Sophia in English: Marketing to Millennials

20151202 _ sophia in english _ marketing to millennials _ nikki

Who are Millenials? They have more than $1 trillion in buying power. They’re causing change across all the industries. Advertisers struggle to understand them. Businesses struggle to create the experience they want. What makes them so difficult to unravel?

As a Millennial myself, I will attest that one generalization cannot describe what is a Millennial. Because that in itself is exactly what makes the Millennial generation. We are a mixture of people, exposed to an overload of options which make it easier to form an identity and surround oneself with everything that matches who you are. So when advertising to Millennials, when trying to convince us of your product, of your brand, of your way of life, it isn’t enough to tell us to buy it. You need to play to our identity. Targeting us by age, by gender–it doesn’t work like it used to. Millennials are about creating something new, something fluid. So in order to sell to us, you have to appeal to who we are.

So if you want to really get to us, take a look at some examples who have done it well.

Why did this work?


Millennials are about celebrating who we are. We want to be accepted, but not conform. We want to create all sorts of unique identities, and in the process have rejected traditional conceptions.

So this worked. Because it played to who we are. Real people, with imperfections which others may or may not find beautiful. But that’s the point. We don’t need the conventional view telling us how to behave. We want ads that reinforce that a candid confidence in ourselves is all we need.

We’re a generation which likes authenticity. Cliche as it is, it’s a true statement. We sense posturing. We laugh at attempts to imitate us. If it isn’t real, we know. And then you end up on a Reddit board .

Bring us there.

We’re also about experiences. Look at our environment. Everything is about sharing experiences. We do something, we send a snap of it. We Instagram it. We post it on Facebook. We are about sharing, but even more so, we’re about feeling like we’re also taking a part in other people’s experiences.

So intrigue us. Make us want to be there. We like to experience. We don’t value material things as much as we value enjoying living. So when we feel like we’re there, when we feel like you’re giving us special access, when you make us feel unique–that is how you advertise to us.

Which is why platforms like Instagram are where some of the most successful campaigns are born.

Give us purpose.

The last thing a Millennial really loves is getting behind a good cause. Heart-felt or because of the bandwagon effect, Millennials love all that which gives us a sense of purpose. We are an ideological, socially conscious generation which likes to vocalize what we believe in, across a range of opinions. And while those opinions are widely varied, if you can find the core belief and align yourself with the cause, the whole target segment will want to follow.

Which is why this works for me and those who think like me. Appealing to an ideology, whichever you may chose, brings a whole cohort of believers into your realm.

Millennials are diverse. 

This is what makes Millennials so interesting. Maybe we are difficult to understand, but that’s because we are so diverse. We have access to so many choices, and have more ways than ever to express ourselves. So play to our sense of self, of purpose, and desire to experience all we can. That is how you market to Millennials.



To read more Sophia in English, click here

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