Insanely Useful Advice for Marketing To Millennials

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A collaborative book written in one hour during a Hyper Island Workshop at the Share.Like.Buy 2012 Conference sponsored by Barkley.



A collaborative book written in one hour

during a Hyper Island Workshopat the Share+Like+Buy 2012 Conference

sponsored by Barkley


Publishers note: Every possible effort has been made to ensure that the information in this book is accurate at the time of going to press, and the publishers and authors cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions, however caused. No responsibility for loss or damage occasioned to any person acting, or refraining from action, as a result of the material in this publication can be accepted by the editor, the publisher or the authors. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of their employers, Hyper Island, or the Cannes Festival of Creativity First published in the USA by Hyper Island Press Copyright Hyper Island 2012 All rights reserved. Publisher Hyper Island 250 Hudson Street New York, NY 10013 Sponsor Barkley Contact: Jeff Fromm, founder of the Share.Like.Buy conference:

Insanely useful advice for marketing to millennials



Stay true to the core of your DNA- Strong brand values are important in marketing to their emotions and hearts not their brains

Accept how they see your brand and embrace it- Find a partner that gives you content to talk about and engage with by catering to their lifestyle. Telling a consumer about your great taste will not make them brand loyal.


Chloe Lee Laura Mellor


As Len Schlesinger shared: Its more productive to raise your hand and say I dont know than to regurgitate the ideas of others to prove that you do. Innovation is born from seeking answers to questions you dont know rather than believing you must it all figured already.

Mark Logan Nancy Giordano6 7

Chris Cox Melissa Im

Theres a paradox. Millenials want to be independent and empowered to do their own thing. They want to express their individuality. Yet they also want other peoples input on what to buy, where to eat, what to listen to, etc. Recognize this paradox. Then ask how your brand can help empower millenials how it can help them express themselves and do whats important to them.



Martin Predd Jason Young

Millennials are better understood as a cohort that shares a common starting point rather than a group with homogenous values and experiences today. Focusing on where we came from may be more useful than trying to lump us into a single box based on our present.



Stop shouting. Start sharing. Stop talking. Start listening. Stop ignoring. Start responding. Stop building monuments. Start building relationships. Stop broadcasting. Start engaging. Stop stereotyping. Start respecting. Stop creating. Start co-creating. Stop preaching. Start inspiring. Stop fearing. Start embracing. Stop looking backwards. Start looking forwards.


Katie Peck Bruce Levinson


Targeting millennials means nothing. Its like saying targeting people. We need to target conversations and states of mind (not demographics) in a custom and personal way. Opportunities exist that didnt with other generations, including the idea that they are always addressable, and that rich data layers exist that will allow us to more effectively target and communicate. The easy part is reaching them, the difficult part is making it relevant. They will tell you whats relevant, you just have to listen.

Christine Aruscavage Seth Goren14 15

Jeff Fromm Alex Trevisan Chris Gardner Jennifer Kiffer

Self-expression and creativity is at the core of Millennial thinking and behaviors. This is influenced by their purpose for being (which is often tied to positive change), rapidly evolving technology, content sharing, peer affirmation, and social interactions.16 17

The entire way non-Millennials size up problems, our approach to solving them, even our view of what a good outcome is seem Byzantine to this generation. Their rejection isnt for the sake of being contrarian, as we oldsters are prone to think. As a generation, one could argue Millennials were sold a bill of goods. They were told to just stay in school, get good grades, go to a good college, study hard and if you do all that, a good job (and hence a good life) will be waiting for you. Well, they did all that and got a hot cup of jack sqwat. The successes they see are cultural creators, entrepreneurs, risk-takers people who rejected that traditional path to a good life. So the notion of getting a degree and working paycheck to paycheck for a company vs. starting your own thing, creating something, making their mark even at the risk of failing spectacularly Millennials are choosing the latter, and with good reason. What was Plan A for previous generations, is more like a Plan B, even C for Millennials. Far from being spoiled, entitled kids who want it all right now the Millennial attitude has been shaped by cold, hard reality and it impacts how they relate to the world, institutions, and the brands we all work for everyday.Jeff Graham Becky Herman



Jeff Fromm Alex Trevisan Chris Gardner Jennifer Kiffer

Testing in the real world versus focus groups is more important than ever. In the ever-changing marketing environment, you must not just test, but test FAST! If it doesnt work, modify and expand or kill it and move on. In order to do this, you must embrace the concept of acceptable loss.



Jeff Graham Becky Herman

Millennials have an innate skepticism. They have seen firsthand how institutions do not deliver a guaranteed path to the good life, as was promised by their parents. They were screwed by the system and are electing to take ownership over their futures in new, innovative ways. Theyre shirking traditions and literally creating their own legacies. What may look like entitlement or apathy to older generations is actually a conscious choice to pioneer a new future.



Tom Finneran Jeff King

Marketing with Millennials today is not about connecting your brand to them. Its about your brand being an enabler for connecting them with others. This requires experimentation and prototyping of ideas and content that is useful and engaging to them. Constant, high speed access to the internet now exists in your consumers pants. The smart phone (and whatever is next) allows continual connectivity with your content and other people. To be relevant in this world, its no longer about the one static idea, its about a lot of little ideas or small bets. And small bets require risk. If you are too focused on ROI, you will never get there. You need permission to fail. One piece of sage advice coming out or the conference was the concept of Acceptable Loss (AL) to replace ROI. AL gives your team the freedom they need to truly innovate.

