Four new ways to think about millennials

Dentsu Aegis study identifies the disconnect some brands make

They may be among the most coveted demographics for many brands, but marketers need to recognize the differences among millennials, Dentsu Aegis Network Canada argues in a research project that breaks them into four different categories.

A few weeks ago, the agency brought together executives from Spotify, Google Canada, Vice Canada and others to present the findings from The Millennial Disconnect Study. The research drew upon a sample of close to 4,500 millennials from its proprietary Consumer Connection System (CCS), followed by a cluster analysis that looked that their content interests, attitudes/passions and media preferences.

“What we were seeing is that millennials are so overdone, it’s a buzzword,” Louise Veyret, research and consumer insight director at DAN Canada, told Canadian Grocer's sister publication Marketing. “We wanted to take a deeper look at how they behave beyond just saying this is someone who’s 18-34.”

According to the research, 42% of millennials fall into what it calls the “TrendNetters” group, which sounds a lot like the stereotype of the demographic today: socially and image-conscious, always connected and interested in luxury items.

The remaining 58%, however, are divided into three other categories. These include:

  • Alter-Natives: More incognito in terms of their digital presence, valuing knowledge and experiences and hungry for advertising that gives factual information

  • LYFPreneurs: More driven by offline relationships, healthy and environmentally-conscious, seeking the best prices and less addicted to the internet

  • BetaBlazers: More brand-loyal, focused on achieving success, purchasing based on quality and interested in learning about other cultures

Beyond creating sub-labels for millennials, the research offers marketers advice on how to best reach each one. BetaBlazers will want to be involved in the next big thing and sharing their feedback about it, for example, while Alter-Natives value privacy and extremely relevant content.

“Instead of a brand saying, ‘Let’s go and put everything on social,’ it’s more taking a look back at what the objectives are and how to communicate with them,” Veyret said. “When they’re watching YouTube at 10 o’clock at night, they might not want a detailed, information-filled ad. They might want to laugh.”

Beyond rethinking how to market to Millennials, Veyret said the research could also be helpful for organizations who want to understand what makes people within that demographic want to become – and remain – members of their team.

“My hope is that — not just our clients — but people in general will be more mindful and aware of they people they are talking to,” Veyret said.

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