Understanding Marketing to Millennials

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Understanding Marketing to Millennials

Millennials are majorly individuals born between 1980 and 2000 who are currently college students, single professionals, and young married professionals. Ideally, known as a diverse group of consumers, exhibiting unique media consumption behaviors and brand messaging needs.  Whether relational marketing strategies or experiential marketing strategies, this group of consumers dwells on engagement. Furthermore, inspiration, motivation and also emotional associations towards brand are important aspects of marketing to millennials. Specifically, millennials celebrate brand purpose, want a personal connection, expect dialogue and embrace disruption. So, what should a business understand when marketing to millennials?

What is a Brand?

Firstly, we’ll need to revise what a brand is because marketing to millennials is all about brands. In retrospect, a brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any feature that identifies goods or service as distinct. Similarly, brand attributes may be real or illusory, rational or emotional, tangible or invisible. But the focus of brands is differentiation, what makes the brand different from its competitors. Brand response is a huge part of marketing to millennials with relational, experiential and collaborative marketing. Furthermore, some millennials have maturity, optimism and empowerment, hence control of their marketing and media environment.

Characteristics of Millennials

There are conflicting perspectives regarding millennials’ attitude and behavior towards brands. Some perspectives suggest millennials are generally not loyal to brands. In contrast, stating that some millennials more about products, matching their personality and lifestyle rather than a specific brand. While other perspectives suggest that some millennials see themselves as rationally oriented consumers. Hence, consider price and product features as more important than brand names and loyalty. Furthermore, brand image only becomes significant when marketing to millennials if functional features of the product or service are of high quality. Thus, suggesting that image and quality are interconnected for good brand experience.

Relational, Experiential & Collaborative Marketing

Relational marketing focuses on building financial, social, and structural bonds to reduce the chances of customers ending a relationship with a brand. This affirms the belief that consumers desire a relationship with a brand, before and beyond purchasing decision. In contrast, experiential marketing focuses on the customer experience, sensory, emotional, cognitive, behavioral and relational values. Basically, customer and user experience. Lastly, in collaborative marketing, consumers are viewed as potential collaborators. This implies that consumers help market to fellow consumers. Additionally, this means that creating brand value becomes a collaborative process.

Consumer Identity

When it comes to marketing to millennials, it’s noteworthy that that brands contribute to the construction of a consumer’s identity. Hence, consumers can choose a brand over another because they see identity traits of themselves in the brand story, image and personality. Furthermore, if a consumer doesn’t see their current self-identity in the brand, they could resist repeat purchase. When marketing to millennials, perception of self-identity and image the consumer associates with the brand can play a role. Otherwise, businesses should ensure that their brands relate with their intended consumers’ identities.

Community values

85M millennials consume online content monthly in the US alone with more than $1.1 trillion in spending power. Furthermore, millennials are committed to brands that express social and community values. Specifically, they expect businesses and brands to positively contribute to the community at large. Thus, a brand community image is key when engaging millennials who are proactive with interaction, participation, and co-creating with brands they love. Additionally, combining this with a recognition or rewarding system for millennials can maintain their participation. Ensure you connect your brand with related values, such as concerns for the environment or global warming.

Content creation

64% of millennials only share content which they deem thought provoking and intelligent. Specifically, when engaging millennials, creating content tailored to their individual interests is extremely imperative. Similarly, keeping in mind their age, location, genre and cultural interests at all times. Inevitably this enables you develop a deep understanding of who they are, where they are, and what motivates them. Remember, millennials receive over 50 marketing messages a day hence have learned to ignore the things that don’t deliver value. So, your content isn’t valuable, it will be shooting blind.

Social Media

Social media comes to mind to most people when marketing to millennials. This is with good reason since millennials consume the most content across a number of different social media platforms. Known as a technologically driven generation, social media has empowered a shift in the branding process when marketing to millennials. Specifically, social media has raised the levels of interactivity, opening doors for a multitude of marketing channels and brand stories. Furthermore, allowing engaged millennials to purposely seeking out brands to connect, interact and collaborate with. It’s no wonder that the first association when marketing to millennials, is social media.

Word of Mouth

Likewise, social media can be used to propagate negative word of mouth about a brand as content is easily shared with a mass audience. Furthermore, unhappy influential millennials can jeopardize and even damage a brands reputation. Specifically, cognitive, emotional and behavioral investment in specific brand interactions affect millennials on social media. Additionally, this can affect levels of consumer loyalty, satisfaction, empowerment, connection, emotional bonding, trust and commitment. Thus, controlling the negative evaluations, and opinions about brands on social media can be a nightmare. Hence why it is important for companies to be on social media to listen and respond.


In conclusion, whether developing a mobile app filled with shareable content or using sharable hashtags to encourage social sharing. You could keep the above tips about marketing to millennials in mind. Authenticity with content is key whether it’s a meme, article, or image, or one idea at a time. Secondly, it’s important that brands humanize themselves and have real people speak on behalf of the brand in social media. Furthermore, millennials expect to be listened to and part of your decision-making process. There so many strategies you can use when marketing to millennials, be sure to contact us for your free consultation.

Executive Assistant and Content designer at T3 Direct LLC I have tailored my skills in all verticals of marketing & business development. I have mastered a niche in Lead Generation, Digital Marketing, organize/develop projects, team development, data analysis, & excellent customer service.

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