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How to market to millennials (it's not easy)

Tom Kaneshige | May 8, 2015
In Las Vegas, if you're not new and fresh, you're old and boring. Casinos thrive on youthful energy and young executives flush with cash. Nightclubs buzz into the wee hours, chock full of hard-partying millennials, not stodgy Gen-Xers in desperate need of their beauty sleep.

"That's the f-cking worst," Brennan says. "Just don't do it."

Other brands are making the right moves.

McPherson, for instance, likes online eyeglass retailer Warby Parker, which is running a "buy one, give one" marketing campaign. The company doesn't scream its coolness message in consumers ears, rather the company lets consumers decide for themselves. Consumers can also receive five "try on" frames delivered to their homes, post pictures of themselves and get input from friends on which ones look best on them.

"They're killing it right now," McPherson says.

Haugen pointed to an older brand, Taco Bell, as doing a good job marketing to millennials. He says the fast-food restaurant has done a great job engaging consumers on social media, generally through humor. Haugen says many of his under-25 employees love the content Taco Bell delivers on both Twitter and Instagram.

Millennials are the flavor du jour, and they know it. They know what technology can deliver, and so they expect brands to give them a personalized, authentic customer experience. Since they're in the driver's seat, they can also demand brands be socially conscious.

If Taco Bell is any indicator, millennials want to laugh a little, too.

 

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