Think big.24

Bet small.


Jennifer Stenger Dan Fromm

Millennialls want the same qualities in all of their relationships, regardless of whether its a brand or individual. They want relationships that are authentic, creative, valuesdriven, that add to their own social currency and that are share-worthy.





Alyssa Feuerer Krithika Rosenthal

By nature, millennials have an entrepreneurial spirit. They work with what they have to do something meaningful that stands for something. Brands need to create community experiences that facilitate conversation and foster kinship, enabling members to make an impact.

make an impact


Colleen Merwick Eniko Skintej

Brands need to connect with Millennials on a social level-organically weaving your brand into their lives. You must reinforce or foster current behavior, dont create something that forces Millennials to adapt a new behavior. You cant think of Millennials as a demographic, but rather as a highly emotional and unpredictable group of individuals. Then you can tap into their emotions and desires to connect with each other and foster these connections and then you will be able to survive as a brand.



Carol Phillips Dennis Devlin

Millennial is more of a mindset more than an age. The Millennial mindset is based in a distinct subculture of music, humor, fashion and cause that is hip and new and leverages technology to the max. But at heart the values are more those of old souls: Take care of yourself, care for each other, tend to the environment. The way in to touch the Millennial heart is utility. Functionality trumps image. Brands must be able to answer question what USE are you to me? How does this brand make my life easier, more connected or more meaningful? Without an authentic relationship building approach that results in mutual kinship, efforts at brand building will #FAIL.



Jenny Gomez Belle Domingo

Stay true to your brand. Simplicity is sexy - by creating that relationship youll gain the trust that will make your brand a part of a Millennials life. Be a tool for empowerment by being a friend.



Kristina DeGrocco Kimberly Rizzo Bob Higginson

The Millennial generation is inherently social. Therefore, in order for your brand to be part of their conversations and relationships, you must create an environment that fosters social engagement and participation, empowering them to create, invent and interact with your brand in a way that is organic to them.




Janelle James Chere Boone

Apple is an example of a brand who has stayed ahead of the wave. 75% of the products they sell today werent in existence five years ago. Blockbuster is an example of a brand who was washed over by change, sank and drown. Walter Levitt wants Comedy Central to be like Apple. Marketers who want to be industry leaders need to stay current and relevant or die.



Nicole Baldwin Cathryn Posey

To resonate with millennials, brands must have a greater purpose, one that identifies with the consumer not only functionally, but emotionally. And not just for the consumer, but for the world. It is not up to the brand to dictate the answers. The opportunity is to figure it out together.



Brenda Lynch Laurie Jones

Millennials are all about optimism and believe they can change and impact the world. Theyve been raised to have an opinion and a voice. Compared to older generations, generation x or boomer babies who fought against society and sought to break traditions -- millennials want to embrace the good in the world and create, fix, and reinvent everything. They are a generation of innovation.



Sarah Showalter Christine Thurm

Millennials know how to hustle. They will take matters into their own hands to get things done. Enable them to be in control, be creative, and connect and share with others.



Build longer-term, deeper, committed relationships with your consumers. Help them connect with their friends by providing a platform for them to share their opinions and experiences. Show them youre in it for them, not just to make a buck. Be authentic and real in your interactions with them.



Susan Miller Warren Junium, III

Build your products story and share the message around an emotional connection to grab the customers multi-sensory listen. Create an experiential benefit. Products that are just talking about superior functional performance are not heard.



Brad Alban Sara Buck Sandi Moss

Single transparency isnt enough anymore, Millennials want to know how your product is made and they want to participate in baking the cake. Allow them to cocreate your products, ask their opinion, ask for their suggestions, ask them to invent new products, they want to share and you look like a hero for asking their opinion and acting on it.



Brad Alban Sara Buck Sandi Moss

Everyone knows that the conversation that matters is the one that comes from the outside, not the inside. But we have to do more than listen to everyone, we need to listen to the 115 people who matter to your brand. Find the bloggers, tweeters, and sharers who have a strong following and are passionate about what you are passionate about. Enlist them to participate with you... and listen to what they have to say.



Christina Coccodrilli Aiyshen Padilla

The models of marketing are based in the 1950s and 1960s. In order to be relevant today, you need to be part of their conversations. Be where they are. Build the relationship first. Encourage millennials to talk about your brand with those they trust. Dont force the conversation. Its a mindset, so be transparent and be authentic in order to be share-worthy. Give them the tools to co-create with you and take matters into their own hands.



Chris Cardetti Anastasia Fletcher

Productive stupidity is about embracing what you dont know and asking questions. Millennials actually find it cool that brands dont know it all. - Simply rename failure. - Study experiments and their genesis. - All you need is enough to get to the starting line.



Chris Cardetti Anastasia Fletcher

The Apple brand is miles ahead of the competition. Although they began with computers, today theyre brand is known for creating the most useful and innovative technology devices. Blockbuster limited themselves in the way they provided movie/video game rentals. Even when Netflix and was on the horizon, they dismissed the two as fads. Now whos out of style? So ask yourself, are you Apple or Blockbuster?



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