They’re everywhere at the moment, and brands are falling head over heels to connect with them. And yet getting across the idea of millennials to board members who were potentially not in the age bracket was DDB Melbourne MD Dion Appel’s toughest sell.
As they’re such a mainstream target market now, understanding millennials and speaking their language has become paramount. However when first starting out, translating the importance of millennials to baby-boomer board members has been tricky.
“In the past it’s been like white noise to them, it’s been one of the toughest sells I’ve ever had to do,” Appel told B&T. “So the way that we dealt with, time has helped us, and most brands have now recognised this is an important market segment and they’ve grown to understand it as opposed to just retaliate against them.”
Recognising this crucial need to understand this market, Appel’s company LifeLounge which was recently acquired by DDB takes to 16-30 year olds four times a year to survey their behaviour, values and attitudes to relay to brands.
“Once you get that knowledge piece right then the next stage is to speak their language,” said Appel. “Once you’ve got the insight then the idea becomes pretty clear in terms of how you need to speak to them, and ultimately what the environment is that that message needs to be put into.”
However, as there has been a ridiculous amount of chatter about millennials of late, does that mean other age brackets have been forgotten?
“You’ve got the similarities between empty nesters and youth,” he said, “because youth still live at home when the nest is full and they’re spending all their money on discretionary, and then once the nest is empty they’re a lot more cashed up.
“They’re both spending on discretionary items.”
Youth as a target market has exploded for brands, said Appel.
“What was once a very niche market is now mainstream, and by 2025 they’re going to be the largest consumer group in the country.
“So brands and businesses are now taking them very seriously.”