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Millennials: How to market to the digital natives and grow your brand

By Brand Candy


Read Time: 2 Minutes

What are “millennials” and why do you need to plan your branding and marketing around their whims?

Millennial is the term used to describe modern-day young people. Those born after 1980 (roughly) are considered millennials, aka Gen Y. This is the generation of spenders. They’re the first generation to be born into a world of technology. Having an internet connection in their childhood homes appears to have equipped them with superior tech-skills, hence they’re dubbed “digital natives”.

The real spenders

As with any generation, there are stereotypes and assumptions about this demographic. Older generations typically feel that Gen Y is lazy, entitled and focused on comforts and luxuries. But, they’re the largest spending group. They’re more likely to visit restaurants or purchase coffee than their predecessors were. Some argue that in a difficult economic climate, small comforts take the place of stability (owning property and job security). Stability is something that previous generations were able to achieve with greater ease.

It’s important to understand that this generation makes up the largest portion of buyers in the commercial world. This fact emphasises the importance of marketing to this generation. Love them or hate them, they are the buyers!

The millennial in the marketplace

Finding economic climate challenging? This generation seeks comfort in retail therapy. The modern world bombards the senses with intrusive advertising, thus we observe the millennial has become a product of the world it was born in.

In contrast, despite being such avid spenders, they are almost immune to most of the marketing tactics being used in advertising. They are less likely to buy something in response to an advertisement.

To sum that up, they are eager to buy products and services, but common advertising methods have failed to sway their decision making. They choose to shut off to advertising. They see it for what it is, an effort to get them to part with their money.

Rather than marketing your product or service, it is more effective to align yourselves with the plight of their times. So, display your support for less hierarchal structures in society, sympathising with financial strains, and of course, demonstrating support for liberalism. Millennials are statistically the most likely generation to support these views.

Using a sleek, monochrome and minimalist design in your corporate and brand identity (think Apple iProducts) is effective. The elegance of a basic design along with the soothing colours unconsciously relax the overstimulated mind.  Minimalist colour and branding create the sensation that you are not trying to advertise, they dislike being advertised to.

Finding the digital native in its natural habitat

The millennial generation frequently attracts criticism for its addiction to technology. The older generations who seek to trade with this group can utilise this by meeting the digital native where it is functioning in its natural habitat – digital spaces. “On the line” as some may say.

A brand should align itself with the generalised philosophies valued by this demographic. Trade-in digital spaces and fulfil the understated branding requirements to sell to millennials, successfully.

If you are seeking to tap into this market, approach a company that forms part of this generation. No one understands the youth quite like the youth. If your brand needs a facelift, a contemporary group who implements industry-best practices will win you results. Contact us at Brand Candy, we love to hear from our readers!