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Marketing to the “ME!” Generation

The title of this post is not an insult or jab aimed at the millennial generation. It’s merely a distinction that needs to be made as the segmentation within the consumer base expands. Demographic information is no longer broken down into simple categories of gender, age, and income. The millennial generation is the most socially diverse and technologically savvy generation to date, and with their increasing spending power, they’re becoming the most crucial target market for brands.

The wide accessibility of smart phones, social media, texting, and perpetual connectivity, not to mention this generation’s familiarity with these mediums, means that conversation – good or bad – can occur any time, anywhere. As a result, this generation of consumers has been groomed from a young age to expect a unique experience, customized to their needs at every turn, from brands of all shapes and sizes. It sounds daunting to think about how your brand can reach this mass of individual personalities, but not if you think about it from the correct perspective.

If you try to accommodate every consumer’s perceived needs, you’ll develop an ulcer before your next birthday, and we can’t have that on our conscience. So, below you’ll find some tips on how to market to this increasingly individualized generation.

First, a Few Quick Things to Know About This Generation.

  1. They’re connected – socially and technologically.
  2. They’re opinionated – the ability to share their thoughts and opinions from behind their screens allows everyone to give you their two cents.
  3. They’re not afraid to share #2 with all of #1.

So, How Do You Hook These Crucial Consumers?

  • Make them feel like part of the process: Ask for their feedback, engage them in conversation, get to know them, and then put that information into action. If consumers see that your brand has taken a vested interest in their lives and is attempting to deliver an experience based on that, you’ll reach them on a deeper level than any print ad or TV commercial can convey.
  • Don’t try to “spin” them: This generation is too smart, and too savvy to be fooled by old fashioned marketing and PR tactics. Sure, you can throw numbers and data and spokespeople at them all day long, but if it isn’t authentic, honest business, they’ll call you on it and make sure everyone knows it.
  • Don’t “sell” to them: Brand loyalty is not a thing of the past. This generation of consumers can be as loyal as any, so long as you’re giving them access to the products and services they want. Key word – “want.” Not “need.” Once upon a time, advertising consisted of beating consumers over the head, telling them how and why your product would make their lives better. That trick won’t work with this generation. They don’t want to be told, they want to decide for themselves. Your brand needs to show them, without intruding on their lives. This is done by integrating your brand/product/service with the lifestyle of the consumers you’re targeting.

Now, don’t go slapping your logo on a skateboard and call it “integrating with their lifestyle.” It’s a slightly more complex procedure than that, but luckily for you, we’ve done it once or twice before. So, call us, maybe?

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Olive & Company
Founded in 2003, Olive & Company has dedicated our existence to a single purpose: providing finely tuned Modern Marketing solutions that drive brands and deliver business results. By helping brands stay in tune with emerging trends and technology, we give them the tools they need to adapt and refine their strategies to better engage and inspire their audiences.