Establishing trust within the Millennial hive mind

March 2, 2017 by Andy Penkalski

A young couple reading something on their smartphone with their Millennial hive mind

About the author:

Andy Penkalski

Demand generation lead

Andy oversees all automated marketing initiatives. He is interested in always discovering new tools for brands and businesses to more effectively reach their audience and improve metrics for success within their own organization.

Plenty of words have been drummed up on our blog over the last year concerning how financial planners will best capture the emerging Millennial market as automated competition continues to penetrate the industry well before an estimated $30 trillion in AUM transfers generations. For all of the platitudes launched toward Millennials—like blind trust in technology—it is easy to forget that some of these common observations on their propensity for saving can be a little misguided.

While that common grievance does not hold up under closer scrutiny, there is a more timeless and youthful attribute that could be leveraged toward future AUM — the modern Millennial’s knack for histrionics in an era where consumer indignation can spread like wildfire.

Stay on the right side of the Millennial hive mind

Since the New Year, Uber has faced two very different PR crises that have yielded equally disastrous results for the rideshare giant. First, Uber continued service to JFK International airport in the wake of President Trump's executive order on Muslim immigration — a presidential ruling that spurred nationwide protests and a strike by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. Ostensibly viewed by many as alleged strikebreaking, Uber spent the following week doing damage control after #DeleteUber quickly began trending on social media. Less than a month later, the company again found itself trending for all the wrong reasons after harassment allegations from an ex-employee spread across multiple news outlets.

These are not easy news items to unpack objectively, nor are they even guaranteed to resonate identically within Uber's customer base or outside of it. What is remarkably similar between both events is how new information led to identical, immediate action amongst a group of loyal consumers and, in turn, the company itself. So with a (momentarily) penniless generation still leveraging their ability to vote with their wallets, so to speak, how will their behavior continue to morph the demands that a decision such as the DOL fiduciary rule has already begun to cultivate?

We are in an era when all it takes to send a C-suite into crisis mode is a hashtag. Additionally, small-business solutions for the financial services industry are more practical and scalable than ever before. Therefore, we may not be too far away from overhearing coffeehouse conversation that includes "Did you hear about that boutique financial planning office that just moved in down the street?"

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