Millennials as customers

Born between 1980 and the early 2000s, Millennials see themselves as being  tolerant, curious, positive, sharing, connected, flexible, innovative generation.

Millennials are well educated and see themselves as tolerant, curious, positive, sharing, connected, flexible and innovative.By 2025 will make up 75 per cent of the global workforce.

They are true to themselves and are the most-educated  generation. In 2011, 52 per cent of young adults (18 to 34 years) had a non-school qualification and 26 per cent held a bachelor degree or higher qualification. Go back 35 years to 1976 and only 30 per cent in the same age group had a non-school qualification and just 5 per cent held a bachelor degree or higher qualification.

Recent events, globalisation and happiness!

With experience of the world that goes back 40 years, the big trends and events that have helped shaped Millennials include the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the launch of Facebook, the bust, the 2008 global recession and Barack Obama’s election. The Black Saturday bushfires, Global Financial Crisis and Queensland floods weighed heavily on Australian Millennials.

Climate change is the top problem facing society in the next 20 years according to 300 Millennials interviewed in Australia for the Deloitte Millennial Innovation Survey.

Despite the threat of terrorism, natural disasters, economic catastrophes and climate change, 84 per cent of Australian Millennial respondents to the Viacom survey were happy (global average: 87 per cent). Nevertheless, 35 per cent were stressed (global average: 33 per cent).

Opinions on business

The Mind the Gaps Deloitte Millennial survey, which interviewed 7800 Millennials from 29 countries including Australia, showed Millennial respondents thought businesses needed to pay equal attention to people as they do to products and profits.

Seventy-five per cent thought businesses were too fixated on their own agendas and should be more focused on improving society.
The Deloitte Millennial Innovation Survey of 4800 people in 16 “markets” (covering at least 18 countries), provided more information on Australians: 70 per cent thought employee satisfaction was very important (just less than financial performance). Only 58 per cent thought their company helped society in some way or that they worked for an innovative company.

Working with Millennials

Millennials often have a broader perspective about supervisor-subordinate relationships, and want close relationships and frequent feedback from their boss. Their ideal boss is mostly a mentor (50 per cent), leader (40 per cent, confidant (30 per cent) and friend (23 per cent). The four qualities they wanted in a boss were: support (43 per cent), expertise (42 per cent), motivation (39 per cent) and fairness (38 per cent).

Millennials are optimistic and familiar with technology. They may be well placed to provide opinions on how to improve operations and marketing through technology. Like Generation X workers, they feel rewarded by work arrangements that offer more flexibility and new technology.


Viacom International Media Networks. ‘The next normal: an unprecedented look at Millennials worldwide’,

Rouse, M., Tech Target, “Millennials (millennial generation)”

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, UK, ‘Big demands and high expectations: Deloitte Millennial survey’, p. 2

Viacom International Media Networks. ‘The next normal: an unprecedented look at Millennials worldwide’,, p.6

Shuey, J., Business 2 Community “The digital generation: Millennials and social networking”

Australian Bureau of Statistics, Young adults: Then and Now

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, UK. 2013, ‘Millennial Innovation Survey’, p. 6

Pew Research Center, Taylor, P. and Keeter, S. Eds. (February 2010) Millennials—A portrait of generation next pp. 140,

Myers, K. & Sadaghiani, K., ‘Millennials in the workplace: A communication perspective on Millennials’ organizational relationships and performance’, Journal of Business and Psychology, vol. 25, no. 2, pages 225–238,

Thorne, P., ‘Wired and worldly: Engaging Gen Y learners’, Training and Development in Australia, Vol. 38, No. 6, page 16,;dn=247696329140263;res=IELAPA

Klein, K., “How to keep millennials from getting bored and quitting“, Bloomberg Business,

Cute and cuddly: our favourite pets on Instagram

Australia has one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world with around 63 per cent of households having a pet. Source ii.

It’s easier to get through a tough day when a photo or video of fluffy animals doing cute things appears on your social media feed.

Pets are big winners in the online viral stakes, sometimes making their owners moolah via corporate sponsorships, product placements and book deals — such as Grumpy Cat and Boo.

Cats are the undisputed champions and an exhibition entitled How cats took over the Internet in NYC’s Museum of the Moving Image analyses the importance of cat-related content.

Continue reading Cute and cuddly: our favourite pets on Instagram

Word of mouth still triumphs as most trusted way to advertise

Positive word of mouth consistently trumps as being more credible than other advertising methods such as newspaper advertising, online searches and mail/email marketing. A Nielsen Global survey of trust in advertising, conducted in 2013 of more than 29,000 people in 58 countries (including Australia), showed Asia-Pacific respondents were most willing to trust (85 per cent) and take action (88 per cent) based on recommendations from friends and family and opinions posted online.

