Did you know more Americans are 24-years-old right now than any other age?

The editor-in-chief of Ypulse took the stage at the recent Quirk’s Event to discuss how to market to and communicate with the largest generation in US history: the adored, maligned, ubiquitous Millennial.  Ypulse surveys their proprietary panel of 1,000 millennials monthly to learn more about consumers born between 1982 and 2004, and editor MaryLeigh Bliss shared the following thought-starters at the conference:

Life Is Too Predictable
With lives controlled by mobile devices, everything we see on Amazon and Netflix is controlled by an algorithm – “If you liked x, you might enjoy y.” Millennials want to be surprised and delighted, like they were by the following brands:

  • Doritos Roulette – One chip in your Nacho Cheese bag is ultra-spicy.  No, REALLY.
  • Ship Your Enemies Glitter – I sent you a card.  Surprise, it’s full of glitter!  So popular upon launch that the founder sold the site after a week, telling the world that we were horrible for supporting such a horrible product.
  • Seamless Roulette – Ordering lunch gets boring.  Before it was shut down for brand infringement, Seamless Roulette allowed you to get a random order of food from a random restaurant based on a budget you defined.
  • White Album – Tired of perfectly edited, predictable selfies?  This (defunct) app allowed you to take 24 photos that you couldn’t see until the developed photos were mailed to your door.
  • Like Creeper – Perfect for parties, this app will go through everyone you follow on Instagram and pick one photo from one friend to like. Spoiler alert, it will probably be a photo that a crush posted 286 weeks ago.  SO CREEPY.

Broadway Roulette certainly capitalizes on this desire to be surprised at an affordable price point, but every show or attraction can find more ways to give our guests the fun of the unexpected.  Bottom line?  These consumers want brands to act less like an algorithm and more like a human.

Unique Is the New Cool
We’ve all heard that Millennials are “special snowflakes,” which is a demeaning way of faulting them for having nice, encouraging parents.  But while my fellow Gen X’ers were interchangeable in our flannel shirts, Millennials value being unique.  They don’t want a generic hotel room that looks the same in every market (Airbnb, anyone?) and they choose local restaurants over chains.  65% of the Ypulse panel wants to be considered “different” over being considered “normal.”  Again, we need to find ways to deliver unique experiences to this audience.

Why use a paragraph of words when two emojis will do?  Only 20% of words on a web page get read (oops).

Why Should We Care?
Can you believe… in 2020, one in three adults will be a Millennial.  That’s four years from now.