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BBC Advertising report on the relationship between millennials and brands

BBC Advertising just published an international in-depth report on ‘millennials’ and the misconceptions surrounding this highly sought after generation. By conducting over 14,000 interviews across 31 countries and seven markets – Australia, Germany, USA, Canada, India, Singapore and South Africa – the report's findings make it easier for marketers in cultural institutions to target the most attractive and commercially receptive segment within that group. The report titled Reaching Affluent Millennials offers a deeper insight into the difference between ‘affluent’ and ‘non-affluent’ millennials and identifies the most valuable segment, ‘The Supercharged’.

  • Research reveals that the perception of millennials doesn’t match the reality – it’s the affluent subset which embody the traits that are often associated with this generation as a whole 
  • Affluent millennials’ unique relationship with money and the environment is having a major impact on their relationship with brands and their expectations of them
  • Affluent millennials have a much stronger relationship with international news providers than they do with social media 

Millennials have long been considered the most influential generation by marketers, the arbiters of all things innovative, cool and current. However, the research shows that the vast majority (84%) of the 943 million millennials worldwide are not so dissimilar in their beliefs to older generations. It is only the affluent millennial subset (16%) who represent the unique characteristics often applied to millennials as a whole.    

Corporate Responsibility and Brand Commitment

The study found that affluent millennials have a unique relationship with money – they are 36% more likely to consider themselves much more affluent than their equivalents in older generations. They are also extremely passionate about the environment and much more likely than non-affluent millennials to follow this through into purchase behaviour – 78% agree that they do everything they can to help the environment, 72% would pay more for sustainable products.

As a result, affluent millennials have higher expectations of brands, with 82% preferring brands that give something back to society. When it comes to corporate responsibility, this high capital group expect brands to behave in the same way they do – a perfekt argument for the sponsoring communication of art institutions. In order to resonate with this audience, cultural brands also have to be authentic and translate words into action. 

The research also uncovered that affluent millennials are much more emotionally attached to brands, with 70% agreeing that their favourite brands play an integral role in their life. They are also 36% more likely than their non-affluent counterparts to agree that they are defined by the brands they use or purchase. 

Media use 

According to the research and contrary to common belief, affluent millennials also have a stronger relationship with international news providers than social media-based news outlets. For example, the BBC reaches 69% of affluent millennials on a monthly basis (compared with between 18-24% for online news ‘youth brands’). The report goes on to conclude that this group looks to international news providers to help them understand the world and to make important life decisions. They value trust above all else in a news provider, with 83% saying it matters most to them. This is also important to art institutions that want to help their visitors understanding the world's complexity, and use art and cultural heritage to present different perspectives on societies and paths of life.

Other key findings relating to news providers include:

  • 77% consider it important for news providers to provide editorial curation
  • 63% find international news providers useful for helping them to understand the world
  • 48% look to news providers to help them make decisions on how to protect their family
  • 41% look to news providers to inform them when making financial decisions

Sean O’Hara, BBC Advertising SVP Sales, EMEA and Latin America, said: “In an increasingly competitive market where consumers have greater choice regarding the brands they wish to purchase and be associated with, it is imperative that advertisers truly understand who they are targeting and how to reach them. The report delves beneath the initial labels assigned to different generations, offering advertisers the most accurate picture to date of millennials, from their behaviours to their beliefs.” 

‘The Supercharged’ group 

The research has also identified the most valuable segment within the affluent millennial group. ‘The Supercharged’ group have a stronger global outlook, are more influential in business, are early adopters and brand ambassadors. More importantly, they are the opinion leaders of their generation. The BBC tops the reach to this group, with 87% total monthly brand reach. The findings in this latest research will enable art institutions to identify and reach ‘The Supercharged’ to the benefit of marketing and to enable campaigns optimised against this segmentation. 

Additional figures include:

  • 73% of affluent millennials prefer brands to provide them with content vs. 59% non-affluent millennials 
  • 67% prefer it when a brand tells them a story vs. 57% non-affluent millennials
  • 74% of affluent millennials agree that news stories from other parts of the world feel more relevant to them than they used to vs. 54% of non-affluent millennials
  • 77% of affluent millennials are excited that their generation will be responsible for the future vs. 64% of non-affluent millennials

All information on the BBC Advertising report Reaching Affluent Millennials can be found here.

Management Topic: Marketing & Communication
Cultural Area: General
Submitted by editor-in-chief on Nov 03, 2016