The millennials (age 21-34) are here and now, with buying power. Traditional industries including industrial supply lag consumer retailers by about a half decade. Millennials consume information differently than the boomer generation, or even Generation X.  Distributors not already making adjustments will start to see declining returns.

It’s time to go to market with the Millennial Industrial Buyer in mind. Here are three reasons why focusing on the millennial buyer builds a competitive advantage:

  • Millennial buyers do not like unannounced salesmen coming to cold-sell them industrial supplies. They want to make educated purchases on their own terms online. Millennials are adept at seeking out and engaging specialists who offer a seamless buying experience, a cultured brand, and a thoughtful content strategy. They’re not interested in a handshake and a 2,000-page catalog. They want social media and ecommerce websites that help them make choices quickly.
  • Millennials research deeply before making a buying decision. They grew up with the internet. The best way to make your industrial supply business “discoverable” by millennials, is to publish consistent, helpful content on your company’s website or blog.
  • This is a huge opportunity for smaller, independent suppliers and distributors. The big guys have already written their marketing budget and can’t make a fast move to change their strategy. The big guys minimize the new buyer’s journey, and think they will overcome the issue by sheer manpower.

Big will soon become a liability when selling to millennials. Just look around. Craft beer. Craft soda. Local sourced food. Independent music. Shop local... it goes on and on.

The longer more traditional companies wait to adapt, the harder it will be to attract a millennial audience.