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Say what you will about millennials but as an entrepreneur in any sector, it’s likely you need their business to thrive. With the group’s buying power reaching $200 billion in the United States, marketing to millennials is more important today than ever before. In order to become successful with millennial consumers as a whole, marketers can gain valuable insight from a rising subset within the age group: blue collar millennials.
According to the Department of Labor, the carpentry trade alone is expected to rise a whopping 24% by 2022, and will provide an average wage of almost $90,000 per year. As more and more millennials look to breathe life back into these trades, marketers should take note, not only to learn from them, but to win over their business as well.
Here are four important lessons brands and marketers of all kinds can take away from this surge of blue collar millennials.
Forge your own path
When your company is looking to market to millennial consumers, take a tip right out of their playbook by forging your own path as a brand. Millennials have changed the nature of the workplace, are spending their money differently than previous generations and tend to turn their nose up at the status quo.
When college was presented to millennials as the only viable option to succeed, they began to turn to entrepreneurship, a now wildly popular path for all ages. Currently, they’re also turning to the once dying blue-collar trades, a move which can actually result in them making more money and having better benefits than many of their peers.
When marketing to millennials, it’s important to be clever and innovative. Don’t try the same tactics that worked on their parents, because chances are high the attempts wouldn’t produce the same results. In fact, Hubspot found that 84% of millennials don’t trust “traditional” advertising, such as print and TV ads .
Whether you decide to create an educational YouTube channel related to your industry, an entertaining vlog series loosely affiliated with your niche, or partner with a handful of Instagram micro-influencers, the important thing is to remain creative and constantly test what’s resonating with your core audience.
Not a one-size-fits-all generation
We’ve all heard the stereotypes used to define the millennial generation: entitled, narcissistic, unambitious, the list goes on and on. Despite these assumptions, the reality is millennials can’t be put neatly into a box, as illustrated by the rise of blue collar millennials. No single group is all the same, and this rings true for millennials as well.
While it’s certainly easier to tailor your marketing messages to the tired stereotypes of millennials, crafting your messaging to speak to a much more specific group of millennials as opposed to the masses will prove fruitful.
Defining your target audience should be among the first steps of creating any marketing plan, and the same goes for millennials. Are you speaking to millennials who love gaming, millennials who live in a rural area and go hunting, or to tech professionals in San Francisco?
Whichever subset it is, be cognizant of the differences as an opportunity instead of a barrier. The more you personalize your marketing, the more likely you are to win their business.
Longing for stability
As the generation who grew up during the Great Recession, millennials crave stability in their jobs and in life. From children watching their parents lose their jobs to young adults struggling to find opportunity in the job market after college, harsh economic times have lasting effects on the minds of consumers. Being mindful of this can help determine the success or failure of your marketing campaigns.
This same principle can be illustrated for the millennials who seek stability within a blue collar trade. This collective is choosing a career that won’t outgrow them as technology advances or markets fail. Blue collar workers can have at least some semblance of peace of mind as artificial intelligence advances because their jobs will always require human oversight, in addition to the jobs always being in demand.
“Millennials are quick to respond to emails and text messages in their everyday lives, and expect the same in return. As a result, today’s market favors companies that provide fast, reliable customer service. For the most part, we as millennials, grow up not knowing that plumbing, roofing, landscaping and other blue collar markets are all multi-billion dollar industries. Because of this, there’s an opportunity for millennials to come in and provide high-quality, quick customer service and rise to the tops of these industries,” says Sam Forline, Founder of Blue Collar Scholar Landscapes, a millennial-led, blue collar company.
Additionally, with companies like Procore, a construction management software behemoth, receiving unprecedented funding ($75 million in Series C, amounting to a $3 billion valuation), it’s clear Silicon Valley is also beginning to buy into this shift to blue collar, which suggests the long-term view of the industry is favorable.
To integrate this insight into your own marketing efforts when marketing to millennials, keep their desire for stability top of mind. Highlight the features of your product that will enhance their life across the board. Hone in on how and why your product is reliable and begin building trust by showcasing customer testimonials and case studies.
For a generation promised success upon graduating with a degree, only be met with student loan debt and an unstable job market, millennials are largely skeptical of claims and promises. When marketing to this generation, authenticity matters more than ever.
According to Kissmetrics, 89% of millennials trust recommendations from friends and family more than claims from a brand . Claims saying things like, “the first of its kind” or “lose weight fast!” fall flat with millennials who grew up exiting out of spam-like pop-up ads.
Additionally, when millennials choose a brand they want to be assured that the brand has their best interest and the interests of others in mind. In fact, 61% of millennials are worried about the state of the world and feel personally responsible to help make a difference. The meteoric rise of philanthropic brands illustrates this tendency.
Instead of relying on exaggerated claims, focus on the true story behind your product or service. Be overly transparent about your company practices and backstory. This will create trust between your brand and your customers, the hottest commodity any company can have.
January 11, 2019 at 10:53AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs