71404221 - friends on vacation in ibiza looking at a guidebook, close upMost of what you read about Millennials these days bemoans how difficult this generation is for marketers to successfully reach. But rather than giving up on the Millennial Generation, it’s more important than ever to deeply analyze this group of consumers to understand what they really want and create products and services they need instead of blaming them for not wanting to buy items that other generations traditionally bought.

By adapting to Millennials instead of criticizing them for deviating from market norms, your business will be in a much better position to successfully reach this group and convey the benefits of your products/services. In a nutshell, here are the main things Millennial consumers value most:

A Brand with a Purpose

Anything you read about Millennials from one source might be contradicted by another source (e.g., some say Millennials are the most narcissistic generation ever, while some say Millennials are actually quite selfless). However, when it comes to socially responsible marketing and purpose-driven companies, there is quite a lot of consensus: Millennials appreciate brands with a purpose.

What this means is that Millennials gravitate toward companies that demonstrate they genuinely want to benefit the lives of their customers, as well as the community as a whole. Corporate citizenship involves donating money, products, or services to nonprofit organizations, advocating for positive social change, and striving to improve the ethics of production. You can improve your company’s image as a positive citizen in the community by utilizing your business platform to not only generate sales but also improve the lives of others, whether they be members of your community/industry or the global community.

Personality-Infused Marketing

Loud and obnoxious marketing tactics simply don’t work for this generation. Millennials don’t like when companies create artificial sales deadlines that muster up a false sense of urgency to buy, and Millennials especially don’t like when companies blatantly belittle or sell to them. This may seem contradictory – you are, after all, trying to market to this group of consumers – but there’s an easy way around this problem: letting your brand’s personality shine through.

If you’re not sure how to infuse some personality into your marketing efforts, then look no further than Wendy’s marketing strategy. By using consistent (and genuine) humor, alternating marketing messages with cheerful messages designed to simply engage with consumers about topics that interest them, and using humorous or visually striking images (instead of dull stock photos), Wendy’s is an awesome example of personality-infused marketing.

Affordable, Quality Products

Millennials valuable affordability and quality. Thanks to higher costs of living and relatively stagnant wage growth, Millennials appear to be more frugal with their spending than their parents and grandparents were. However, there are some areas where Millennials are more likely to splurge: experiences (instead of material possessions) and ethically-produced items (such as fair trade coffee and cosmetics that are not tested on animals).

To appeal to Millennials’ desires for experiences, it’s important that your marketing messages help them visualize how your product or service is an experience in itself. Even if you’re selling phone cases or coffee mugs, you should incorporate storytelling into your marketing strategy so Millennials can envision themselves as part of that story, using your product.