Print and the Millennial Buyer

By Staff Writer

500pxMillenials

 

The rise of digital media, in the first decade of this millennium, has led many to predict the imminent death of print.  Contraction within the industry led many to believe it was just a matter of time before all services that had been provided by the traditional local print shop would inevitably be handled by big centralized online companies, à la Amazon or Google.  But the funny thing is, contrary to popular belief, Millennials are fans of print! 

Hold on, now.  That doesn’t mean the traditional print company can expect to sell to millennial buyers with business as usual.  The millennial buyer is a new breed, with unique traits one would be foolish to ignore.  This generation is the first born in the “get what you want when you want it” digital age.  In order to make inroads with this group, it’s imperative to separate the facts from the stereotypes, and provide valuable services the way they’re accustomed to receiving them.

About the Professional Millennial:

  1. They’ve been raised on digital – fax machines and mailed invoices are ancient technology to them.  Providing digital means to process orders is a must.
  2. They expect On Demand services – more than any other generation, to millennial time really is money!  They want what they want, when they want it.  Online services are designed to accommodate these needs.
  3. They’re NOT fans of rules – for the Millennial, rules are not only meant to be broken, but they expect businesses to always be striving to break established rules to the benefit of the customer.

These may seem daunting challenges for a traditional print shop, however, there are things you can provide, to make your business more attractive to the millennial buyer.

Opportunities for traditional Print Businesses:

  1. Share your expertise in print media – While the big online print company focuses on cheap business cards, show your client the breadth of your abilities.  Being a one-stop shop for all their print needs, with the ability to collaborate face to face with live breathing human beings adds value that may be the deciding factor.
  2. Samples Samples Samples! – One thing that can not be replicated in the digital environment is the physical interaction with print media.  The opportunity is education of the buyer to things like paper weights, uv coats, textured print, etc.  Helping them understand these concepts and properties, while explaining the value of each is crucial when presenting to these decision makers.
  3. Bridge the technology gap – Millennials have no qualms about performing transactions online.  In fact, many prefer to do so.  Investing in a robust e-commerce site, will give you an advantage over shops without that option.  After educating them on the intricacies of print, give them the ability to order and re-order online.

Although it’s true that print is far from dead, challenges abound.  Failure to adapt to this new generation of decision makers will make it nearly impossible to compete in a world designed to accommodate their needs.

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