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How Businesses are Learning to Adapt to the Demands of the Millennial Demographic


One of the biggest challenges for any business is to identify target markets and successfully appeal to them. In recent years, the demographic known as Generation Y or Millennials have become the main focus of many businesses in the entertainment and leisure sectors.

Culture drives many retail sectors, as does technology, and millennials are the first generation to be considered fully native digital users. Their lives are driven by technology and that technology is changing the way they engage with retail processes.

They are used to relying on mobile technology to get things done. Whether it is organising travel, shopping or arranging social events, everything is done from a handheld device. And millennials are adopting this behaviour at a very young age.

For entertainment and leisure business to be successful, it is important they understand and appeal to this market. Not just in the way they use technology, but also in the image they present to this demanding group.

Millennials are less brand driven overall, although they do form emotional attachments to brands they feel in tune with, such as Apple. They are less interested in buying magazines and rarely watch TV through traditional means, so reaching them requires a different approach. As the internet is the driving force behind their lives, it is also the place where businesses have to make their presence felt.

Major brands such as MTV have spent a lot of time and money studying what makes millennials tick. They found them to be less definitive when it comes to moral issues and more likely to take context into account when making a moral decision. They also discovered millennials are confused by mixed messages sent by media sources and are therefore more likely to seek their own truth.  They are also keen to challenge injustice and many feel they need to play the system to get ahead in life.

Getting yourself on the radar of such a complicated generation is not easy. Especially when your business sector has traditionally targeted older generations. For example, the game of bingo was once seen as a fun activity for people of a certain age, but that is no longer the case with more young people now enjoying the game. Online gaming sites such as Buzz Bingo have brought their product to millennials by offering bingo alongside more familiar pursuits such as video slots and casino games.

Today’s generation still like to play games and gamble but they expect to be able to do it on the move. So offering a slick and simple application or web service that can be accessed on any device is key. Millennials are less concerned about brand names and more about quality and ease of use. Their world is complicated enough, they just want technology that does the job and does it quickly.

Once described as the Me Me Me Generation by Time Magazine, Millennials are no longer so misunderstood. In fact, the impact they have had on marketers and advertisers means they could end up the most understood generation ever. Placing everything they need at their fingertips is not pandering to a spoilt generation, it is simply being aware of how they have been nurtured in a fast-moving digital environment.

John Richardson