I have been reading a lot of posts all across the Internet suggesting how to advertise and communicate company’s brand, product or services to Millennials. Unfortunately, the majority of these posts are written by non-Millennials. I am a living, breathing, college grad millennial.
We Will Skip Your Commercials
As I grow older, TV commercials become less and less prevalent in my life. The only time I see a commercial is during the Super Bowl or on one of the TVs at my gym. Whether it’s fast-forwarding through DVR, watching programs online, or muting a YouTube ad, my generation will try to avoid commercials at all cost. Why? Maybe its because I really don’t believe that my deodorant will attract that many women or calling a watered down beer “platinum” will make it taste any better.
We Enjoy Free Will
We are a generation that has grown up and thrive on having options. For example, we want to have the option to purchase a Trenta sized coffee beverage large enough to hold an entire bottle of wine. We want the option to un-follow people who annoy us, and we want to have the option to view or not view your ad. This is why I enjoy outdoor advertising. We have the option to gaze up to the billboard, bus wrap, etc., or simply look away. Since it is illegal to Instagram and drive, these ads provide us with a brief moment of entertainment during our daily nightmare commute. My favorite example of a great outdoor campaign is Chick-Fil-A’s “Eat More Chikin” billboards. It was so memorable that it led to me to actually try the restaurant chain for the first time.
Build Trust with Potential Customers
Many posts state that millennials do not do any research before purchasing a product or service. I believe that this is false. We have websites, message boards and apps that make this information more readily available than ever. Especially because we millennials are still paying off our student loans, we do not have money to waste on a crummy product. A close friend of mine’s mother recently needed new carpet in their house. Without doing any research she called Empire, a company that constantly advertises their carpeting with a horribly annoying jingle. Unlike my friend’s mom, 3 out of 4 millennials will research a product or service before actually purchasing. I personally check the Yelp reviews before trying any new restaurant I try, and certainly trust the reviews over the advertising of the place.
The Message We Want
Recently I sat down with a group of 10 of my closest friends, inquiring about what information we really want to get out of any ad. The overwhelming response was as millennials, we want to know about deals. We appreciate value. We are savvy shoppers that are just beginning to climb the corporate ladder. We enjoy learning about All You Can Eat Appetizers at Friday’s, and 50% off sales at Urban Outfitters. That doesn’t mean you Macy’s! We know that you have a sale pretty much every week. Limited time offers are the messages that will actually influence us to go out and make a purchase.
The Brand Image We Enjoy
Millennials enjoy brands with personality. Despite recently being sued for not actually spawning wings on a consumer, I feel that Red Bull does an amazing job of advertising to millennial consumers. Red Bull sponsors various events that are part of our generation’s lifestyle and instill a lively brand image of the personality of company to their audience. They understand we like surfing, music, and motorcycles – generally the kinds of events that attract likeminded people with the same interests and tastes as I have.
If a company’s target market is millennials, it is crucial for the company to build trust with the millennials. It is also necessary to generate a brand image that appeals to the millennials. For further tips on how to market to Generation Y, stay tuned for Part Two of How to Advertise to a Millennial – In the Words of an Actual Millennial.