It’s all a bit confusing:
They say Millennials are the most misunderstood; but also spoilt-lazy-narcissistic-selfish generation in history.
Most misunderstood? Probably. We are the first generation that has grown up with the internet in our homes, providing us with free access to information, that was previously available only for the selected few.
Information is power and power that belongs to individuals scares and confuses employers and marketers.
But most narcissistic and entitled? That’s misunderstandment 🙂
Millennials speak out about the issues Gen X’s and Boomers should have done years ago, but never dared.
When we say: “We deserve more,” it’s when we are asking for a fair treatment.
When did wanting to succeed and thinking of yourself as capable become entitlement?
The whole western society is becoming increasingly more individualistic, which is driven by socio-cultural change, in which economy is driven by white-collar office workers.
Research suggests, that white-collar jobs create greater income inequality and competition between individuals, and in order to stay relevant, people have to have a higher self-regard.
The point is, all generations are products (not drivers) of their socio-economic circumstances, so to say that one generation is intrinsically more selfish (just because they take selfies) is grossly simplifying the issue.
Some say that Boomers are, in fact, the original “Me Generation” of the 70s – the era of vanity, hedonistic drugs and rock’n’roll.
The fact that millennials take more selfies doesn’t necessarily translate to them being more selfish. Imagine if boomers had Instagram in 70s, how narcissistic they would have seemed?
Social media is how Millennials stay connected, it’s the extension of our identities.
It’s not good or bad, it just is.
Marketing to this multi-faceted generation
The problem with marketers (or employers) is that many don’t understand Millennials.
Marketers are struggling to connect with this generation, because they think that they can trick them into buying, but millennials don’t fall for marketing ploys like previous generations do.
They are less aspirational and more authentic, which is hard to understand for those, who are aspirational.
Millennials don’t look at yogurt adverts and think: “Mmmmm, that’s what I need!” They look at yogurt adverts and think: “Women are not the only ones who eat yogurt!”
You may have been able to build previous marketing strategies on stereotypes, but doing this with Millennials is a mistake.
Millennials are not a homogeneous group. They are the most diverse and socially conscious generation in Western history.
To truly understand Millennial consumers, I would recommend social media listening, which
the process of monitoring first-hand digital conversations to understand what customers are actually saying about a brand and industry online. You can learn more about it at trackmaven.com.
Essentially, social media listening tools help you understand the particular attitude nuances and quirks of your target audience, so you don’t have to rely on widely known stereotypes and generic information.
Millennials want to be doused in quirky, socially relevant, visual and attention-grabbing content. Check out GenYcopy, an awesome team of creatives, that do exactly that.
Create transparent & digital brand
Millennial buying decisions are the extension of their identities, so personal connection to the brand is necessary for loyalty.
Brand has to have a character: identity, values and beliefs, that millennials can identify with.
Transparency works well as a strategy. Brands must share far more detailed information than ever before: respond promptly, be open about their activities, share their likes and dislikes. Basically, be like a real human being, rather than a faceless entity.
Memorable and associations-driven brand name is the essence of building a new brand. But before going ahead and officially registering your brand name, I would recommend to check if the name you have in mind is available on somewhere like wizzhosting.co.uk. If you’re marketing to Millennials, it’s likely that your business is going to have a website.
The final takeaway?
I’m aware that every generation has its narcissistic, spoilt and awful individuals, but
attaching all those negative adjectives to the whole generation, is stretching it too far.
Besides, it’s not us, it’s them – the society that makes us who we are.
And it’s not good or bad, it just is.