If you want to broaden your target market, you’ll need to woo Millennials. These people make up the tech-savvy Generation Y that grew up during the height of the Information Age, and they really know how to spread the message when they fall in love with a brand.
In the US alone, Generation Y has the most significant spending power. There are over 80 million of them, which makes them about a quarter of the entire American population. This year alone, Millennials are projected to spend $200 billion.
It would be foolish to ignore them as a key growth opportunity for your direct selling company. They represent a wide open market that is hungry for a variety of products.
Countless studies have been created to figure out how industries can instantly connect with this influential demographic. The common denominator of the accumulated results is this: the customers—the Millennials—are in the driver’s seat.
They won’t be swayed by traditional marketing methods, and they won’t be easily led by the typical marketing messages of the past. In the brand-consumer relationship, they come out on top because they are hyper conscious consumers who are very wary when they are being “sold to.”
One efficient way to catch them and keep their attention is through gamification. Millennials grew up learning how to read, think critically, and connect with others using games. They are a generation that likes to be challenged.
Making their experience fun will keep them interested and engaged.
Here are tips on how gamification for direct selling companies could appeal to Millennials:
Trigger the Emotions
It’s easy enough to create an online game that can catch the attention of Millennials. Trying out new games is second nature to them.
The real test of the game, however, is if it can retain their interest.
True engagement comes from recognizing and satisfying the players on an emotional level. Just like any entertainment medium, it needs to trigger the primal buttons in a person’s psyche.
Yes, the points, the gaming system, and the social status are essential. Using the old carrot on a stick can help you a lot.
They would play for those factors alone…for a certain amount of time. But if you genuinely want to keep their attention and create long-term customers out of them, create a game that is intrinsically rewarding. Going through the motions of buying or promoting your product needs to be inherently fun.
Millennials are all about instant gratification (who isn’t, right?). Spending years glued to a phone screen tends to wire the human brain to seek novelty and instant pleasure.
This immediate shot of dopamine to the brain plays a significant role in establishing and strengthening their behavioral drive. Millennials rarely wait, and they dislike ambiguity.
Thus, gamification for direct selling companies needs to be direct, and to the point. Simply using progress bars to inform them how close they are to finishing a level (or the game itself) goes a long way. Rewarding them after each level with points or an exclusive customer experience will make them crave more.
Especially in the beginning, when a customer or distributor is new, reward every step in the right direction to condition their behavior.
A Deeper Meaning
Millennials are concerned about different things—from the environment to politics. Because of this, they look for a deeper meaning in what they’re doing. More than any other generation, many Millennials simply won’t follow through with a project unless there’s a bigger picture. They want to know and understand that big picture up front. Money is often not enough of a motivator.
Direct selling companies can use this interest in a worthy cause to catch the attention of the dominant demographic. Collaborate with an organization and create a contest to raise awareness or money for the chosen cause.
Use a social media-generated game to make it more fun and reach more people. It can be the “most liked” photo on Instagram or “most shared” post on Facebook. Whoever wins the contest—and spreads the word about the cause—gets something of value.
More importantly, practice giving back every day. One of the best ways to hold the interest of Millennials over the long-term is to run a business that truly makes a positive difference in the world. This generation is not too tolerant of organizations that are just “in it for the money,” so make sure that you give out the vibe of a contributor to society.
Go for the Win
Humans, by nature, are competitive. Millennials take this competitiveness to a different level.
A leaderboard can be used for various products and can establish a sense of competition among users. This is a familiar way of measuring “top scores” in games, and it is immediately understood by most people.
Ask your customers—Millennials or otherwise—to track a specific metric relevant to the product, and then rank them. With certainty, they all will try to outrank each other.
Worth the Time
Naturally, one of the best techniques when using gamification for direct selling companies is to ensure the incentive or the reward is worth the participant’s time and effort.
Make sure it’s something that the Millennials truly want or will value the most. The incentive doesn’t have to extravagant. Just make sure it’s a reward that will push them to try the game or buy your product.
As with any kind of conditioning, use the smallest, most effective reward, and apply the reward consistently. Every once in awhile, randomly dole out a large reward as a jackpot, and you will see people quickly getting excited about the game.
Millennials can propel your direct selling company to greater heights. Get that Gen Y in your corner now!