Welcome to the Kleber & Associates blog! Generation Y says: Share with usHere’s the latest.

Generation Y (the Millennials) has been getting a lot of attention lately. As the most recent consumer group to enter the housing market, many believe that the nation’s economic recovery rests largely in the hands of this generation. And buying homes is just the beginning. These young, enthusiastic couples and families need things to fill their homes and companies have taken note, launching new ad campaigns targeted directly at Gen Y.

A few weeks ago, I talked about the importance of design to Millennial customers and touched briefly on the idea that Millennials like sharing things with others. The Pew Research Center did a study over this very topic and found that Millennials not only like sharing things now, but they plan on continuing to share as they age. This love of sharing explains why social networks have become so popular among this generation.

Millennials enjoy helping others and building relationships. Helping someone solve their problem is a mutually rewarding interaction to Gen Y. Receiving credit for answering a question is reward enough for these individuals. They enjoy sharing things with the people they know because they want to be the first person to tell their friends. Being first gives them credibility and elevates their status among their network. And speaking of networks, helping each other and sharing new ideas is amplified through social networks. Not only can someone answer a question on a discussion forum, but that question and answer live on to benefit future users. Sharing new ideas is quick and easy on social networks, where information travels at light speed. And as people help and share more online, the number of people they reach increases, their network grows, giving them exponential opportunities to interact.  These types of online activities are just what Gen Y has been looking for – a way to share and help people taken to the extreme.

And of course we can’t forget about doing things for the common good. Not only do Gen Y-ers want to help one another, they want to help society as a whole. Wikis that rely on the efforts of many individuals to survive, attract these types of people. Increasing world knowledge on Wikipedia helps everyone and satisfies the user’s need to share. The crowd-sourcing phenomenon feeds off this enthusiasm as well – why leave a decision to one person in a company when there are thousands of online participants, willing to help you out for free? The concept of open source platforms also has become popular with Millennials because a brand’s willingness to share and accept advice from users is what Gen Y looks for. They want to have a say in what a company does, and they want to help you improve.

So why ignore them? If your customer base is willing to give advice and help you make decisions, why not let them? There is a wealth of knowledge that exists in the crowd just waiting to be tapped. And Millennials don’t require much: they don’t need payments, they don’t need shiny bells and whistles… they just need you to be as open and honest with them as they are with you. They need you to trust them. Share with them, and they will share with you. Solve their problems, and they will solve yours.

Kleber & Associates is an Atlanta-based integrated marketing communications agency serving the home and building products industry for 25 years. Visit the Kleber & Associates website for the latest news and information about marketing for home and building products for consumers, architects, builders, remodelers, designers and manufacturers. Through our marketing, advertising, public relations and digital marketing expertise — we build better brands that build a better home.