Labels Are Out, Emotions Are In: Tapping Millennial FOMO

Millennials. I learn something new about this group everyday, and you would think I’d be an expert considering I am one of them. Yet, each time I sit through a talk on Millennials, I’m surprised by how little I actually know. Does your brand know how to target this group efficiently? I actively try to answer this question everyday.

I work in the higher education industry, so Millennials, Generation Y, Generation Z, etc. are the prime audience that I try to target. Kelly Meyers from Code and Theory did a wonderful job dissecting the younger Millennials and Generation Z by explaining how they think, behave, and feel. She walked us through innovative campaigns she’s worked on (Burger King & Maybelline), trending platforms teens primarily use (Instagram & Snapchat), how this generation really expresses themselves, and how marketers should integrate these insights into their daily strategies.

Beyond the captivating statistics Kelly provided on Millennials, a few key points from her presentation really stood out to me:

  • Teens are not necessarily addicted to their phones but addicted to being connected with their friends.
  • Teens value shared and unique experiences, are more willing to share those experiences publicly, and need a sense of collective community more than ever before.
  • Teens could not care less about designers and labels because they care more about what their friends are doing and who they are doing it with.
  • Contrary to popular belief, teens don’t use Snapchat to send dirty pics but to simply tell a story though photos.
  • Teens and young millennials use their phones as an extension of themselves that express who they are.

Kelly stressed that the next generation puts a huge emphasis on community and life-experiences:

The internet is not a place, but rather is woven in and out of their life through mobile. There is no beginning or end to where real life stops and the internet begins.

That was pretty darn poetic! It’s time for us marketers to listen to this new and emotional generation by tailoring our strategies to what they want to see rather than what you want to post. User generated content is so successful because it plays off their experiences and uses their language. Break out of your comfort zone and try something new on your platforms today!

Erica Santiago is an Assistant Director of Communications at NYU Stern by day and a part-time MBA student by night. You can follow her on Twitter @ericasantiagony.