Notes from an event attended by Lizz Brocklesby, who says:

I went along to an event yesterday called ‘The Secret Life of Millennials’ and thought I’d share a few insights with you. There is clearly a London skew with everything, but due to the global connections, key influencers have big impact on people outside of London too.

The final message they left us with was, Millennials aren’t actually that different to previous generations in terms of their views, attitudes and ideas, but the context has changed around them.

Who they are:

  • Born 1981-2000 (16-34 years old)
  • 15.8 million people
  • The first two things that come up in Google images for “Millennial” are ‘technology’ and ‘depressed’
  • They constantly have to battle negative representations of themselves in the media. Seen as self obsessed and their future is bleak: student debt, house prices and career uncertainty
  • 38% own home (skew outside of London)
  • 45% married
  • 27% parents
  • Bank of mum and dad props them up
  • 30% claim not to have drunk alcohol in 12 months
  • 8% viewing time spent on YouTube
  • London: 2 in 10 have children. 6 in 10 are graduates

Key insights:

  • A life less linear – experience led, career breaks, changes in direction
  • Hidden depths – well informed and passionate
  • They want to align themselves to social causes
  • Family focussed (strong family ties and constant communication with parents)
  • Media sharers – content drives conversation
  • Smart phone strategists – personal brand online
  • Content is heavily curated
  • Dark social is where the interesting things are posted (Whatsapp and snapchat)

Experience economy:

  • They reveal their social and cultural capital by places and experience
  • The more culturally rich and photographic the better
  • Fashion and clothes are huge – want to look good and present themselves as unique online
  • Prepared to pay extra for personalised goods and products

How to reach/engage them:

  • Reflect the life less linear in style, tone and people
  • Respect the hidden depths: cater to people’s passions, have clear principles – and make it easy for them to engage, make a stand and be seen to care
  • 7 out of 10 describe themselves as social activists. What’s the cause that you can tap into?
  • Open up, be transparent, tell stories
  • Work on long term brand and market development
  • 5 year strategies that nurture audiences – don’t push messages/sales hard
  • Mobile first
  • Personalise the experience with the brand – can you let them ‘hack’ your brand, or get involved in someway?
  • Real time live testing – can put things out through different propositions and live edit
  • Focus spend on the most popular

Content consumption:

  • Not interested in Netflix and Amazon as can’t find anything they like
  • Much prefer curated commissioned content on BBC Iplayer and 4OD
  • Search for what’s trending
  • Watch short form 3-4 minutes and long form documentaries/cultural content
  • Use snapchat a lot
  • Channel 4s humour can work with cause and serious message: e.g. What Not To Do comedy series for Scope 
  • A million views to the content and generated press and PR plus evidence of behaviour and attitude change
  • 4 minute rule – 4 minutes before they pick up their second device – get people to interact with the brand on multiple platforms