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Notice any similarities from what I outlined about my own experience above? It’s pretty much a dead on match. You know what isn’t seen here? Price and features and benefits of products were factors quite a way down the list but nowhere near the top. When time was limited there were other factors at play.
So what? you might ask. Why should I care? Here are my takeaways on this:
Know Your Audience
At the time I had this job, I was just turning 30. I am a part of a millennial cohort that is being handed more responsibility and B2B purchasing power as older Gen-X and Baby Boomer employees are retiring or moving to more senior positions. This cohort has different communication preferences, researches products in a digital and social space, has a higher expectation for a great customer experience, and is seeking a deeper relationship than most would expect. So while this might not be a perfect case study for every single key decision maker reading this, it does reinforce the reality that knowing your audience is essential to successful delivery of your offering. While I wasn’t their primary audience, their brand was flexible enough to deliver on their promise to me as well. Well positioned B2B brands that empathize with the challenges the customer faces, harness collaboration and find an easy way of doing business may find more success with this growing group of millennial decision makers and influencers.
Make information and data easily accessible
The Millennial cohort relies heavily on easily accessible data to begin forming opinions on products and services. The one drawback I can identify with the OEM manufacturer was that they didn’t have the best handle on this. While we still had paper copies of the technical manuals, it took longer to find the right parts and sometimes led to ordering errors on our part, a big problem when time is critical. As it was, their collaborative efforts and ease of access to expert individuals in the company made up for it.
Make a great, cohesive, branded customer experience
From the first interaction with your website, to the follow up after delivering your offering to the customer, create a great experience. Understanding your brand, communicating it and living it at every touchpoint are essential parts to success, not only with Millennials, but with every demographic. Consider that this cohort is the first to grow up in a world where consumer brands and brand experiences have been an omnipresent part of life. Delivering a great experience makes you stand out, and contributes to occupying a strong position in your markets mind.