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Millennials are tech-savvy, hyper-connected, optimistic about the future and they prioritize spending money on life’s e...
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How can brands win over millennials: Mastercard

Millennials are tech-savvy, hyper-connected, optimistic about the future and they prioritize spending money on life’s e...
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  • There are over 1 billion millennials in APAC, of which a third are in India.
  • India's millennials are 30% of the population but they contribute to 38% of the nation’s total gross income.
  • A recent study by Mastercard with Kantar Consulting gives insights into what millennials want, and what businesses can do to meet their tastes and expectations.
  • It is increasingly important for brands to connect with them and resonate well in their world, Mastercard and Kantar Consulting's report shares how to go about it.
Being the second largest generation on earth, it’s of little wonder that identifying the needs and wants of millennials is currently a point of focus for global businesses. A recent study by Mastercard with Kantar Consulting examines what influences millennials to purchase. The research provides insights into what millennials want, and what businesses can do to meet their tastes and expectations.

One of the most interesting demographic contrasts witnessed in the recent times is that of the ‘Gen Z’ vs the millennial generation. Born between 1979-1996, millennials are the first generation of digital-natives and have very different priorities as compared to other generations. The report details out these prioritizes and is the basis to derive six principles to engage with this generation.

There are over 1 billion millennials in APAC, of which a third are in India. India’s millennials are 30% of the population but they contribute to 38% of the nation’s total gross income. APAC millennials are tech-savvy and hyper-connected; they have grown up online and on social media and have an ‘always on’ mindset. Unlike the rest of the world, Indian (and Asian) millennials are positive about the future (80% of Indian millennials expect the economy in the country will improve).

Sharing how important the millennials are for brands, Manasi Narasimhan, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, South Asia, Mastercard says, “By 2020, 395 million millennials are expected in India. They are more inclined to spend on unique and personalized experiences and less on materialistic goods. Therefore, it is increasingly important for brands to connect with them and resonate well in their world. Mastercard is willing to adapt, learn and grow with this generation to ensure their engagement and loyalty. The recent collaborations by Mastercard with partner banks and acquirers highlight the efforts by the brand in the same direction.”

The study highlights six principle aspects to win with the millennials, as follows:

  1. Personalize and Customize
    Millennials prioritize spending money on life’s experiences, rather than on accumulating possessional things they look forward to brands that reflect their individuality. 82% of them buy brands that make the effort to offer services tailored to their needs, rather than 'off the shelf'.
2. ‘Rewarding’ matters to them a lot
Millennials expect to be valued and rewarded for their loyalty. They are more likely to leverage benefits and rewards when spending. (Travel benefits rank high with Millennials as it makes them feel special.)

Food is another passion point. They value the dining benefits offered on their credit cards.

3. Cater to their ex periential aspiration
Aspirations have evolved from materialism to experiential and spiritual. Travel is at the top of their wish list of experiences. Millennials are obsessed with travel. 59% of Indian Millennials prioritize spending money on life’s experiences, rather than on accumulating possessions.

4. Go fast and frictionless
Millennials love simplicity, often preferring a single way to pay. Millennials value fast and seamless transactions, but not at the expense of security, as 83% are concerned about online security or identity theft.

5. Employ Technology
Technology is omni-present and is a gateway for financial independence. They recognize the potential of technology and are the first to adopt it. 86% of them believe that new financial and technology innovations help them be ‘smarter with my money’.

6. Mirror millennial values
Millennials are willing to stand up for their beliefs and choose brands that share their values. Authenticity, social and environmental responsibility are important to them. 85% Indian Millennials stand up for their beliefs and endorse brands that share those values.

As millennials make up an increasing percentage of workforces, economies and spending power, businesses must adapt to their needs and expectations to thrive. They must focus on more than just delivering form and function in their products and services and create experiences.

To do so, they can leverage technology to customize, reward and premiumize their offerings. They can also create value-added loyalty programs to constantly appreciate the millennial consumer. Finally, businesses must remain sensitive to the ever-changing behavior of millennials.

Methodology: Mastercard’s 2018 Global Needstates Segmentation study was completed by Kantar Consulting. The quantitative study was executed among 43,044 individuals (including 20,909 millennials) in 18 markets. Respondents consisted of a representative sample of men and women over the age of 18. All respondents interviewed were owners of financial products and classified as banked. The quantitative research explored the sample’s attitudes and needs based on 39,598 payment occasions. The markets surveyed are as follows: Canada, US, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, UK, France, Germany, Nigeria, South Africa, UAE, Russia, India, China, Japan, Indonesia, Australia.




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