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So you want to attract younger consumers?

The lifeblood of any business is the attraction of new users to its base. This is because there will always be a natural attrition taking place. People move, change circumstances, and unfortunately die. Regardless, if you’re not fully invested in developing new relationships to offset these changes, your organization will suffer. It will die.

What changes are you willing to make?

Remember the saying, “if we keep doing the things we’ve always done, we’ll get the results we’ve always gotten.” Nothing could be more true with appealing to a younger demographic. We talk to many institutions that have this goal yet they go about it the wrong way. Somehow, they believe that just by “marketing” (think advertising/communication) to that group, people will flock to their business.

It’s not that easy.

To appeal to the youthful demographic, you must be relevant, become part of their consideration set, and have credibility with these consumers.

What the young consumer wants – Technology

Younger generations want emerging technology seamlessly integrated into their daily banking experience. Furthermore, they’ve come to expect a consistent, user-friendly experience with any touchpoint they have with you. Many are also demanding flexibility that adapts to their lifestyle, from access to digital services as well as brick-and-mortar locations to multiple channels where users can communicate with the institution (in-app support, virtual assistants and more). Source Forbes, Financial Brand

A Digital First strategy resonates well with these users. Their world is digital, and you have to create the experience that fits with their desires, not yours.

According to Forbes, just adopting the technology won’t be enough. Digitizing experiences will not drive growth by itself—fine-tuning the digital experience through innovation, personalization and continuously new approaches will be necessary to keep younger audiences engaged.

What the young consumer wants – Advice

The young consumer finds the financial landscape challenging. They don’t understand it and know they need help. At the same time, their comfort with digital over human interaction may make them harder to connect with.

Develop programs such as webinars and seminars on topics in line with their interests. Encourage them to suggest areas that can be helpful. Build an ongoing repository of support in line with their general needs. Financial planning is a major issue that many young consumers need advice and encouragement.

What the young consumer wants – Relevancy and Respect

Every generation wants to be acknowledged for who they are and their uniqueness. It’s easy for an established institution to overlook this important component. If a new, younger consumer doesn’t feel comfortable in the relationship, they will move on.

Some of the simple, yet important elements of serving this segment is to ensure you have staff that represents this group. Having staff from this age group allows you to showcase that you value these groups and have trained staff that can handle their needs.

Create a team from the younger employees with the goal of evaluating and challenging all the current service practices and procedures. Things that have “been done a certain way for years” may no longer be relevant. And, will likely serve to push younger consumers away.

Remember it’s a journey.

A healthy organization is going to allow some flexibility as they bend and adjust to various societal and demographic changes. Staff should be as comfortable explaining what a savings account is used for to a young consumer and comparing investment options for an older consumer.

There is no one size fits all.