Building Relevance With Millennial Consumers

FK Insights shares rules for big brands seeking to target Millennials in meaningful & credible ways.

Many big brands are struggling to maintain relevance with Millennials.  A huge shift in attitudes and behaviors of Millennials versus Gen X and Boomers has left brands flailing — struggling to understand this ‘Enigma Generation’ and maintain credibility.

Why is it so hard for big brands? Most importantly, it’s difficult to characterize Millennials; they have been defined in so many conflicting ways.  They’ve been complimented as the generation that “over the next decade, will entirely recast the image of youth from downbeat and alienated, to upbeat and engaged.” On the flip-side, they’ve been criticized as “naive, self-obsessed, perpetually plugged in, over-indulged by Boomer parents, and incapable of making decisions on their own”.   Now add to these conflicting views, the ‘mother of all recessions’ that has shaken their attitudes towards asset ownership and big business, and left them with an extremely ‘sensitive radar’ when it comes to assessing the credibility of big brands and detecting BS.

Fletcher Knight has continued to deepen our insight work with Millennials, successfully defining their attitudes and needs across a broad range of categories.  In this article, we headline an essential set of rules that has proven truly effective in helping big brands target Millennials in meaningful and credible ways.

  1.  Be Part of Their Story – Instead of trying to pigeon hole them as a generation, accept that Millennials as individuals are establishing a Foundational Identity. In a world where exploring multiplicity of character is easy, you need to define where your brand intimately fits into specific aspects of a Millennial’s life and character.   To do this, look for Whole Person Insights, that give you a broader perspective of need-states, wants and desires across their complete lives; use these insights to uniquely define how your brand creates brand experience and becomes part of their story.
  2.  Define the Core Drivers of Authenticity for Your Brand – Millennials have unique and new perspective on how to define authenticity; they compartmentalize brands very quickly, and they demand that all brands, both classic and progressive, demonstrate incredible Ingenuity. Across all our consumer insight work with Millennials, Brand Ingenuity has consistently emerged as a top driver across Eight Core Drivers of Authenticity.
  3. Position Brands for Experience-Based Opportunities – The ‘Doer Generation’ is interested primarily in experiences; make sure your brand offers real experiences that have context through easily understood ‘cultural reference points’.

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