Millennials; Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want

Recently, there has been a lot of talk throughout the media industry about what makes stories appealing for Millennials. As a person who fits this illusive demographic, I thought it could be beneficial to explore and give insight to the question, what do millennials want?

Graphic credited to the PinPoint Market Research Report

Millennials grew up in a world completely different than that of any other generation. A world of constant noise, cultivating a whole new way of thinking. I can’t remember a time I didn’t have instant access to content at the touch of a button. With content being thrown my way constantly, I look for content that adds to my life and anything that doesn’t feels like a waste of my time.

Created by Amanda Adkins

Millennials are actively engaging with content, searching for authenticity. I see when I’m being advertised to and it doesn’t feel genuine. It doesn’t create a real connection with a brand and it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Rather than selling to Millennials, brands should work to cultivate authentic, personal relationships.

How? Create content that adds to the lives of your audience. Millennials crave stories of genuine human moments. Stories that show humanity; spotlighting compassion, empathy, philanthropy, hardship and triumph. Millennials can’t help but engage with this type of content which leads to vast amounts of content sharing for brands.

I see so much content daily that most of it doesn’t even register. The most recent advertisement I can bring to memory is Hyundai’s patriotic commercial that aired during the most recent Super Bowl. Why did this particular content stand out? It showed Hyundai going the extra mile to connect troops currently serving overseas with their families. Nowhere in the commercial was Hyundai’s product mentioned but the commercial connected with me and created a foundation for a relationship between me and their brand.

When marketers focus on building relationships rather than simply advertising, they will be drastically more successful in connecting with millennials. So, what do Millennials want? Brands who share stories that express genuine humanity, who stay away from pimping products, and most importantly, who always focus on staying authentic.