Globally, at least eight in 10 Millennials—defined as those born between 1980 and 1995—have taken action on behalf of a brand they trust, including sharing brand experiences with others, joining online communities and posting reviews online, according to the 8095 study on how Millennials connect with brands, conducted by Edelman.
Based on interviews with 3,100 respondents in eight countries, Edelman’s 8095 global research indicates that 82 percent of 8095ers have joined a brand-sponsored online community, and nearly half have joined more than three. Almost half (47 percent) share positive brand experiences online, with respondents from China (61 percent) and Brazil (57 percent) most likely to do so.
Poor experiences also spark this kind of action, with nearly 40 percent reporting they have criticized a brand on a blog or social network. Further, each action reverberates through extensive networks of sources and peers – online, offline and mobile. More than half of the global respondents say they consult at least four sources of information before making a purchase decision.
“Our research reflects a diverse generation whose defining life events thus far include being the first group to grow up with computers as part of their everyday lives, 9/11, the Facebook phenomenon and the Great Recession,” says Christina Smedley, global chair of the firm’s consumer marketing practice. “With 1.7 billion global citizens who spend more than $200 billion a year and use online and mobile technologies to amplify their voices, the 8095ers are actively defining today’s global and emerging brands.”
Key insights from Edelman’s 8095 global findings include:
- Brand relationships are a form of self expression: Brand preference ranks with religion and ethnicity as top personal identifiers that 8095ers are willing to share about themselves online.
- Information is a key to influence: In addition to 8095ers that use four or more sources of information to help them make brand purchase decisions, thirty-one percent use seven or more sources of information.
- Taking action on behalf of brands is a core value: Fifty-seven percent of 8095ers would volunteer to try new products from a preferred brand and most would post an online review of the experience.
- Reverberation is online, offline and increasingly mobile: For those brands that Millennials love, 68 percent have recommended their products to friends and family and 44 percent have friended/followed that brand on their social network.
“This generation has amorphous communities that are changing our social environment,” says Smedley. “Millennials are not a monolithic bloc; we believe the approach for brands and marketers is to engage in an ongoing dialogue focused on participation with these communities.”