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BCG Survey: Millennials Favor Brands with Facebook Pages, Mobile Web Sites

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When purchasing products and services, Millennials are more likely than non-Millennials to favor brands that have Facebook pages and mobile Web sites, according to a new report.

The Boston Consulting Group, Boston, published this finding in a survey of 4,000 Millennials (ages 16 to 34) and 1,000 non-Millennials (ages 35 to 74), the poll conducted in conjunction with Barkley (Kansas City, Pittsburgh), a provider of marketing communications services; and Service Management Group, Kansas City, a provider of customer experience analytics for global retail and restaurant brands.

The survey, ” The Millennial Consumer: Debunking Stereotypes,” examines how behaviors and attitudes differ between Millennials and Non-Millennials and builds on earlier research by BCG, Barkley and SMG on Millennials’ media, shopping and social habits, released in August 2011.

When making purchases, the survey reports, 33% of millennials favor brands that have Facebook pages and mobile websites, as compared to 17% of non-Millennials. Similarly, nearly half of Millennials (47%) agree that their lives “feel richer” when they’re connected to people through social media; just over one in four of non-Millennials (28%) express this sentiment.

The report finds that Millennials and Non-Millennials spend roughly the same amount of time online, but Millennials are more likely to use the Internet as a platform to broadcast their thoughts and experiences and to contribute user-generated content. Millennials are also more engaged in activities such as rating products and services (60% versus 46% of non-Millennials); and uploading videos, images, and blog entries to the Web (60% versus 29%).

Millennials put a premium on speed, ease, efficiency, and convenience in all their transactions. For example, the survey notes, they shop for groceries at convenience stores twice as do often as non-Millennials. Millennials are also receptive to “cause marketing” and are more likely to choose products whose purchase supports a cause (37% versus 30%).

Of Millennials who make direct donations (34%), almost half donate through their mobile devices (15%), compared with only 5% of non-Millennials. More Millennials than non-Millennials report using a mobile device to read user reviews and to research products while shopping (50% versus 21%), the survey says.

More U.S. Millennials than non-Millennials report using MP3 players (72% versus 44%), gaming platforms (67% versus 41%), and smartphones (59% versus 33%).  Non-Millennials reported using desktop computers at home (80% versus 63%) and basic cellphones (66% versus 46%).

Millennials are also more likely than non-Millennials to explore brands on social networks (53% versus 37%)