Globally, people were most likely to trust recommendations from people they know, branded websites, and consumer opinions posted online, respectively.

In the Nielsen global survey, 56 per cent trust email messages they’d signed up for, and 48 per cent trusted advertisements generated by search engine results. Online video advertisements (48 per cent) and advertisements on social networks (48 per cent) have gained ground and won more trust.

US Small Business Trends and Verizon, a US communications technology, company conducted a survey of Philadelphia small business owners in 2014 in relation to word of mouth’s effectiveness and the results were almost identical (85 per cent) to a study it had conducted online in 2005 (83 per cent)v.

‘Super influencers’

Verizon states that social media is on the rise as a “word of mouth” medium. For example, it is common for people to request local business recommendations from their friends on Facebook.

Marketing agencies have recognised that word of mouth is a critical element in promoting their clients, so they work with “super influencers”, who are available for hire. Unlike using celebrities, whose advertisements only resonated with 12 per cent of global consumers, “super influencers” are everyday people who have large social networks, or are bloggers with thousands of readers.

For example, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service worked with Social Soup, an agency that found 750 30-54 year olds who were “well connected, online and offline and had not donated in the past five years”. They were family and community-minded, worked or lived near a blood donation centre and had a high-level of persuasion in their social and work environments. They shared their experience online via Facebook and Twitter, explaining why they made the decision to donate, and created 300 online reviews, with most giving a 4.4 star rating out of 5.

How to create positive word of mouth

Research shows that when creating online word of mouth, a company should design its information so it’s easy for consumers to forward to friends. Firstly, it must be useful, accurate and important. Secondly, it should be trustworthy, credible and reliable. Ultimately, consumers like interesting information from a credible source, which has the most chance of triggering a ripple or viral effect.

Pinterest is good for displaying visual products or services (interiors, hairdressing or nail design), whereas Yelp! is for customers to rate businesses and write reviews. LinkedIn has a search function for finding services.

Away from the online world, small business owners should focus on building rapport and exceptional interaction with customers by providing a personalised approach. Reliability and professionalism create positive experiences. Unfortunately, if things go wrong, consumers are more likely to talk about your business, irrespective of the quality of your product, and bad news spreads fast.

Window safety: locks save toddlers

The window must either have a robust screen or the window opening must be restricted to 125mm. The screen or device used must be able to 'resist an outward horizontal action of 250 N' (Source:

Nearly one child falls out of a window every week in Australia. New regulations, guidelines and security devices can keep preschoolers out of trouble.

About 50 children fall out of windows and off balconies every year. To help prevent these incidents, NSW Health is running an education campaign, Kids don’t fly.

The problem is expected to increase as more than half of NSW’s population is expected to live in strata schemes by 2030.

Toddlers aged between one and four years-old are most at risk because they are curious and agile, but can’t understand the danger. Falls usually happen in the child’s home, during spring and summer, when families leave windows permanently open.

New buildings: Building code changes

The Australian Building Codes Board introduced new provisions to the Building Code of Australia (BCA2013). These require that all bedroom windows where the fall height is 2m or greater are with fitted safety devices ‘where the lowest level of the window opening is less than 1.7m above the floor’. In such a case the window must either have a robust screen or the window opening must be restricted to 125mm. The screen or device used must be able to ‘resist an outward horizontal action of 250 Newtons’. These are the minimum requirements, and each state and territory can legislate to include more safety measures, so refer to your state or territory authority.

What about existing buildings?

The changes to the building code will result in safer environments for Australian children as new buildings are completed. However, the changes don’t have an impact on the existing residential housing stock in Australia.

With much of the concern focussed on child window safety in multistorey strata buildings, the NSW Office of Fair Trading has amended the NSW Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 (Section 64A(1)). The changes are outlined in the NSW Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2010 (Part 9, clause 31). They require owners’ corporations to install safety devices generally on all openable windows that pose a safety risk to young children by 13 March 2018 or else fines could apply. Residents can apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for orders for the owners’ corporation to take action.

If you live in a strata unit in NSW, safety devices should be retrospectively fitted to openable windows when the lowest edge is less than 1.7metres above the internal floor level, and when the drop from the internal floor level to the external surface beneath the window is two metres or more.

In NSW strata units, the windows will not have to be locked permanently in one position: for example, if there are no children present, the windows can be left wide open. If the safety device can be removed, overridden or unlocked, it must have a child-resistant release mechanism. Like the Building Code requirements, the safety device must be able to resist an outward horizontal action of 250 Newtons.

