Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Millennials: A Variation on a Theme

It seems that every few days I encounter some discussion or conversation about "Millennials" (the cohort of consumers who are now roughly age 14 to 33.  And everyone has an opinion about their attitudes and aptitudes.  As with all these things there is media-driven hype and even some crazy thinking.

For my part, I will acknowledge that Millennials have some differences with their elder cohorts (the Gen Xers and the Baby Boomers).  Enough to make radical changes in marketing?  No.  I think the basics are still there.  People of any age have consumer needs, they want to spend the least possible for the most return, and they want to be persuaded to part with dollars for good reasons.

We are a little blinded by the age equation.  Millennials are young, right now, and there are behaviors among them that are always true of the young.  I think as they age into driving households and second-phase consumer spending they will look uncannily like rising adults of any year.  So far as I can perceive in studies they may be more responsive to "communitarian" ideas  but these will only be accents in evolving marketing messages.

As you appeal to Millennials, focus on how their needs intersect your ability to help and write messages accordingly.  But don't get caught up in a swirl that these consumers require some all-new, never-before-done approaches.  Trust me, they will not be that much of a surprise!

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