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7 Ways Small Businesses Can Tap Into the Millennial Market​

Young people are ruling the world. The business world, that is. But not in the sense of actually running the companies, of course.

The mighty Millennials are driving up profits, and if you want to be successful, you have to market to them. Let’s look at a few ways to do that:

1. Be up to date with the latest trends.

The most important thing you can do is follow the current trends. If everyone is playing Pokémon Go, you want to support that app in your store.

Give customers a discount for catching Pokémon in your area. If you give someone a benefit for doing what they enjoy, they’ll return frequently.

If people can’t stop tweeting about a celebrity, figure out who they’re talking about, and have jokes and relatable media about that person on your website or in your store.

If someone sees something they can relate to, they will follow that 9 times out of 10. You can never go wrong with supporting something that other people support. Like-mindedness is your friend. Be nice to it.

2. Be sympathetic.

Although commonly viewed as selfish and self-promoting, Millennials have been found to be surprisingly empathetic.

If you show yourself as actively supporting people in need, teens will flock in droves to be able to help someone (and get something in return).

TomsAn example of this is Toms’ One for One campaign. By giving back, people feel like they are making a difference by being a consumer of this product. This empathy is a strong draw to your business.

3. Be fun.

Millennials want to go somewhere where they’ll have a good time. No matter what your business is, there is a way to make things appealing to the younger generation. You need to balance the fine line of being professional yet fun at the same time.

If something is too professional, it can come off as boring. If something is too lighthearted and fun, it can come off as not serious enough. However, a fun undertone is needed to retain interest.

You want the person coming into your store or visiting your website to have a good time. This can make the difference between a frequent visitor and a one-time “looker.”

4. Be cool.

Now, this may sound the same as the previous tip, “Be fun.” It’s not. Some things that are fun are not cool at all.

You want to have the right blend. You want people to feel like they’re a part of the “cool crowd” by using your product or service.

The best advertisement is word of mouth, and if a young person feels they’re exceptional in some way by doing something, the whole world’s gonna know it. You want to be what the whole world’s gonna know.

By being “cool,” you’ll get groups of frequent visitors who all want to be cool too.

5. Be memorable.

You remember that guy who got second? No? Me neither. Those who are not excellent will be forgotten.

Your product or service must be memorable. In a time when things flick by at the twitch of a finger, you want to create something that will linger in people’s memories.

A memorable business has a higher chance of return customers. Return customers mean returning profits, and returning profits mean success.

Attention spans are way shorter now, and Millennials’ minds are crowded with thousands of informational signals received every day.

You have to stand out. Remember that word-of-mouth thing mentioned above? Someone who remembers you will most likely bring up your business when talking to a friend.

6. Have wifi.

This step is for all the small businesses that have a physical store. This seems like something simple, but wifi is a huge draw in the market.

Teens will go wherever they are able to continue living their preferred lifestyle, and a lot of this lifestyle revolves around social media.

It’s a good idea to have a wifi password, but give that out for free on a sign inside the store, requiring customers to traverse through your building and get an eyeful of what you’re selling before they can claim their reward.

Wifi will also make your area somewhere people will gravitate to. Even if they just stop in to quickly send a Snapchat or post a photo, traffic is traffic.

7. Stay true to yourself.

If you have a simple message, goal or direction in mind, stay on that path. Often, people are looking for the different service you are selling.

If you’re someone who ships custom-made game pieces online, don’t try to be Amazon. If you’re a little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop, don’t try to be Starbucks.

A huge allure to the Millennial crowd is that your service is different from everything else. Sure, difference can be bad, but young people often want to go somewhere or buy something that they just can’t get from the big chains.

They want to show the world that they’re different and unique. If they post things about this, hey, maybe everyone else will use your business because they want to be unique too!

Written by Aaron Easaw

Aaron serves as the founder and CEO of INC.UBATOR, an exclusive venture capital firm that offers programs and investments designed to grow teen businesses from concept to reality. Aaron has attracted investors ranging from local business owners to international multi-billionaires to join the INC.UBATOR mission. The combination of a variety of industry mentors and Aaron's noted experience has given the opportunity for teen entrepreneurs to expand their ideas into professional businesses.

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