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Marketing to Millennials

Millennials are often times considered an unreachable cohort. With so many theories and opinions about this group it is often difficult to figure out how to effectively connect, engage and interact with this digitally native generation. Millennials are those born between 1977-2000 and current make up 25 percent of the population. Additionally this growing cohort of consumers accounts for $1.3 trillion in direct spending power.

Jeff Fromm, President of FutureCast and Co-Author of Marketing to Millennials and Millennials with Kids provided broad insight about the millennial generation at the latest ISBN Conference in Amelia Island. He spoke about eight millennial love truths to begin the thought process of reaching this enigma generation.

1. Don’t tell me you’re the best I’ll decide for myself

Millennials were raised in a paradox of choice. As most generations before, they will default to the brand they know the most about.

2. We look for brands that provide experiences and adventures

Our research indicated that 69 percent of millennials consider themselves adventurous. If they can’t afford to travel abroad, they are going for the next best thing—experiencing adventure through brands. They are also more willing to pay for an experience over a big-ticket item.

3. We believe in brands that believe in ideas

It’s no longer enough for a brand to stand for a cause. They must stand for a purpose and live that purpose. Millennials want to change the world. Are you going to help?

4. We’re in this together…for now

When you bring up the idea of millennial loyalty, you’re likely to get a few smirks. The reality is, millennials are loyal, but they just see brand value in a different way. Instead of using a “call to action” how can you ask millennials to participate and add value to your brand?

5. We see authenticity through transparency

Millennials want to see what’s behind the scenes. They align with brands that are completely transparent. For example, Chipotle removing carnitas from the menu could have potentially damaged the bottom line. However, it had a positive effect because consumers trusted and believed in what Chipotle was doing.

6. Say what you want, but you’ll have to prove it

Today’s brands love to talk and have become excellent storytellers. For millennials, if what you’re telling them is fluff, it’s not likely to be shared. Brands have to stop storytelling and start Storyliving™, using their brand actions as proof for their intentions.

7. Your story may be interesting, but if it doesn’t add to mine, it will never be “ours”

For millennials, every day is picture day. There is no longer a dividing line between the physical and digital world. Millennials are constantly posting to social and they want your brand to provide them a shareworthy experience worth posting to their Instagram.

8. Always be innovating, we are

Millennials expect innovation from their favorite brands. Instead of saying, “this is cool” millennials say, “it’s about time.” There is always another brand trying to disrupt your category. Stay ahead of this and strive for constant innovation.

The most inspired millennial brands align with four core millennial values: Authenticity, Uniqueness, Innovation and Meaningfulness. The most successful brands have authority in all four pillars.

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with Jeff Fromm please email him at Also, check out his column on Forbes.

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