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5 things you need to know about what millennials are demanding from brands


It can take years to build trust in a brand, but a moment to lose it. And that’s more true for the hyper-connected millennial generation than anyone who came before them.

Tech-savvy, socially connected Millennials have brands under their collective microscope like never before. Every experience is analysed, commented on and shared, with both friends and strangers.

Think about the social media storm that followed the Australian cricket ball-tampering scandal and the Cambridge Analytical data scandal. Brands need to work harder than ever to not only earn Millennials’ trust but to keep it.

Here are five key demands Millennials are making of brands and the ingredients considered essential for their trust.

1. What do you stand for and why do you exist? (A clear social mission)

Hyper-connected, socially-informed and knowledge-driven Millennials care about social issues more than older generations. Many say that creating change in the world is a personal goal that they actively pursue and they’ve even taken concrete action, such as participating in a protest or volunteering in a campaign.

2. Keepin’ it real (Authenticity)

Millennials aren’t just buying. They’re researching relentlessly and obsessively in their quest for authenticity before they do. They are all about pulling back the curtain and going backstage. They want the real story. And smart brands are giving them just that.

3. Honesty is the best policy (Transparency)

More than price, quality and convenience, Millennials want brands to act with honesty and integrity. Brands need to be brave enough to own up to their mistakes and make amends where necessary. The logic is that people can trust what you tell me about the good stuff because you’re willing to tell them about the bad.

4. Talk to me (Engagement)

Broadcasting a message doesn’t work anymore. Millennials want brands to listen and engage with them. Brands need to invite input, respond to questions and be personal in their communication style if they want to keep the modern consumer on side. So ditch the sales pitch but keep the conversation going.

5. Deliver the goods and make me look good too! (Consistency and connection)

Not only do you need to deliver a high quality, efficacious brand experience across all platforms, but you need to do it consistently, every day, in a way Millennials can relate to. Furthermore, Millennials also want brands to make them look good, feel good and keep them entertained. So it’s about boosting the Millennials’ own personal brand too.

Mark McCrindle, Social Analyst and Principal at McCrindle – a research and communications company. For the 19th year, Reader’s Digest has published the results of their Trusted Brand Australia awards, with Blackmores – Australia’s leading natural health company – being awarded Australia’s Most Trusted Vitamin Brand 2018 for the 10th year in a row.