branding millennials, Gen Y

Our Ten Rules for Branding to the Millennial Market.

Like no generation before them, the Millennials are breaking the rules, forging their own identity and creating headache’s for brand owners and marketers. Within the next decade, this increasingly powerful group of consumers will outnumber Baby Boomers by more than 20 million, disrupting categories globally as they go.

Our Millennial Branding Manifesto is drawn from our insights working with brands to connect with this market. We have created this set of principles to help guide the thinking of anyone with a brand that serves the Millennial market.


Rule No. 1
There’s no such thing as a ‘typical’ millennial

Millennials are not homogenous. While they may have some things in common, many have polarising views and attitudes to just about every aspect of their life. Anyone who owns or manages a brand focused on the millennial market understands the importance of looking beyond age or demographics to understand niche groups and identify the behaviors, emotions and moments that matter most and where they can truly ‘add value’.


Rule No.2
Millennials are genuine market disruptors

From Netflix to UberEats, millennials have proven they have the will and the power to disrupt markets. No generation has ever brought with them such a unique view on the world, and accordingly disproportionately reward those brands who are able to share that vision.


Rule No.3
Respect the numbers

Millennials are no passing fad. They already represent 22% of the population and 34% of the workforce. They are well on their way to being the most influential demographic across every aspect of society from commerce to politics.


Rule No.4
She loves me, she loves me not

Perhaps more than any generation before, millennials demand brands to be focussed on them as individuals. Brands that try to appeal to every millennial will end-up appealing to no-one.


Rule No.5
You can’t be all things

Successful millennial brands are defined as much (and maybe more) by what they are not as they are defined by what they are. All brands need to follow this rule, but it is doubly important for brands appealing to millennials.


Rule No.6
Be true, not a cliché

Don’t try to be what you think millennials want or what is on trend at the moment. The brands that millennials respect and love the most are those who have a strong and authentic vision and purpose that they believe in and want to be part of.


Rule No.7
Live the brand everyday

Build a culture of brand ambassadors. Make sure every employee understands their role and is emotionally committed to delivering and growing the brand.


Rule No.8
Improve or die

Understand what really matters most to your audience. Always look for ways to improve what you do, how you do and to ultimately make the lives of your customers better.


Rule No.9
Give them a reason to share

Millennials gain social currency from sharing their inspiration with others. Develop assets and tools that help them solve problems and create something for themselves and their friends. Make it easy for them to seamlessly integrate unique branded content with their social media.


Rule No.10
Make them feel in control of the brand

Ask, listen and engage. Don’t treat them like a customer. Make them feel like an owner of the brand who has the power to shape and improve the brand.


If you have a brand that serves the millennial market (yes, this is not a group of consumers you sell to), we’re the agency you need to be talking with. Get in touch, we’d love to help build your brand.