How to Brand and Market to Generation Y

The millennial demographic, also known as “Generation Y” is a coveted group for today’s brands and businesses. Born between 1981-2000, men and women who fit into the “millennial” category make up almost one-fourth of the U.S. population, and it’s projected that millennials will outnumber Baby Boomers by 2019. Millennials have different values than their parents, and it’s reflected in their spending habits, so brands need to step out of their comfort zones if they want to successfully market to today’s 20-35-year-olds. Let’s discuss some of the most important factors when determining how to brand and market to Generation Y.

Utilize Social Media

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that social media is first on our list. If you want to reach millennials, you need to be active, established, and engaging on social media platforms. The most recent estimates show that 88% of millennials are active on social media, and 50% of millennials say that they research a product online before they purchase it. Millennials enjoy following and engaging with brands on social media, which gives you an opportunity to connect directly with prospective buyers. Just be sure to have a solid strategy in place. Millennials are quick to unfollow pages which fail to provide updated, relevant content.

Support a Cause

It isn’t enough to offer a great product or service—If you want to reach millennials, you need to take things a step further and provide people with a reason to want to support your business. The best way to do this is by supporting a cause. Millennials seek to have a positive impact on their world, and this goal influences all of their choices, from the jobs they take to the products they buy.  Recent studies show that millennials are 50% more likely to make a purchase if they know it’s supporting a cause. There are an endless amount of goods and services available to millennials thanks to the internet, so brands must take a stance and support a cause to separate themselves from the competition.

Be Authentic

Millennials keep it real, and they expect your brand to do the same. The days of cheesy faux-marketing stories are long gone, and millennial consumers are demanding authenticity from businesses. They don’t want to be lied to; they want transparency, so people know exactly what they’re buying, who they’re buying it from, and why it matters. Similarly, millennials value authentic opinions of those they trust, mainly their friends and experts of a given industry. Providing expert opinions to back up any claims your brand makes is key, as is encouraging buyers to share their positive product experiences with their inner circle.

Knowing how to brand and market to Generation Y is critical to your business’s success. While many things can influence a prospective millennial buyer, the takeaway is to focus key factors the sway millennials most. If you strategically utilize social media, support a cause, and stick with authenticity, you’ll be setting your brand up for success with the millennial demographic. For more information on branding, check out our recent guide on crafting your business’s personal brand here.