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Facts About Millennials

April 4, 2013

• Millennials are a demographic group that has been referred to as the darlings and devils of marketers—and just how to influence these masters of customization and self-expression remains a mystery to many firms.

The Hartman Group, however, has revealed several traits to keep in mind when looking to reach this core group of consumers. Here are some of those traits:

• Millennials are brand agnostic. How do you communicate to a generation that has adapted to its environment by learning not to listen? For Millennials, everything is about “real” and “reality,” said Hartman. Raised on technology, Millennials know they can have things when they want them, customizing a lifestyle on their own terms.

• Millennials are seasoned consumers. Overrun with choice, suspicious and non-responsive to traditional advertising, Millennials see brands as their own and their knowledge and information empowers them.

According to Hartman Group, they have a different—less definitive—relationship with brands and products. In general, Millennials care more about brands in categories where there is a significant cost to getting it wrong—think cars, computers.

Millennials don’t want to be advertised “to,” they want to be advertised “with,” according to the Hartman Group.
• Millennials tend to follow prevailing trends in personal care. Typical product category use by Millennials does not diverge greatly from other generations—broader fashion trends tend to dictate use of particular products at particular times. According to Hartman, Millennials are showing increased interest in heritage or specialty products and personal care regimens.

For example, some women are experimenting with not washing their hair and replacing their typical shampoo with baking soda and apple cider vinegar once a week. Some are trying 100% shea butter to help with dry skin and using deodorant or tea tree oil in place of antiperspirants, noted the company.

•Millennials don’t want to be advertised “to;” they want to be advertised “with.” How do you communicate with a generation that knows only unbounded choice, finds it challenging to take conventional media seriously, and has adapted to its environment with selective listening?

According to Hartman, there is no one blueprint to help navigate a terrain marked by many voices and a desire for entertainment over information. There is a belief they cannot be “sold” or “convinced” or that there is little need for facts or figures from you as they will seek it elsewhere. Most winning communications simply offer an opportunity for entertainment, whimsy or play.

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