Marketers are in a mad rush to target Millennials. They are the largest consumer group in history and expected to spend more than Baby Boomers by 2017.
Millennials also came of age with a different relationship to marketing and brands. This creates tension as marketers figure out how to communicate to a new wave of consumers who can be resistant to marketing communication.
As Stephen Colbert put it, “Young people love being target marketed by their birth date and purchasing power.”
Marketers can’t just give a Millennial makeover to the same old marketing approach. I think the more fundamental shift is the mindset change in marketing that I talked about at Google last year.
In chasing the shiny new demographic, marketers also need to remember that Millennials are composed of individual, unique people. Not all Millennials live in Brooklyn and ride a fixed-gear-bike. They are not a one-size-fits-all group, just because they were born between the early 80s and early 90s. In trying to sound Millennial, brands can easily turn off the very audience they’re trying to reach.
For a cautionary tale on marketing to Millennials, watch Stephen Colbert’s review of Campbell’s Go.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on brands that market well (and poorly) to Millennials.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)