Engaging with Millennials featuring Luc Durand

Episode 16 of our Cup of Jo video series features Luc Durand, President of IPSOS Quebec, discussing his research and expertise on engaging with the highly coveted and largely misunderstood millennial cohort.

Episode 16. Today, we are having a caffeinated conversation with Luc Durand, President of IPSOS Quebec. In this video, Luc discusses his research and expertise on engaging with the highly coveted and largely misunderstood millennial cohort.

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Grab a coffee and take it all in.

 

[Michael Chase]
With IPSOS you have this really interesting seat where you’re constantly looking at this millennial cohort, this up and coming massive generation of people with money to spend. What have been your biggest thoughts on millennials and where millennials are going forward?

[Luc Durand]
Well it’s a very interesting court. First it’s a big court, it’s one of the biggest ones we’ve seen recently, and it’s just going to increase, especially with the young immigrants coming to Canada. And they are very vocal about what they want. And being in the period of time that they are, they had social media to verbalize literally all these expectations that they have, unlike the generation X who kind of just went under the radar. Millennials have very high expectations and they do have the tribune to manifest it, so that allows them to really create important trends in society and as consumers. It’s a bit like the baby boomers but on steroids, because they have the means that were not available at the time to communicate all that.

So yes, and we’ve seen it already. Some of the subgroups of the millennials like the YEMMies, the young educated millennial mothers, are defining the major trends in food right now. So it is a group that is very powerful from a marketing perspective, from a consumption perspective, and for a trend-defining perception, and eventually of course for buying power.

[Michael Chase]
That’s interesting. So what are some of the biggest truths about millennials that people don’t understand?

[Luc Durand]
Well, I think the number one truth, which is often the case in the social demographic, it’s not a homogenous group. The older millennials are slowly getting into the workforce, being in couples, starting to have children. So their behavior is a little bit more like the generation X. As the younger millennials are most of the time living with their parents so their needs and expectations are different. So I think one of the big truths is that it’s not a homogenous group.

[Michael Chase]
That’s interesting because you talk about them growing up with technology and always being sort of hooked to their technology. What has technology done for millennials?

[Luc Durand]
I think technology is kind of being good and bad for them. It allows them to communicate, at the same time they are a little bit too much connected, so they miss the present moment. And their identity is quite important to them, so they really … It’s almost like they’re always on stage you know? At the same time, they are, as you just said, some very savvy consumer. They shop in the brick and mortar store but they also shop online, and they go from one to the other, sometimes in the same process. So yes technology has an immense influence in their lives, in the way that they interact with people and in the way that they shop and the consumer product.

[Michael Chase]
As an advertiser, when you’re dealing with the world of push and pull and trying to get your message out to millennials, who’s doing it well and how should they be doing it?

[Luc Durand]
Some brands that I’ve seen recently, and it’s not exclusive but these are the ones off the top of my head. Fido is doing a good job in Canada and we see that they’re doing quite a good job in reaching them and seducing them. IKEA Worldwide is doing a fantastic job with them I must admit. The way that they communicate with them is well adapted, I guess the channels are good too because they’re reaching them, and they feel that they’re using the right language to communicate with them. I think these are two good examples.

[Michael Chase]
Obviously brands are looking to connect with millennials and they’re trying to figure out their way into letting them pull information into their networks. What’s one cool sort of fact that people are missing about millennials?

[Luc Durand]
It’s important too that they feel unique when you communicate to them, but that you can gather them around something that they will feel part of what’s important that’s happening in the world.

[Michael Chase]
So is purpose more important to them now?

[Luc Durand]
I couldn’t say that. They are still very attached to the image, honestly.

[Michael Chase]
So curating your image, having your image out there the right way, which is why there are so many posts on Instagram, it’s really part of their lifestyle now. I mean they’re hooked into that world.

[Luc Durand]
And they themselves admit that it’s taking too big of a part of their life in fact.

[Michael Chase]
How can brands leverage social media today to connect with millennials when they’re living it and eating it and breathing it?

[Luc Durand]
It’s being present, being honest and being beautiful at the same time. Because at the end of the day they will know what you’re doing and their peers are going to tell them how you perform, but you still need to be very appealing to them and very trendy and be the talk of the town. So it’s a mix of both.

[Michael Chase]
What is the one thing that brands can do to transform the way they engage with people?

[Luc Durand]
I think that they have to really be … truly understand what are the emotional motivations behind the reason why people are going to consume their product. Yes, there is a very tangible need that their product will serve, to answer, but they also need to see exactly what is the emotional benefit that people are searching while they’re consuming their product? Is there a need for recognition, is there a need to be part of something? So when they would understand that, that would help them a lot in their communication.

[Michael Chase]
So Luc, I gotta thank you for having this caffeinated conversation with us and thank you for going on this journey, it’s been a pleasure.