We don't just need help. We remember who helped us.

In my last article, I shared a not-so-secret insight: Millennials are often hard to reach because we just don’t see any reason to get invested in a brand. And most brands aren’t giving us one, so we don’t care.

We all know the traditional marketing approaches often don’t work for Millennials. Heck, we’ve been known as the ad-proof generation for over a decade. (Still, it’s been a relief for me to notice a decline in the number of articles titled “Millennials are killing the ______ industry.” Maybe it’s a sign that more brands are finally reaching out to Millennials, instead of blaming them for their blunders.)

My last rant covered all the reasons WHY we don’t care about brands who do the same old thing. So now it’s time to talk about HOW your brand can take the next step, and get our attention.

Take up a cause, and walk the talk.

The fact that Millennials (and really consumers in general) prefer brands that support causes isn’t news. The issue is that there’s nothing more disappointing, or more damning, than finding out a ‘progressive’ brand is all talk.

Millennials really want to save the world. We are doing more and donating more, but like previous generations we’re discovering it’s really a whole lot easier to affect change when you’re not alone. Be our ally.

Likewise, we don’t expect your brand to snap your fingers and fix the world. We know that real change takes time and dedication. We want to see you contributing, not swooping in like Superman.

A good example of this kind of realistic change comes from our friends at WestEdge Credit Union up in Bellingham, Washington. These folks came up with a whole line of ‘Green’ loans. You can get a loan for solar panels, an eco-vehicle, and even a bicycle, among other things.

WestEdge CU came up with a way to target a cause, attract positive attention, and promote their brand. It’s innovative, it’s progressive, and it feels good. What kinds of offers could you come up with?

Ask us what’s wrong, and help us fix it.

Our friends at AgFed Credit Union in Washington, D.C. asked their members how they were doing early on in the pandemic. Once they got their feedback, they came up with a hardship loan, to help those struggling members stay afloat. That’s the kind of move that turns a member into a brand fanatic.

Millennials would like to add cars, houses, and babies to our lives, but we don’t know how we could possibly afford to do so. Specifically, a lot of us are not-so-figuratively suffocating under a massive pile of student loan debt.

Lucky for us, that’s where you come in. Or you could, if you knew us well enough. What if instead of showing us rates and percentages and talking about “refinancing,” what if you said you’d help us “kick those student loans to the curb, for good?” Make it easy to see the end goal, and the money we’d save.

Then, what if you did something truly extraordinary, and offered a personal loan at a lower rate to help us with that last $20-30k? That’s about the equivalent of buying a new car, right?

We don’t just need help. We remember who helped us.

You’re going to have to address the issues facing Millennials directly, or you’ll watch them happily sign up with your competitors who did.

Do you know how stoked I’d be about a CU that asked me about my student loans, and then helped me get them paid off? I’d name my first child “ABC Credit Union.”

Reach out, ask some questions, identify some problems. Then ask yourselves, where can we really make a difference?

Sam Dicken
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