At 75.4 million Americans strong, Millennials are the largest generation in the nation, having eclipsed the 74.9 million Baby Boomers as of 2015. And they’re growing up fast. As the youngest Millennials currently hover around 18 to 20 years old (depending on which definition of “Millennial” you accept), this oft-debated generation is in the throes of early adulthood and professional life.
In the associations and nonprofit world, Millennials demand the attention of your member engagement programs. It’s crucial to understand what Millennials look for in an association and in life more generally, and luckily there’s an enormous body of research highlighting exactly that. Convenience, technology, value, health, and professional growth -- just to name a few -- top the list of Millennial priorities. So, what does this mean when trying to attract and retain Millennial association members and ultimately increasing non-dues revenue?
At E Group, we help our association clients curate member recruitment and retention strategies. Choosing custom promotional items for associations is always a crowd favorite for improving association brand affinity, attracting and retaining members, and increasing non-dues revenue. Current and potential Millennial members are the perfect target for these products.
As a Millennial myself, I have an insider’s perspective of the types of promotional products Millennials love. I’ve decided to highlight a few custom promotional items for associations that fit the particular needs and desires of the burgeoning generation that I call my own.
Below you’ll find a collection of custom promotional items for associations that can aid in your efforts to attract and retain Millennial association members and start increasing non-dues revenue. I’ll focus on products that hit three key areas of “Millennial life”: technology, health, and professional growth.
It’s important to remember that these products are just a framework, as your member recruitment and retention strategies are complete only when highlighted by custom solutions that an engagement agency, like E Group, can bring you.
Promotional Products Millennials Love: For the Techies
The Millennial love affair with technology: It’s arguably the most telling characteristic of my generation. We grew up alongside the spoils of modern life -- the Internet, cell phones, instant video streaming, social media -- and we love the convenience it offers. Goldman Sachs calls us “The First Digital Natives”, and in a 2014 Nielsen study titled “Millennials: Technology = Social Connection”, 24% of respondents said that Millennials’ love for technology is the prime stand-out factor of our generation.
Technology is a great place to start when searching for promotional products Millennials love. Here are a few products that will tickle your members’ love for technology and ultimately help increase your organization’s revenue.
1. On-the-go phone chargers
Promotional products are most effective when they’re truly useful, and these portable phone chargers fit the bill. These on-the-go chargers hold eight hours of battery life and have a digital screen that indicates how much charge is left. Improving association brand affinity is easy when your logo is displayed on something so useful for Millennials and tech lovers of all ages.
2. Wireless earbuds and mics
Wireless is the way of the future. These bluetooth earbuds and microphone hold 1.5 hour of battery life and allow you to dictate spoken commands, talk on the phone, or listen to music. They come in a soft pouch, complete with your logo, making them a great option for custom promotional items for associations.
3. Smartphone stands
Our generation of Netflix lovers and YouTube fans are bound to love these convenient smartphone stands, which prop up your phone so you can comfortably watch video wherever you go. They’re compatible with any mobile device, and feature generous space to display your association’s logo.
4. Bluetooth speakers
Millennials crave convenience, and bluetooth speakers provide exactly that. No fumbling with wires or headphones. Instead, they can effortlessly take their music everywhere and share it with the people around them.
5. Picnic blanket with speakers
No picnic is complete without your favorite tunes in the backdrop. This fold-up picnic blanket has speakers built into it. This blanket also works for the beach, camping, hiking, and more!
Promotional Products Millennials Love: For the Health Nuts
According to a Goldman Sachs study, titled “Millennials: Coming of Age” health is a top priority for of Millennials, and most are willing to forgo their usual frugality (33% of Millennials typically value low prices over quality) to spend more on high quality health pursuits. The Millennial fixation with health is a great focus for your promotional product program, as most health-minded products can be decorated with your logo and come in a variety of designs and colors. Below are three of my favorites.
6. Hot/cold water bottles
Not only are these water bottles sleek and stylish, but they keep drinks warm for up to eight hours and cold for up to 24 hours. Again, improving association brand affinity works best with promotional products that are useful in everyday life. Put your logo on one of these water bottles, and your Millennial members will jump at the chance to snag one.
7. Waterproof jackets
Offering higher-ticket items for your members to purchase is a great method for increasing non-dues revenue. Millennials in particular are bound to love these jackets, because they’re lightweight, waterproof, and perfect for outdoor activities and workouts. They come in several different colors and can feature a logo. Your members will love showing pride for your organization with these exercise-friendly jackets.
8. Hydration packs
The same Goldman Sachs study says: “For Millennials, ‘healthy’ doesn’t just mean ‘not sick’. It’s a daily commitment to eating right and exercising.” That means Millennials know the importance of drinking water and being outdoors. These hydration packs are perfect for your health-minded members, who can store 1.5 liter of water inside and proudly display your brand’s logo as they hike, walk, bike, and stay hydrated all along.
9. Fruit-infused water bottles
Drinking enough water is key to maintaining health, but many people find the taste of water to get tiresome after a few glasses. These flavor-infusing water bottles suppress the urge to reach for a sugary soda or commercial-brand flavored water and instead opt for a much more wholesome option. Even better, experts agree that fruit and herb-infused water is great for your health. Add cucumbers, ginger, watermelon, pineapple, you name it!
Promotional Products Millennials Love: For the Savvy Businesspeople
Millennials currently make up roughly 30% of the workforce, and by 2020, that number is expected to rise to 50%, according to PwC. In the midst of building and advancing their careers, Millennials are likely to be attracted to associations and organizations that support their professional growth. In fact, 92% of Millennials surveyed in a Buzz Marketing Group study said that they believe professional organizations offer great opportunities to network and grow their careers. When choosing promotional products for Millennials that aid in improving association brand affinity, play on this generation’s drive to become leaders in the workforce.
10. Custom polos
These custom polos are fitted and stylish, so they’re perfect for friendly meetings or casual Fridays at the office.
11. Four wheel suitcase
Do your Millennial members travel often for meetings, interviews, events, etc.? These suitcases are perfect for on-the-go students and professionals alike, and they complete with four rotating wheels. They glide effortlessly through airports, train stations, and anywhere else you might take it, proudly showing off your logo while en-route.
12. Versatile tote bags
Personally, I find that versatile bags are some of the most useful items I own. Busy students, young professionals, and people in general will love these handy canvas tote bags. They come in several different colors, hold just about all the essentials, and they have enough space to display a large but tasteful logo.
These products are a great blueprint to use for improving association brand affinity and recruitment tactics, especially when your efforts are geared toward Millennials. Remember, these products are just a sampling of the promotional products that are out there, and every association’s unique needs and target audience should be taken into consideration when choosing the products that work best. An engagement agency like E Group can help you curate the best promotional products for your association and tailor their design and implementation to your vision.