Why Companies Are Failing to Reach Millennials

Why Companies Are Failing to Reach Millennials

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It’s no secret – Millennials are a very different generation. We enjoy challenging the status quo, doing things that don’t make us “cool,” and finding innovative and creative ways to solve problems. We are not seeking wealth. We are seeking impact. It’s not that there is, or was, something wrong with previous generations – we simply take pride in standing out and chasing new heights. Not only that – we are living in what I call, “the on-demand content” era. Amid the maturity and growth stages of our lives, we were able to get just about anything we wanted, within minutes. This type of instant gratification – created a level of expectation as we got older.

A recent survey by The Pew Research center shows Millennials in 2018 being between 22-37 years of age. This means a couple of things:

1.     The 22-year-old Millennial has a much better understand of technology than most established companies. They have most likely just graduated college, are trying to establish a career choice, and is looking for their ‘voice’ in the world.

2.     The 37-year-old Millennial not only has a good understanding of technology but as also started a family, established a career, and has matured enough to start looking ahead at the next 5-10 years.

I would also add that our entire generation has been surrounded by a world full of constant noise. Between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, we have seen enough viral cat videos to last a lifetime.

This raises the obvious question, how do you market to a group this diverse, resilient, and driven?

This is where most companies fail. They have become caught up in “technical marketing.” They’re active on social media, they're running great Google campaigns, they have a YouTube channel, etc.…while this is absolutely needed, what message are you sharing across those channels? For years, marketers have explained the importance of brand messaging and consistency with that message. However, your brand message should be centered around why you do what you do. Simon Sinek once said, “people buy why you do it not what you do.”

This is why companies like: Apple, Yeti, Bumble, Chick Fil-a, and Nike have taken off in recent years. You may not agree with what they stand for, but you respect the fact that they stand for something. These companies appeal to the younger generation by creating an experience – by bringing innovative and creative solutions to the market. They show why they do what they do and the impact they are trying to make with their brand. Thus, creating true fans and brand advocates for their products/services.

The key is to blend the technical marketing tips, tricks, and techniques with a solid brand message centered around your why. The one commonality between all demographics is, people respect people. We all want to see something authentic, we all want to feel heard, and we all want to see a brand that is there to help, and not “sell” us.

Show us. Show us why you sell what you sell, why you create what you create, and why you do what you do. Show us how you treat your employees, how your involved in your community, and what you’re doing to make the world a better place. The easiest way to show this, is through video. Forrester Research shows that one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. If you need more proof that video is hot, Hubspot found that 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers. Now this is not an article centered around video content but any time I can drive home the power of video, you can bet I will.

When it comes to supporting and becoming fans of a brands product or service —Millennials expect choice and straightforwardness. Don’t be afraid to color outside the lines, show vulnerability, and make an impact. 

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  • David Wilkinson

    Millennials seek brands that can offer it all experience, authenticity, and social responsibility.

  • Christopher Beckett

    Thoughtful piece, thanks.

  • Jackie Young

    It's all about user generation content.....

  • Mario Hernandez Jr.

    Branding is evolving in exciting and fun ways !!!

  • Mario Hernandez Jr.

    When your organization such as Chick Fil-a truly cares, it’ll garner more respect and admiration.

  • Ian Hinksman

    The new generation is ushering in the end of consumer marketing as we have long known it.

  • Michael Grey

    Excellent content.

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Jacob Wierzbicki

Branding Guru

Jacob is a Branding Strategist, Keynote Speaker and Founder of UnderDog Social. He believes the greatest achievements are done by those that were told they couldn't. He focuses on helping entrepreneurs, founders, and 'side-hustler's' sell through the story by building a personal brand and marketing their company brand through the art of storytelling. Having a rough upbringing taught him the importance of taking responsibility, building solid relationships, and valuing a fun work environment. His content has been viewed over a million times. His hope is to empower a community of people to be better and do more than anyone thought possible. 

   
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