The book "Your Customer is the Star" provides recommendations and principles to help business successfully market and promote to the Millennial generation.
Love them or hate them, the word Millennial seems to appear in almost every headline nowadays. Most of the headlines about Millennials seem to be bad news – declining job prospects, declining “real-world” social interaction, and decreasing brand loyalty.
Other headlines, however, point to Millennials as the future of business. These headlines point to the ability of Millennials to interact with businesses in ways that past generations never dreamed of. The tech-savvy Millennial is able to influence people around the world with just a click of a button or keystrokes. They have a purchasing power that is astounding (trillions) and are willing to use it on companies and brands that align with their values and goals.
While this information is nice to know, how can it help your business? Should you place your future bets on the Millennial for your long-term strategy? And how do you even do that?
Make Way for the Millennial
Micah Solomon approaches the issue of the Millennial headfirst in “Your Customer is the Star: How to Make Millennials, Baby Boomers, and Everyone Else Love Your Business.” In this book, Solomon argues that the Millennial represents a unique but challenging opportunity that businesses should prepare for NOW.
Millennials, he says, represent the largest and most diverse generation of consumers with the largest purchasing power in history. That kind of opportunity is ripe for business, if you know what drives Millennials. Your Customer is the Star promises to help readers do that through redefining customer service and retention.
Solomon’s book can be broken down into three messages:
- The Millennial has a unique set of characteristics and habits that are different from traditional ideas of customer service.
- Good customer service for the Millennial involves speed, wonderful users experience, transparency, and convenience.
- Customer loyalty and retention will involve the challenge of balancing innovation with brand coherence.
The first part of Your Customer is the Star identifies particular characteristics and buying habits of Millennials to demonstrate how this will impact customer service in the future. Customer service, Solomons repeats in the beginning of the book, used to mean “providing service with a smile” – even if that meant waiting in line for 15 to 20 minutes.
For the Millennial, that won’t cut it. Your Customer is the Star argues that Millennials are seeking companies and businesses that can offer service faster and at times and places convenient for them. Millennials are comfortable making a reservation online and picking up their order (along with getting updates along the way) rather than driving to the store and hoping the item came in.
The second part of Your Customer is the Star then discusses how to translate those characteristics and buying habits of Millennials into action. Instead of providing specific recommendations, Solomon provides real-life examples businesses that have successfully adapted to the Millennial.
As example, he points to stores that allow cashiers to do transactions anywhere in the store instead of only from one spot (a.k.a cash register). Another example is Drybar, which caters to a Millennials’ need for experience and comfort with sharing that experience online.
The last part of the book covers customer retention and loyalty. As Your Customer is the Star emphatically states, repeat business is your ticket to survival. Getting that repeat business in a world of online reviews, increasing demands for attention, and the Millennials’ increasing dissatisfaction with traditional marketing methods will be a challenge. That being said, Solomon argues that the businesses that can find their way will have the advantage.
Is Your Customer is the Star a Worthwhile Read?
For a book that seeks to answer the question of how to market to Millennials, the book is rather short (around 80 pages). It is a book that you can finish in an hour or less. Having said that, this short book covers a lot of important ground in those 80+ pages.
As shared above, Your Customer is the Star covers the use of technology, branding, marketing, and customer retention. The language used is personal and frank, which exemplifies what Solomon hopes readers will emulate. One unique point is Solomon’s willingness to cover issues not shared in other marketing books, such as how businesses can position competitively against Amazon.
The brevity of the book, however, forced the author to leave out an important consideration, how to tailor the book’s recommendations to a reader’s business. If you are a business who caters to (or is preparing to) market to Millennials, Your Customer is the Star provides some valuable food for thought and principles for business planning. Readers will have to figure out how to use the book’s ideas for their business largely on their own.
About the Author
Mitch Solomon is an author, speaker, and consultant. He can be found at MitchSolomon.com and on Twitter @micahsolomon. Your Customer is the Star is available from Amazon. The above review was based on a purchased copy of the Kindle book.