Despite all the research and theories associated with Millennials, companies still struggle with how best to interact and communicate with what is now the largest group of consumers and workers in the economy. However, a new Denver-based firm aims to help companies by decoding the mysteries of connecting with this crucial segment of the population.
The Social Capital Agency , a full-service advertising, marketing, and branding agency founded in 2016 by a Millennial and Gen Z’er, says the key to unlocking the power of Millennials is understanding that there is no key.
“There is no single approach, message, or brand strategy that will have Millennials flocking to your company and its products. The biggest mistake companies can make is treating this diverse group like a single mind-melded entity. If there is any commonality they share, it is a low-key disdain for being grouped together with all their fellow Millennials,” said Eric Sutfin, co-founder and chief marketing officer of SoCap.
As of July 2016, there were 71 million Americans aged 20 to 35 – the age group defining the Millennial generation. That population was just shy of the 74 million Baby Boomers (age 52 to 70 in 2016) in the population. Millennials are expected to outnumber Boomers by 2019.
“This will have far-reaching effects on every aspect of the economy and society, including retail, employment, marriage and families, migration patterns, and voting trends. Organizations cannot ignore this group. And they definitely cannot rely on the tried and true methods of reaching this generation. They simply do not consume information and messages the way Boomers or Gen Xers do,” noted Devon Kerns, SoCap’s other founder and its chief visionary officer.
“Whether your company is trying to sell products, services, or ideas to Millennials or trying to recruit and retain them as employees, it is critical to know what your company or organization stands for, hone your message, and be authentic. Because, while Millennials are not carbon copies of each other, many possess a well-tuned bullshit meter,” said Kerns.
SoCap insists that in order to succeed with Millennials, companies must build a solid brand starting at the core. The advertising and marketing agency helps companies build their brands from the inside, out.
“Basically, we want to give companies the tools and the messages that will create a strong internal or employer brand, which will then serve as the foundation for establishing a strong outward or consumer brand. Companies that don’t do this will struggle. Just look at Uber. It checked off all the boxes in terms of price, convenience, and several other benefits that resonate with tech-savvy and mobile phone-dependent Millennials. However, once the cracks in the foundation began to show, starting with revelations that the company fostered a misogynistic and toxic workplace, Millennials started deleting the app from their phones in droves,” said Sutfin.
“Companies really have to understand and stand behind their core values. From there we help them sell that to current and prospective employees. And then from there, we help them build that outward brand to customers. But without the strong foundation, even the most engaging advertising campaign will ultimately fail,” he added.
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