What is instant gratification

Now Economy - What Millennials Expect

Author: Steffi Burkhart

“Millennials are extremely demanding as employees. If they don't see success quickly, then they leave. ”“ Young consumers too. They always want to have everything - immediately, immediately. ”“ They have to learn to understand how retail works, the logistics in the background. That it is not even possible to deliver instantly. ”Do you know that? Such statements? I see them all the time.

And young people wonder - Y? Why does this not work? Amazon can do it too. Prime is already delivering goods to me the next day or even the same day to my home. The “Key” concept from Amazon even delivers the goods IN the apartment without having to be at home. No matter what music I want to hear, I can instantly hear what I want to hear via iTunes or Spotify. Thanks to iTunes, Netflix or Amazon Prime, I can instantly watch the films and series that I want to watch right now - at any time and from anywhere. We get instant feedback from our devices as we are constantly connected and turned on. Social media gives us the instant opportunity to upload videos, photos and status updates. We get instant feedback from our social supporters. We respond to emails and tweets almost in real time. We have the ability to make things happen without having to wait. And when I enter a question on Google, I get more than 2 million results in 0.38 seconds. Do you see what I'm getting at? On the phenomenon that too Instant gratification is called.


The new expectation: instant gratification


This on-demand expectation and the need for instant gratification go so far that some representatives of the Millennial Generation expect business growth - a phenomenon that has long been considered gradual - overnight. It won't work quite that fast, but digitization is indeed a key driver of rapid company growth with little use of risk and capital (but that's another topic).

Instant gratification is called instant gratification and is the desire to experience pleasure or fulfillment without delay or delay. The fact is: we are no longer in the New Ecnonomy, but in the Now economy and a strong driver of this is digitization. And those who grow up in a digitally shaped reality are strongly influenced and partly dependent on these on-demand expectations in their thoughts and actions, shaped by this instant gratification.


That can no longer be reversed. Discuss how you want - no chance. If you don't live up to it, others will. Roger that? And then they are out of the market. Very easily. As hard as it sounds, it will be so real. Needs are bigger than brands. Sascha Krause from Google once said that at an event and was able to back it up well with data analyzes from Google.

It is still difficult to predict what the social consequences will be. There is currently a lot of discussion about it - and provocative theses are also being put forward in science, such as “Preparing for the age of the never satisfied customer”, or “The impulse society: America in the age of instant gratification”, or “The dark side of smartphone usage: Psychological traits, compulsive behavior and technostress ”. And when you type Instant Gratification on Google Scholar, related searches come up like “instant gratification marshmallow experiment”, “instant gratification attention span” or “instant gratification smartphone dependency”.


The pleasure principle in the Now Economy

Most psychological models assume that humans act according to the "pleasure principle". The pleasure principle is basically the driving force that forces people to satisfy their needs, desires and urges. These needs, desires, and urges can be as basic as the need to breathe, eat, or drink. But they can also be as complex as the “need” for permanent WiFi, a permanent battery, an iPhone 8 or other cool new products. As a joke, I always bring the following illustration in my slides - everyone laughs about it (me too, of course), but there is a lot of truth in it:

Immediate satisfaction is promoted by the increasingly digitized lifestyle we live today - permanently online, permanently connected. Patience, i.e. patience, is not required. Based on the results of studies, we know that the psychological response to non-fulfillment of the pleasure principle can lead to tension, bad mood, demotivation and frustration. So everything that one would like to avoid in exchange with applicants, employees or customers.

Therefore, I would like to show you a few tips on what the new expectations on the applicant side, employee side and consumer side could mean for you.


Recruiting, retention, purchasing

The applicant side: The candidate experience and one-click application

How complex is the candidate experience in your application process? When was the last time you went through this journey - that is, through this applicant journey? The six phases are as follows:

1. Orientation and job research
2. Submission of the application
3. Participation in selection processes
4. Decision and communication of results
5. Onboarding / entry
6. Integration and attachment

Where throughout these phases do you potentially lose applicants because you do not react instantly enough? Some HR departments are currently trying to work with chatbots. At the moment it still works on a low level, but one should keep an eye on this topic. (Reference: Candidate Journey Study 2017 / metaHR)

How instantly is it even possible to apply to you? The trend here is one-click application. In the recently published study “RecruitingTrends 2017” by Kienbaum Consulting and the Staufenbiel Institute, it came out that 75% of the HR professionals surveyed first looked at the résumé and then the cover letter. The applicant's qualifications come first - and a one-click application offers exactly this possibility. (Click here for the study)


The employee side: quick access to figures, data, facts

If you only wait half a second for a response on Google, you will not accept reaction times of two hours to three days or will be annoyed if you cannot search for information from any device anytime, anywhere. How well and quickly do you make important company data, facts and figures available across functions? Can this information be accessed anytime, anywhere? How precisely and automatically does onboarding work in your company? Do new employees feel that they are in good hands and receive permanent answers to all the thousand questions that they already have during the induction phase?

According to surveys by the ADP Research Institute, the number of employees looking for a job in the company is halved if they get the answers from HR more quickly. This also shows how much the balance of power in the company has changed. Employees today are demanding customers who demand employee-focused solutions from their employers. And HR departments should increasingly see employees as their own customers. Especially when the real talent is scarce anyway, as I write here.


The consumer side: online shopping with the best customer experience

The topic of online shopping and the best customer experience is also driven by on-demand expectations. And it is currently one of the central issues in business. Whether in the automotive sector, in food retail, in the fashion sector - no matter where. The pressure is high. In 2016, while researching, I read the following title: “From catwalk to checkout: how Burberry is trying to reinvent retail”. Consumers were able to instantly buy the goods on the catwalk instead of waiting for the goods to be available in the store six months later. This is just one of many examples.

When shopping online, it is also important that there is not a single friction in the shopping process. Whether the loading process of the website or the fact that an online shop is not mobile usable. All of this can lead to consumers dropping you off. Just two small examples from my everyday life:

1. I recently tried to buy organic cotton fitted sheets online. At Amazon. But there is no offer there. At least not with the terms I was looking for.

2. I buy a laptop through an online shop. I couldn't see some data in the online shop, which is why I called the provider. But after the contact person put me on hold twice because he didn't know things himself, I hung up the second time on hold and ordered the laptop from Amazon Prime.

Those who do not have on-demand services, facts and products available, unfortunately, lose potential customers very quickly. I can read more about the consumer behavior of millennials here.


After instant gratification comes co-creation

Conclusion: Instant gratification, the desire for immediate satisfaction of needs. In other words, to have on-demand services and products available. Next step: co-creation. Which means not only having the immediate satisfaction of having services and products on demand, but also being PART of the production and development. A strong driver of this is that Megatrend of individualization. The keywords here are the Nespresso principle, the adidas “Pulli to Go” experiment in Berlin or the increasing degree of individualization when buying a car, etc. That means: The more I can be in a product or service, the more I can identify with it.

And if you're wondering why millennials are like this, then your best bet is to read this article.



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