If you own or live in an apartment in a strata building in NSW, you can ask the owners’ corporation when it plans to install safety devices. If you want to install devices earlier, you must inform the owners’ corporation and make sure the devices are correctly installed and are in keeping with the building’s overall appearance. You are liable for any damage caused to common property during the installation.

If you’re not in a strata unit but you want to protect kids from window falls, you can still install safety devices as an owner-resident, landlord or tenant. Tenants need to get written permission from the landlord to install safety devices, and they must discuss and negotiate who will pay for it, and what will happen to the safety device once the tenancy ends. Landlords in NSW cannot refuse permission unless they have a good reason.

Tenants, landlords and owners’ corporations in other states and territories should refer to information provided by the relevant state or territory authority.

Window safety devices and strategies

One important window safety strategy is behaviour modification: teach children not to climb up windows or press hard against the glass.

Precautionary measures are also important. Place beds away from windows and don’t use lightweight furniture in a room where it can be stacked beneath a window when you’re not watching.

Check that older window frames can support the weight of a child leaning against them.

There are four common types of safety devices available on the market: grilles, guards and mesh; safety nets; window restrictors and window locks. In NSW, there is not a prescribed list of acceptable safety devices in the regulations due to the large variety of window designs.

  • Grilles, guards and mesh: Often metal bars or mesh attached to the window frame. These allow windows to be opened, while still providing protection. In an emergency adults can quickly remove these. Suitable for most common window types including single and double hung sash windows, sliding windows, casement windows and awning and hopper windows.
  • Safety nets: A safety net attached to the window frame. Adults can remove netting in an emergency. Suitable for single and double hung sash windows and sliding windows.
  • Window restrictors: These restrict the window being opened too far. In an emergency the restrictor can be removed by unlocking. Suitable for most common window types including single and double hung sash windows, sliding windows, casement windows and awning and hopper windows.
  • Window locks: Key operated window locks can be installed to limit the window opening. They can be unlocked for normal window operation in an emergency. Suitable for single and double hung sash windows and sliding windows.

If you’re not sure what safety device to use, contact a qualified window safety expert.

6 tips on how to hire the best removalists

Removalists do not, by law, need to provide insurance for your goods during removal.

When you’re moving home, starting off on the right foot is easier when you find a competent removalist. Here are our tips:

1. Compare services by asking around and checking customer reviews online.

Ask family and friends for recommendations and look at quote comparison websites, such as Find A and Compare Quotes.

2. Try to use a removalist who has been accredited by the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA).

Removalists who are accredited by AFRA have been trained to meet the highest standards, so they should know how to use equipment, pack items correctly, and know about the latest legal and industrial changes. Australian law doesn’t require removalists to hold any type of insurance to cover the cost of repairing or replacing your belongings if they are damaged. However, AFRA members may be required to have public liability insurance, third party property and motor vehicle insurance and Carriers Legal Liability Insurance. Look at the Find A Removalist website to find any of AFRA’s 350 accredited members, from one-truck removalists to multinational companies.

3. Ask the right questions to calculate the total cost of the move.

Ask how long they think it will take to move all your belongings and whether they charge a flat rate or by the hour. Where do they count the journey as beginning and ending? Find out if there are extra costs if there are delays or storage is needed. Be clear about everything that is included in the cost.

4. Get a written quote. Be honest and itemise everything that could potentially affect the cost.

Use an inventory list to calculate how many boxes you’ll need. Let the removalist know how many stairs there are at either location, and whether there is nearby parking or whether they need to carry the goods a long distance. How far is it to the nearest elevator? Are any pieces wider than a door frame? How many large and heavy items do you have? Being clear from the beginning can help reduce the chance of incurring extra costs and it’s a good idea to get all charges in writing.

5. Check the contract and make sure it contains: the pickup and delivery address; dates and times of move; household inventory of goods being moved and details of insurance for any loss or damage.

Read the terms and conditions included in the contract carefully and look for hidden costs. Fair Trading NSW recommends avoiding pre-paying and providing credit card details beforehand in case you change your mind or decide to go with another removalist.

6. Consider getting insurance to cover household goods being damaged while in transit.

Items in transit during permanent removal from your home or which are being kept in a storage facility will not be covered by your home and contents insurance policy or removalist. While AFRA-accredited removalists must have Public Liability Insurance (and other insurances as noted above) this will not protect your property should it be damaged during the move. You should consider taking out separate transit and storage insurance to protect your belongings while being relocated and/or housed in a storage facility for any length of time.