Earlier this week, we went to a seminar organised by W Kollective. Led by the charismatic Joeri Van den Bergh, we were introduced to a variety of campaigns designed to target generation Y.
…But who are generation Y?
I am, for one. Along with many others on the team here, we are the ‘millennial’ generation born in the years 1980 to 1996.
Joeri described us gen Y’s as ‘stimulation junkies’ who love hype, and a fast and ever changing landscape. I think this is true, as we are a generation born into a world where technological advances are happening rapidly, communication across the globe is mobile and at our fingertips, and we can gather information about anything, within seconds.
Another key take-away is that gen Y are a social generation who place importance on friendship. In fact research shows that our top role models are our friends and our parents. That’s why brands must be more like our friends – truthful, fun and ever-changing.
Unlike generation X before us, we are also a very marketing savvy generation: one of the points Joeri mentioned was that in order to effectively reach gen Y, brands must first act, then speak after.
Working in an industry which can be heavily reliant on words and storytelling this could be a daunting statement. However, it is clear that the words we use must reflect our actions. Generation Y are very savvy to gimmicks. We are now skeptical about expensive advertising campaigns or celebrity endorsements – particularly if these come in place of a core brand message.
So why is generation Y important to your business?
Besides acknowledging that us ‘Millennials’ are your customers of the future, we are your most cynical audience, demanding that your brand maintains a core truth and applies it to all of its communications.
We are also the selfie generation; Joeri’s seminar discussed that generation Y want to share stories that have them at the centre, so much so that we have now added ‘selfie’ to the oxford dictionary.
Moving forward, brands need to understand that the key to engaging with gen Y audience is by participating in a two-way communication.
You can follow the conversation on Twitter via #genymarketing.