Regular B&T columnists and marketing to Gen Y specialists, Dr Brian Mitchell PhD and Evan Mitchell, have launched HOW&Y, a marketing agency that offers improved creative solutions to companies providing products and services relevant to Gen Y consumers.
The two Mitchells are already directors of the wine marketing firm Love & Wine and say the new agency offers the competitive difference in their ‘Aspirational Values’ marketing model – tailored specifically to the psychological and cultural characteristics of the Gen Y demographic.
“Too many marketers treat the Gen Y consumer segment as ‘business as usual’,” Brian Mitchell told B&T. “This entirely misses the zeitgeist of the generation. Marketing to Gen Y demands a strategy that gets the Gen Y psyche. They may appear to be driven by needs, but underneath are a range of all-important aspirational values. Gen Y lifestyle choices are driven by these aspirational values. Target the values and you target Gen Y. Ignore them and you won’t engage this demographic in any meaningful or sustaining way.”
Mitchell said that one aspect of Gen Y that all commentators agree on is their deep-seated need for authenticity in their lifestyle brands. “This is the ultimate marketing test for suppliers, and the consequences of failure can be permanent,” he said.
“HOW&Y has engaged a representative Gen Y Panel of eight to act as an authenticity sounding board on creative concepts. This provides a generational litmus test that’s more reliable and accurate than traditional focus groups – another competitive advantage for How&Y.”
For Mitchell, the Millennials represent a genuine paradigm shift for marketers and he says it’s something many in the marketing industry are reluctant to recognise. Till they do, a great deal of investment and market share opportunity will be wasted on messages that will inevitably fail. He said: “HOW&Y offers a strategy for engaging these consumers, bringing them to a brand, and holding them.
“The key to Gen Y consumers is to differentiate the product or service with a message that matters. The HOW&Y theme – inspiring, engaging, advancing, sustaining says it all,” Mitchell concluded.