Millennials have been the target of more scrutiny than any other generation. Why? Because as a generation, they are larger than the Baby Boomer generation that clocked in at 77 million. Baby Boomers were a significant force in terms of purchasing power, political direction and now retirement as they have moved through their lives. Millennials, sometimes called Echo Boomers, are expected to have an equal or greater influence on society.
Representing 25% of the population, and 80 million strong, Millennials are generally agreed to have been born between 1980 – 2000. You will also hear them referred to as Generation Y. The youngest Millennials are 18 years of age while the oldest will be 38 in 2018.
What has this intense scrutiny revealed about these consumers?
They are young, hip and trendy. They do everything online and many can be spotted walking or biking to work or getting on and off the subway with earbuds in and eyes cast downward on their phones. They are the Millennial generation, adults ages 18 to 34, and they may be casual but they are also generous, kind and purposeful, and every nonprofit needs them. Lauren Sims, CURE Childhood Cancer’s Director of Development, is a Millennial and offers “Do’s and Don’ts” when it comes to reaching this generation.
If anyone understands the millennial mind (or that of Gen Z, coming up right behind it), it’s Kevin Lyman. Since founding the live music event and brand strategy firm 4Fini in 1995, Lyman hasn’t just immersed himself in youth culture—he has helped brands like Truth, Ernie Ball and Journeys stay connected to it. The Vans Warped Tour—his cornerstone event, which jams up to 100 bands into 10 hours of portable, mud-filled mayhem—is now the longest-running festival tour in North America. In his more than two decades as a marketer and promoter, Lyman has learned a thing or two about reaching teens and young adults. Here, he shares some of his best practices.
A panel of experts was assembled last week at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, who gave us their take on marketing to Millennials in 2014.
The panel, of course, agreed that brands must resonate with their target audience and have a realistic understanding of societal needs in order to have the kinds of conversations deemed to be relevant by millennial consumers.
In order to engage with Millennials, it was noted that brands must be willing to loosen up and give up control, which is a scary idea for most brands.