They are young, defiant and hard to please but every business that wants to thrive must increasingly produce services with this generation in mind because they run they show. Companies or any service provider willing to conquer the market in the near future must think like them as they are the trendsetters. There is need for constant innovation on products and services with the over changing tastes and preferences, as this generation is increasingly exposed through digital media and are more traveled.

Currently Millennials comprise 35% of the population according to the National Bureau of Statistics with a potential to increase within the years. Products and services providers are now being forced to change the way they communicate with their consumers while also creating products specifically targeting this generation. This group now wants to consume in demand and in real time. Everything to this generation is an experience whether it’s a product or service and they like to engage with brands. If they like or don’t like something they will go to their social media platforms namely Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to express their views.

They have hence brought the word of mouth advertising which is now through the internet as nowadays people check reviews online on what people are saying about a particular product before buying it. The better if a millennial feels the company selling is talking to them. Thus more and more brands are realizing the importance of social media to drive their agenda and use of unconventional languages like “Sheng” which can be seen in the aim of appealing and reaching the target market. An example is KCB which can be seen coming up with memes and hilarious tweets. Brands are also latching on trending topics on social media to advertise their products and interact with the younger audiences freely.

The only way to appeal to the Millennials is by companies packaging its products and services as an experience and making the millennial feel part of it. Greater need for innovation also as they are also not known for staying on a particular trend for so long.

Case studies of companies which can be seen working hard to attract and appeal to the millennials include the Kenya Breweries Limited who launched Snapp, Smirnoff Ice Guarana, Smirnoff Ice Electric Ginseng and just recently Tusker Cinder which targets the millennial consumers. Equity also came up with Easy Pay and Eazy App considering the millennials are always on their phones and love apps thus incorporating innovation and bringing the services closer to them. Safaricom, the network giant recently launched Blaze which targets customers who are between ages 10-26 years enabling them to buy more affordable bundles, create their own plan and get access to the Blaze Summits held in major town like Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu aiming to mentor the youth and get access to employment opportunities by being their own boss.

A Blaze poster

 Coca-Cola the global beverage manufacturer and distributor also comes up with various techniques to appeal to the millennials. In 2011 they came up with Open Happiness, then later on Share a Coke which entailed having customized cans with people’s names on them which became popular among millennials all over the world. Recently, they came up with Taste the Feeling which consisted of having messages on cans with emotional storytelling depicting everyday moments like a date, family gatherings and so much more. Airtel recently came up with Airtel Unliminet which is an innovative product that enables the millenials to have a variety to choose from when subscribing to get bundles, SMS and call minutes inclusively which are very popular among them.



By Alex Wachira, Strategy Analyst.