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How to Market to Millennials (from a real millennial)


I am so tired of reading articles telling brands how to market to millennials. I feel like these articles make us seem like some elusive entitled animal that only responds to selfies, avocado toast, and light pink (and don't forget unicorn toast). So as a millennial,I decided that I should tell you what we really want. Here are a few tips you may want to follow if you are marketing to millennials.

  1. Don’t Call Us Millennials - If you use the word millenial in any of your marketing materials, you might as well give up now. No one wants to be grouped into one label, especially one that seems to be blamed for everything.

  2. Tell a Story - I notice that as with most people, my generation enjoys a brand that has a good story. If given the option to support a faceless brand or one that tells a story and has a purpose, we will always choose the latter.

  3. Give Back - I believe that one of the best things about our generation is that we really do care about giving back. If your brand is tied to a cause, make sure to highlight it, and if it’s not, think about adding one.

  4. Be Transparent and Responsive - Social media leaves very little to hide. Monitor social media and if you see an unhappy customer, reach out to them. If you mess up, make sure to own up to it. Communication is key. If someone showed up to your office and started yelling at you, would you ignore them? If you ignore someone on social media, you are doing the same thing.

  5. Bonus Points for Good Packaging - It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be well thought out. I believe that design is one of the main differences between good and great brands. We have grown up in the era of Apple and Instagram, so whether you like it or not, I find that our generation appreciates good design (it never hurts to have an ‘instagramable’ product).

  6. Mobile-First - Some people call us impatient, but I think we just appreciate efficiency. Don’t make us (or anyone for that matter) click through 5 pages to check out. Everything that you create online should be created with a mobile-first mindset. People of all ages are using their mobile phone more than desktop, so make sure you account for that.

  7. Social Proof Your Brand  - The first thing I do when I find out about a new brand, is search it online and on social media. I don’t necessarily care about how many followers you have, but more about how many people are engaging with you. If no one is posting about your product, restaurant, or service, I may wonder if you are real. One of the easiest ways to social proof your brand is to engage current customers to post about you. Check out our post on how to get user generated content for more info. 

After being the token millenial in many brand marketing meetings, I have seen the struggle that other generations are having to understand us. I hope this helps. I now run a company that helps brands get influencers posting about their business on social media, click here to learn more.