How Brands Can Help Millennials Make Decisions in a Choice-Overload World

I’ve known since my childhood that decision-making was my weakness. It turns out I’m not alone: That very weakness is something that affects an entire generation of indecisive millennials.

We know that millennials want many choices, but it turns out they don’t know what to do with them.

WHY MILLENIALS CAN’T MAKE UP THEIR MINDS

Social media has made it easy for millennials to see other people’s decisions and they’re overwhelmed. Everyone else's decisions cause them to question their choices, and that often leads to buyer’s remorse.

  1. They question everything. Did a consumer write that product review? Is that the cheapest price? All these questions make it difficult for millennials to decide. The answers are at their fingertips, and they’ll keep searching until they feel comfortable about saying yes to your brand.
  2. Decisions happen on their time. Millennials skip ads. They don’t like to be disrupted. They know that if they refuse the message at a specific moment they can go back online and find it later. Millennials hear a million messages every day, and they choose which ones they want hear.

WHAT CAN BRANDS DO TO HELP THEM DECIDE?

  1. Get to the point and tell them why you matter. Think mission over product. Brands like REI and Apple have aligned their brand mission with a consumer belief. Millennials want to be part of their brands’ stories. You'll win their hearts if you can align your brand with their beliefs — rather than their rational needs.
  2. Be transparent and authentic. Every product is going to have good and bad reviews. Acknowledge the bad reviews and demonstrate that you’ve acted upon them to improve your product or business’s experience. Millennials will find out if you’re hiding something from them. Being transparent will help build trust with this choosy generation. Patagonia demonstrates authenticity through their website The Footprint Chronicles®. The site allows consumers to analyze the supply chain and understand how manufacturing can damage the environment.
  3. Guide; don’t demand. Use messaging that softens your call to action, such as "explore" instead of "buy." Don’t try to force the decision down their throats. It’s the same approach their parents use when trying to influence their millennial children.
  4. Reinforce your brand. After millennials make a decision, they will still question it. Your time with them isn't finished just because they made a decision. They’ll be blind to their great decision. Remind them why their decision was right. Safe Driver Awards by Allstate is a great example of a brand validating a consumer’s car insurance decision.
 

The question now: How will your brand decide to help millennials make their next decision?