How to market to Gen Y?

According to Wikipedia, Canadian Millennials are those who were born as of 1976 up to 1999, inclusively. They are also known as Generation Y or Echo Boomers. They have a characteristic set of values that makes them significantly different from earlier generations. Or so you thought…

As much as we think Gen Y have a game-changing set of values, researchers around the world beg to differ: Millennials DO share the values of earlier generations. Here is what they believe in:

  • They value family, personal connection, and loyalty.
  • They want the genuine and are repulsed by phony.
  • They are optimistic and believe in change.
  • They support the environment and social justice.
  • They promote tolerance and diversity, teamwork and balance.
  • They seek spirituality and are open to the possibility of the divine.

Probably none of these values are revolutionary. It might make you think “It seems like nothing has changed. No need to change our marketing efforts.”

Well, what has changed is their DEDICATION to these values and their legendary need for SELF-EXPRESSION. Millennials are almost obsessed with living by these values. They deeply believe they can make a difference even though they are aware that very few of them are going to change the world. However, what matters to you is that their ultimate goal is to live a purposeful life consistent with their values.

As a marketer you should take their values seriously and deliver authentic experiences for them.  If you fail to do so, they will make the rest of the world know that your brand is a phony. Remember! They are expert communicators and networkers.

Today’s actionable tip: I recommend you not to be afraid to market old values to Millennials. Just be prepared for the consequences should you fail to deliver.

Which brands do you think do a good job speaking to Millennials?

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