I am your target market
This is a blunt speech to older adults trying to sell me things.
We are millennials, twenty-somethings, or the people you want to sell things to. We are the target market. There’s a reason why we don’t buy or read the newspaper. It’s the same reason we don’t have enough motivation to eat cereal in the morning. We just don’t care. It’s not that we’re lazy or stupid, we just don’t have the same rewards at the end of our life as you probably do. Therefore, we just don’t care.
It’s quite hard to sell something to someone if they just don’t understand it. In the Wolf of Wall Street, the mark of a good sales man is being able to sell you something you don’t have — or at the least, feel that you don’t have. In the movie, Brad cunningly takes away a pen from Jordan Belfort and sells it back to him. Bam! You’ve created demand for a pen. Wish it was that simple to sell something to us, don’t you? Keep wishing.
What do we care about then? Good question.
We care about what fellow millennials like Superwoman or Zoella have to say. How our highlighter makes our cheek bones glow and what time of day is prime for a face mist. Funny enough, that’s what we think we care about. A lot of millennials buy books by YouTubers, but don’t actually read them. A lot of millennials buy exclusive make up, but only regularly wear the same drug store brands. The face mist might actually be the only thing used as intended, and as often as needed. So why all this frivolous spending when there’s so much else that could “benefit our lives”? Because it makes us look and feel good. Book covers make up intellectual Instagram photos. They make good spacers between the beauty selfies and outfit of the day shots. Terrariums and marble laptop cases are the back drop for any self respecting social media guru. Pastels with metallic accents are versatile, from nails to handbags. On and on, the trends of the internet.
Why should you know about the most basic of basic b*tches? In other words, why should you know about ladies who consume pretty pictures all day?
It’s where you should be advertising! Let’s face it. If you’re in the cookbook business— you’re probably going under because we don’t buy books unless they have pretty covers that we can photograph and share with our “friends”. My advice, sprinkle in a little Kate Spade inspiration into the cover and ladies will come flocking to buy your book! Not to read it or to cook with it of course. Sales are all that matter anyways right?
We don’t want to learn lots of new and amazing things, we want to learn small insignificant things that bring “a little note of levity” into our busy days, as Hillary Clinton put it. Things like dancing babies on the Ellen Show, and Trevor Noah/John Oliver verbally provoking the U.S. government. Small insignificant things tied together with a string called Facebook Video and Twitter Trending. We see* it all.
*fun fact: marketers should share silent videos filled with subtitles on Facebook — we don’t listen to your audio, we just keep scrolling!
And no, it does not make us any smarter, just opinionated. Only some of us actually see the inside of a university lecture hall. Why? University doesn’t make us look and feel good. It makes us look terrible and feel incompetent. Not to mention half of us will be equally unemployed after university as we were after high school, so why even bother? Unimaginable debt + how to take a multiple choice test + how to feed yourself but still afford concert tickets = a university education. (Is it an university education, or a university education? I don’t know, university didn’t teach me.) We don’t have a lot of sunshine and rainbows at the end of the road, even marriage seems like a weird distant cloud and buying a house and car, HA! no. If we’re that lucky, we have worked real hard for it, trust me. Since we figured out that big business, big banks, big.. unidentifiable entities along with privatization, government expenditure cuts and Darth Orange for President means that there is not a lot to hope for in the near future. (Read with sarcasm: You’re going to be okay Canada, because Trudeau is a feminist.)
What did we do instead of planning our future? We decided to live it all up now. Precisely, it does mean spending any left over college loans on eyebrow gel, and Spotify. Yes, parents, we are spending allowance you give us for textbooks on burritos and lattes. Silly parents, textbooks are for kids, we can torrent ours. What does this mean for the witty salesman? It means sell us pretty pretty symbolism. Not real and useful things.
Pretty pretty symbolism means things that give us pleasure now but hurt our bank accounts. You’ll be more successful with a juice cleanse brand than a local shoe store. Better start a ridiculous dessert stand rather than a photo printing shop. We want to take pictures of pretty things that symbolize our place in the world. Not to keep the photos, but to stay relevant. Whether it be limited edition mermaid tails or a cotton candy covered ice cream cone, it will sell because of it’s shareability. If it gets us points on social media, we’ll share the crap out of it and then your business gets word of mouth. Vicious circle as they say.
Is this lifestyle sustainable? No. Don’t worry about us, we’re used to being broke anyways. We’ll plow through our unpredictable incomes, until we have to move back home with our parents, and after they realize we have been spending “textbook” money on movies all these years they’ll be upset too. (Not upset that we watched movies but because for the last ten years we’ve watched every dumbass remake of every franchise known to Hollywood. Of course, we are still going to watch Spiderman III and Fast and Furious 100.) That’s all okay though because our social status points will take us farther than real friendships (in our own heads).
TL;DR now is about the best time ever to start that startup that sells just about the most frivolous thing with pretty packaging. For tips and tricks please head on over to Kickstarter. PSA to millennials, we really must master the whole crowd funding thing immediately. We will be using indiegogo or the GoFundMe to sponsor our future chemo appointments and dialysis treatments. It’s not like health care is getting any more reliable and for sure our generation isn’t coming up with the cure; we’re too busy sharing penguins in sweaters.