Since September, 2019, the TopRight team has been looking closely at the so-called millennial and Gen Z generations and examining their impact on sales, marketing, storytelling, and so much more. Some of the popular stereotypes were occasionally confirmed, but by and large our adventure into the world of teens and 20- to 30-somethings has been illuminating and edifying in a ton of ways we simply didn’t expect. If you care to know more about the real impact that these up-and-comers have had on marketing and the economy, read on!
Below you’ll see the majority—but not all—of our posts from the past eight weeks. Click on the links and read the full articles. And explore the full blog page for more!
Now, starting next week till the end of the year, TopRight will examine a completely new area—Marketing Trends 2019-2020. From November 1 to December 31, 2019, we’re going to take a hard look at tech, automation, fads, economics, influencers, social media, marketing gadgets and doodads galore. Please return to the TopRight blog weekly to find out what we’re uncovering and what we have to say about it all.
And if you haven’t yet, please do sign up for our blog now. (Or give CEO Dave Sutton a shout on Twitter or LinkedIn any time.) Also please check out TopRight Partner Todd Lunsford’s exciting and popular series on the dramatic transformations going on in the healthcare services industry (available in parts I, II, III, IV, and V).
Now, enjoy TopRight’s 2019 millennial marketing roundup!
“Turns out, however, that mastering “millennial speak” may not be so easy for those of us from the salt-and-pepper generations—people born before 1979 with some gray in our hair. In our day, we said “booyah” and “she’s the bomb”—phrases so out of date and mortifying to millennials that it makes their blood run cold. But if you’re over 40 today, you’ve probably never even heard of most of the new terms, like “stan”, “bae,” “trill,” or “on fleek.” Suffice it to say that if we want to talk to millennials on their own terms, and truly decipher what they’re saying and stay relevant, then we have to do a bit better all around. Although that, of course, does not mean you should memorize vocabulary lists (although knowing current terms can occasionally help) that will quickly go out of date in a few years anyway.”
“Boomers and Gen Xers invented the culture and the devices that have changed the way we live. That is true. But they also enacted draconian drug laws and prison sentencing guidelines that led the U.S. (“land of the free”) to incarcerate more people than any other country in the world, created an opioid crisis that has destroyed small town America and killed thousands of people, built an environment of deregulation that has led to the single largest economic collapse in the last fifty years, allowed pollution to get so out of hand that the earth is actually choking to death, and destabilized an entire Mideast region and put us in a perpetual state of war that has literally been going on for our entire lives.
All we did was live through it all.”
“Your brand story, if it’s going to truly resonate with your consumer family, must be rooted in your “Why”—why you do what you do. And if your “Why,” or your brand story, no longer resonates with your target audience, well, it won’t take long for the negative effects to show up. That’s because brand story is like a living, breathing part of your company. If your company is changing, even a little, your brand story should too. The story you tell consumers needs nourishment, attention, and regular checkups to stay healthy and keep you energized.”
“But does Biden really care about these issues in the sense that they are core for him? It sure seems like he used to. Yet the stated focus of his 2019 campaign when it launched was the notion that the Democratic party is actually much older and more centrist than it’s believed to be, and they began casting Biden as precisely that: more centrist, more reliable, more committed to public service, and more anti-Trump. I would suggest, though, that what Biden needs to avoid is portraying himself as all things to all people (who hate Trump). That’s not enough.”
Partner Bill Price wrote about why you should and how you can connect with millennials.
“As marketers, we measure ROI in two different ways: Financial and Non-Financial Currencies of Value (i.e., other metrics that go beyond money). A big lesson I’ve learned is that millennials care a lot about the latter, and it’s our understanding of these intangibles that can guide us toward a better understanding of how to communicate with them. To the boomers, money was of primary importance. For millennials, although money is of course important, they just have a different relationship with it.“
“I took a look back at the baby boom generation circa the 1970s, a time when boomers—also seen as self-absorbed and once dubbed the ‘Me Generation’—were hitting their prime and were at about the same age as our current leading-edge millennials. I wanted to remind myself what the market looked like back then and do a kind of comparison. What I found were some differences, yes, but actually a whole host of critical similarities that proved much more interesting. Technology, fashion, attitudes, and politics may have changed, but these two groups aren’t nearly as different as you think.“
Now peruse these supplementary posts from around the web!
Food&Wine on millennials and the White Claw panic:
“Of course, a shortage is bad news for White Claw fans, but what does it mean for the brand itself? Is such explosive growth more indicative of a fad than a genuine shift in people’s drinking habits?”
The New York Times on millennials and modern office life:
“Increasingly, younger workers … expect and demand flexibility — paid leave for a new baby, say, and generous vacation time, along with daily things, like the ability to work remotely, come in late or leave early, or make time for exercise or meditation.”
“Both groups of consumers were more focused on value and off-price retail than older shoppers, and Amazon remains a key shopping destination—a benefit to the e-commerce giant that should only increase as these generations flex their financial muscle in their prime spending years.”
Forbes on how to market to Gen Z:
“For these young people, TV, radio and magazines are virtually relics of the past, replaced by smartphones and platforms like YouTube, TikTok and Instagram. … As a result, how brands market themselves and how they connect with younger consumers has been wholly redefined.”
Instapage on the brand-spanking-new people-based marketing:
“Most people and companies refer to it as people based marketing because the key is understanding the person behind it all that enables people based marketing to take place.”
Care to learn more? Interested in our signing up for our easy and awesome marketing health check? Well follow Dave Sutton @toprightpartner or visit him on LinkedIn. And if you still need another fix, grab a copy of Dave’s new book, Marketing, Interrupted.