Geneva, Switzerland and Arlington, VA, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- February 6, 2013 - Are the “millenials” the generation that utilities should be focusing on most when it comes to engaging with their customers on issues such as home networking and home energy management?

If the findings of two recent studies are anything to go by, then the answer could be yes.

According to a new study from the World Economic Forum and Accenture on “Engaging tomorrow’s consumer” on sustainability, the millenials – those born between 1981 and 1995 – present the greatest opportunity for engagement. They are receptive to and engaged in global issues, and they enjoy growing influence and incomes, especially urban Asian millenials.

Then the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has just published a new study showing that the millenials – here also including the “youth millennials” born between 1995 and 1999 – are not only heavy consumers of electronics products, but they also exert considerable influence on family and friends when it comes to buying consumer electronics devices. That includes both the devices themselves and where they should be purchased.

The millenials also appear to do the most widespread research about products before purchasing. While all generations most commonly use the internet to learn about consumer electronics products, the millenials are more likely to also seek information from friends, and to use blogs and social networking sites to learn about the latest products.

However, despite their heavy use of social media and the internet, millennials still rely on brick-and-mortar retail stores for consumer electronics purchases. Almost half usually visit a store prior to purchasing a consumer electronics product and half believe it is important to touch and feel a product or play with or use a product before purchasing.

The World Economic Forum/Accenture study also offers some tips for engaging consumers on sustainability, saying that in order to engage, consumers need to be excited and motivated. Business needs to use language that is familiar, and offer incentives and choices that are relevant to their lives and aspirations.

Six key strategies that can be employed are:

  • Strengthen the consumer case
  • Engage their marketers
  • Better integrate into research and development
  • Create platforms for consumer collaboration
  • Activate employees as advocates
  • Quantify outcomes.