Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
I’m a millennial. And we’re now an influential and rapidly expanding demographic, so understanding our views on product life cycles is essential for any business. Indeed, products that previous generations may have favored may be viewed differently by us, affecting the decisions of manufacturers, retailers and other stakeholders in the industry.
Millennials’ preference for short-term products can be attributed to our aversion to the effort, cost and time needed to maintain and repair long-term items. Convenience and immediacy of use are also desirable qualities in a product, as we want something we can access quickly without investing in its upkeep.
Our generation is used to having access to the newest gadgets without making large purchases. Therefore, when it comes to product life cycles, millennials tend to favor short-term options that don’t require too much commitment or financial burden. Short-term items are typically seen as disposable or single-use items that don’t need regular maintenance or repairs over time. This makes them ideal choices for people who want something readily available but don’t have the resources or capacity for a long-term investment.
Businesses should consider the impact of planned obsolescence when creating products if they wish to maximize appeal among millennials. Planned obsolescence is the intentional design of products with limited lifespans for customers to frequently replace them with newer models so companies can stay competitive and profitable.
This strategy has been widely employed by many tech companies recently, as it helps keep their brand current and allows them to target an increasingly fickle tech-savvy audience who always wants the latest version of whatever product they’re using at any given time.
In contrast to short-term items, longer-term or high-quality products often require more maintenance and support from service providers or technicians to last for years with minimal maintenance cost. This can be costly and time-consuming in the long run, so millennials prefer brands that offer longevity without requiring too much upkeep.
Many of these brands now offer eco-friendly designs and reusable components that minimize waste yet still provide better performance over a more extended period. This is attractive to millennials as it gives a more sustainable option that won’t soon become outdated due to changing technology trends or market demands.
These features often come with extended warranties and repair services, which give customers peace of mind when investing in long-term products. Many of these brands partner with certified service centers with knowledgeable technicians who can provide regular maintenance and repair services for the product at an affordable cost. This ensures that users can keep their products running well even after the warranty period has expired, reassuring them of having access to a reliable product for many years.
Companies should also consider offering different payment plans or leases on their products to suit different budgets. This would give millennials more options for purchasing quality items without worrying about committing to large upfront costs.
On top of this, the availability of parts, repair services and even warranties must be considered when looking at a product life cycle. If a particular item requires repair, but parts needed for it aren’t readily available, customers may view investing in it as a poor decision, as repairs could become costly if parts can’t be sourced easily.
Additionally, if warranties offered by brands only cover certain aspects, customers may opt-out from buying their offerings due to the lack of assurance regarding performance over its life cycle time frame. In such cases, brands must provide comprehensive support options such as replacement warranties and access to trained technicians who can assist with repairs should an issue arise.
Modern businesses need to consider connectivity in their product offerings to maximize appeal among millennials. Items like smartphones require regular updates, making them feel outmoded quickly if they aren’t updated. This means having access to compatible networks is central to guaranteeing that users can benefit from the latest features offered by these products throughout their lifespan.
Businesses should ensure that their products are compatible with a wide range of services and applications for customers to get the most out of them over their lifetime. Many companies now provide cloud services and integrations that allow for more convenient usage and better performance when it comes to keeping devices updated and taking advantage of new features and capabilities.
Overall it’s clear that product life cycles are an important consideration when looking at purchase decisions made by millennials — from length and features to availability and connectivity — as all these factors influence what kind of value each item has in the eyes of buyers. With this knowledge, companies now understand what appeals most to their younger target demographic and can optimize their offering to maximize conversions while appealing to Millennial consumers’ sensibilities. Now get out there and sell me something.