By: Kevin McAtamney
Time to step up to the plate and let everyone come to us! Generation Y, the individuals ranging from the early 1980’s to the early 2000’s, otherwise known as millennials, have become the next group that companies must serenade for their continuing business. Lazy, careless, living at home with their parents accommodated with an extremely short attention span are just a few characteristics that we have been described as. How can companies keep up with our unorthodox and inconsistent ways and at the same time, keep their profit margins high? We have proven to be much different than the previous generations before us and corporations are starting to re-establish new branding/marketing techniques to capture the little attention span that we have left………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………sorry, I was checking how many “likes” my selfie got. What are companies doing today to adjust to this new demographic that will most definitely reconfigure how corporations connect with this type of consumer?
Marketers Are Sizing Up the Millennials is an article written by Dionne Searcey that describes the challenges that corporations are facing in today’s world dealing with this new consumer generation. The age of the Baby Boomers is over and it’s time to make room for the group of people that by the year 2020 will make up one-third of the adult population. Millennials already represent $1.3 trillion, that’s right, with a T, in consumer spending out of the total $11 trillion already present in the market place. That is undoubtedly catching the attention of the large retail companies in various industries. They have found that they ultimately need to readjust their entire branding strategy to catch our eye in different and unique ways that they have never dealt with before.
For example, General Mills made the decision to completely reposition its Totino’s frozen pizza brand to better attract these pesky millennials. With a spicy flavoring and all black packaging combined with a zombie themed marketing campaign on YouTube, the original happy-go-lucky caricature, Chef Rose Totino that had always represented the brand, could not ship up and instead, shipped out. Pepsi Co. has already adapted to this big change in the market by creating the drink Kickstart, a Mountain Dew flavored energy drink with very little fruit juice and the ingredient that us millennials are most obsessed with, caffeine. General Mills and Pepsi Co. had the ability to successfully reposition these two products differently in their industries while at the same time adapting to the newer generation that has the greater market share. Only time will tell if they will be profitable in the long run.
Many people see this market as a negative impact to their future profits but those that see it as an opportunity, have the upper-hand. It’s a challenge to take on the likes and dislikes of a new generation but companies have done it before and will continue and continue to adapt to this adversity.
At first, the Baby Boomer generation embraced consumer crazes like the Frisbee and utilized self-expression with all that they did. At the time, this confused marketers and challenged them to reposition themselves in a way to connect with this rebellious, entitled group of individuals. Sounds familiar…Adapting to new consumers is what makes marketing companies great at what they do. I’m proud of our short attention spans, our major obsessions with social media and the immediate reaction to reach for our phone and take a video the second something……(strange)(different)(simple)?..ANYTHING happens! This is what makes us, us. So go ahead, attempt to solve our rubix cube like personalities and figure out what we like most or what we are willing to spend our parents’ money on.
My generation has always been a challenge in many different ways according to everyone and their mother but figuring us out is what makes this challenge unique. As the researchers in the article have stated, “No one truly understand millennials…not even millennials.”