Fledgling twenty-somethings today are on high alert for traces of humanity in our industrialized, capitalist, technologically-driven economy. Young people are searching for authentic and legitimate brands, somewhat less interested in the costs of products and services, and more-so interested socially just and ethical practices. This is demonstrated by the success of labels that uphold fair-trade certification, sustainable sources, and other humanitarian markers. Brands are being called forth to confess cultural appropriation and, left and right, teenagers shrink with mortification as they watch the out-of-touch parent trying to dab, whip, and nay-nay to relate their way to acceptance by their kids. For lack of a better description, the hunt is on for “realness.”
In a small way, emojis have become a Millennial contribution to modern means of communication– a way of incorporating messages of emotion, enthusiasm, expression, or gesture into standard black-and-white text. Over time, emoji etiquette has continued to loosen from their original use and restriction to text messages or Facebook posts. Now, it’s not uncommon for emojis to appear in a professional exchange of emails. For those who are mulling over the appropriateness of applying emojis in professional environments– we have some food for thought. That is, to consider incorporating emojis into messaging as a proactive way to break down the sterile barriers of professionalism in order to reach out and connect with younger people in traditionally formal settings.
Let’s use a bank as a professional example… We’ve never seen a bank use emojis. 💰🤓
You can’t get any more formal or rigid than a bank, and you can’t blame them for taking what they do very seriously. People are serious about the management of their money. However, according to a 2017 article published by USA Today, the average Millennial is making $5.78/hour below the national average, and further, Millennials are frequently cited as a generation that has neglected to save for retirement, as well as one that’s willing to seek out non-traditional career paths prioritizing happiness over higher earnings…
… Not good news for banks looking to build formative relationships with younger demographics. 😬
We propose that banks, among other professional industries, take advantage of the nuance emojis could potentially provide in communicating approachability to that younger population.
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It’s imperative that they’re well-applied, as the misuse of emojis may be potentially disastrous, but by demonstrating modernity in a bank’s understanding of them — by somehow grasping the communicative strength, clarity, and human emotion behind emojis — and that they’re paying attention to the normality of emoji-application in life, banks open not only their doors to invite younger people to engage, but also open a channel of communication from which cumulative data can be gleaned to improve common practices. 🤔
Consider bank surveys, both in terms of response rates, as well as the quality of the data that could be gleaned if emojis were used to describe interactions or experiences clients have surrounding various provided services.
One would argue that just the novelty of the design would spur engagement.
Examine, for example,…
Which response best describes your visit to our Sheridan location, today?
_ very satisfied
_ somewhat satisfied
_ neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
_ somewhat dissatisfied
_ very dissatisfied
Or, would you be more interested in responding if the survey had some … personality– per se?
_ 🤩 I had a terrific experience with splendid people, today! I’m very satisfied!
_ 😃 The people did a good job. I’m somewhat satisfied.
_ 🙂 Good, glad to have that out of the way. Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
_ 😳 I wish someone would have helped me to better understand, I’m somewhat dissatisfied with my experience.
_ 😰 I’m feeling stressed and unsettled with my experience today.
_ 😡 Not what I was expecting from my bank. Customer experience needs significant improvement.
Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that the Millennial generation is comprised of a significantly more diverse demographic, one that’s more socially aware of culture and its inclusive development than ever before. Not only are millennials beginning to question the banking industry regarding integrity, conventional standards, and the direction of its overall progression, but they’re also demanding more socially-just and sustainable products and services– regardless of the industry.
Our point? 🤔
By leveraging emojis as indicators of human emotion, there is quality data to be gathered and a new channel of communication upon which to capitalize. As time passes & the emoji keyboard continues to grow, the increased frequency and prevalence of their use will continue to solidify their establishment as legitimate messages in themselves. For the sake of sustaining the success and health of any industry, it’s consequently vital to communicate with young people well. By adapting the means and methods that younger demographics employ, we can pursue a deeper understanding of their wants and better identify their needs in a more transparent, personal way.
If you ask us, incorporating emojis into messaging will help any business to become more approachable to the very customers they’ll need to ultimately survive in the long run.
🤯🤯🤯 … 😉