Millennials Own A Piece Of Your Brand (AKA Your Company)

Last month I spoke to a group of business owners.  I introduced the 30 million strong Millennial Generation and they all sat back and crossed their arms.  When I explained that they already owned a piece of their brand, many business owners guffaw and told me, “No, they don’t. Oh my God, they are so lazy and entitled, they just want their own way.” 

Think again!

Gone are the days when your bad hiring practices where just a rumor at the local coffee shop. Millennials not only use Social Media to help promote themselves to get hired, but when you let them down, they now have a stage to share their side of the story to the world…and this includes all of your customers.

CoutureWriter is just one such Millennial. 

With a passion for professional sports, she has invested time and effort into developing her social media footprint in the CFL and NFL arenas.  She not only has a Tumblr account for her own writing, she also contributes to several football sites geared at getting women talking about football.  This time consuming work has netted her lots of loyal followers.  Still think they’re lazy?

The average time it takes a person to develop ongoing content, gain followers, and then engage those followers, is the same as three people working around the clock in a small ad agency.  Think about the thousands of hours devoted to staying current, not to mention back research; now just add that to the invoice.

Recently, CoutureWriter thought it would be a good time to lend her knowledge, experience, and network, to the Hamilton Tiger Cats, by applying for an internship.   

This is where I demonstrate how much control a Millennial has over your brand

The Hamilton Tiger Cats are not alone. This blog was written to vent frustrations over a bad-hiring process.  We are seeing more and more of this happen. Millennials blogging about bad work experiences and organizations with little-to-no leadership are becoming more and more commonplace.

A blog like this raises a bunch of questions for me about the Hamilton Tiger Cats brand:

  1. It’s really hard to attract women to the sport as is, so why would a business owner let this happen to a young, inspired fan?
  2. Where is your HR team in your hiring process? 
  3. Do the Hamilton Tiger Cats know their managers are making promises they can’t keep?

Last but not least, are any of these the kind of questions you want your customers to have rolling around in their head?

Before you run and hide under a rock or yell, kick and scream at CoutureWriter, stop and think!  These Millennials understand social media better then you and I ever will. If we could all just set our negative bias aside about the Millennials, and really engage them, we might find they can be our most hardworking asset or the whistle blower at the end of your game.

Which one do you want standing next to you as we enter the Knowledge Age?


One response to “Millennials Own A Piece Of Your Brand (AKA Your Company)

  1. One of the fastest growing on-line communities is, and anyone who has spent any time browsing it can see first hand exactly what this article is talking about. People call out their employers and potential employers frequently for bad behaviour. Just yesterday, a McDonald’s franchise owner was called out for paying their minimum-wage employees by handing them a Chase bank card linked to an account that the franchise had set up (as opposed to by cheque or direct-deposit), leaving the employee on the hook for the account fees (which included such things as $1.50 withdrawal fees).

    With the economic troubles following 2008, many companies have taken the position that the jobs themselves are rare enough that the potential employee will put up with anything to get or maintain that job. The steady stripping down of benefits by many employers is a perfect example of this. But with more and more people getting involved in the great global conversation that is social media, those companies that continue these bad practices are in for trouble, and soon. The march of all those opinions is inexorable, and can turn in an instant. Employers beware.

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