be a compelling reason to enter your physical brick and mortar store. Getting this generation to keep coming back to that store will take more than just good products. Shopping should be an enjoyable, memorable experience if you want to drive this audience into your store.
HOW MUSIC IMPACTS MILLENNIAL SHOPPERS
One way to improve the shopping experience for Millennials is through your music. More than any other generation, Millennials are attracted to music, listening to it all day long – from waking up to it, to listening to it on their commute, to wearing ear buds all day at work. A recent study found that Millennials listen to 75% more music than Baby Boomers. While the average Millennial listens to music for around three hours a day, they’re exposed to it far more through media outlets and shopping and dining experiences.
Music is a powerful tool that can help retailers connect with Millennials on an emotional level. Walking into a store and hearing music that connects to how they’re feeling and what they’re buying is part of the full shopping experience that creates loyal customers.
WHAT IS AUDIO BRANDING?
Audio branding creates a unique music list and flow for your brand. It defines your brand identity and helps you stand out as a unique entity. When done effectively, audio branding achieves a careful balance of giving your brand a unique sound without distracting shoppers to the point that they don’t buy as much. It’s the type of thing that customers won’t necessarily pick up on, but they would really miss it if absent.
Audio branding has proven to be incredibly effective in all service industries. In retail, the right audio branding will get more Millennials customers into your store, have them spend more time there, and even buy more. In fact, there’s research to indicate that aspects like tempo and volume can have a huge impact on product search time online and in-store.
WHERE TO START WITH AUDIO BRANDING
When you don’t brand your audio, you’re essentially allowing any playlist to dictate your audio branding. Employees aren’t going to play DJ during the workday and hit “skip” when a song comes on that’s off-brand. Your staff should be busy taking care of customers and handling the personal interaction part of the shopping experience. We've also create a fully comprehensive info hub here, for everything you need to consider when looking at a commercial audio system for retail.
Creating branded music is more complicated than just hitting shuffle on a playlist. It requires insights into who your target audience is, what your brand identity is, and how you can connect the two to create an authentic experience that encourages repeat customers. Branding also involves studying traffic patterns and acquiring an understanding of who your customers truly are, all to determine what types of music will keep Millennial customers engaged with your brand.
The good news is that you don’t have to do the work of audio branding by yourself. PTG is a team of commercial audio professionals who’ll work with you to develop an audio experience that’s unique for your brand and will attract loyal Millennial customers.
PTG will partner with you to identify who your target market is and what appeals to them. We’ll connect your brand to music that captures the essence of who you are. Let us handle the audio branding of your retail store so you can focus on keeping customers happy. Contact us today at 248-668-3100 – we’re ready when you are.