How to Market to Millennials

Marketing to Millennials

Curt Cuscino is the marketing guru of HypeLife Brands – a progressive branding & marketing agency connecting lifestyle brands with Millennials – and earlier this week he gave a talk (it was more of a conversation, really) at the CSUF Startup Incubator on the successful strategies he uses to help his clients engage with the over 80 million millennials in America. Millennials, as defined by Curt, are people between the ages of 18 and 35 and, yes, that is a fairly broad age range but they are all connected by some key factors.

What follows is a list of my key takeaways and the full video of the Marketing to Millennials talk that Curt gave.

Here are some of my key takeaways from his talk:

  • Millennials are more connected than any other generation in history and that changes the ways marketers should go about their business. One of the major aspects of being constantly connected is that millennials communicate with each other more frequently than previous generations did and that translates into the need for marketers to be more a part of the conversation than a one way advertisement.
  • Millennials are tribal. Having the ability to be in touch with virtually millions (billions really) of people with a couple of swipes on a phone opens up a vast number of new market segments. The good marketer will discover these segments and craft content that is relevant to them.
  • Millennials value experiences more than they do ownership. This is an important distinction that marketers have to understand because it does explain a great deal about millennials’ buying habits. This is why companies like Airbnb and Uber have realized the success that they have because you no longer have to have a big house or a nice car to do the things that matter to you. Marketers need to understand this dynamic and craft their messaging accordingly.
  • Millennials demand authenticity from brands. Perhaps they have become jaded from a childhood of constant marketing efforts thrown their way but the fact remains that what a brand actually stands for, the values it has, matters to millennials. Let’s say, for example, a company is known for being very serious, maybe this company sells financial services, but when they market themselves to millennials they attempt to come off as if they were aloof hipsters. That pose wouldn’t work because it’s just not who that company is and this simple inauthentic act will damage their brand image among millennials.
  • Millennials value easily digestible media. And that usually means they will mostly pay attention to things that are short; videos that are a couple of minutes long work as do pictures with captions or a couple of sentences on a social media platform. But it goes beyond that. Short is good but there also needs to be emotion to grab someone’s attention. Positivity is better than negativity but both are better than neutral.

We had a great time getting to talk with Curt about this subject and we look forward to seeing you at our next event!


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