Here we are, precariously perched on the precipice of a great cliff, held up on the backs of data-saturated, meme-obsessed millennials not so different from myself. My generation is known as the generation of apathy, of laziness, of irony, and of frozen yogurt. But I deny the truth of three out of four of those claims.
It’s not that we are lazy or apathetic, but rather we are delivered a constant stream of information, ads, data, commercials, and new gadgets at such a speed that we, as a collective, have difficulty holding on to anything that is tangible. We evolved alongside the iPhone, and we watched as older generations became obsolete; both in regards to tech and actual people. So, in essence, we are a hard demographic to pin down.
Which brings me to my main point: how in the hell do you market to a consumer whose taste is constantly changing? Many companies try to go the meme route, using whatever inside joke Twitter or Tumblr has beaten to death, and that corporate abuse of humor is actually the nail in the coffin for any good internet joke. No, there is one simple and yet oh so complicated way to market to millennials and ensure your brand survives: evolve, or die.
I have worked content strategy for film, music, finance, even politics. The one thing that ensures a company’s success from my experience is the capacity to evolve and change with a demographic that consumes at a voracious rate, and then suddenly doesn’t want that same thing anymore. Or they want an evolved version of that thing. Or they want that thing but with an app that lets your cat talk to you in a funny accent. You have to find a way to go niche and be broad, you have to find a way to appeal to the masses without coming across as corny. Your company has to become a juxtaposition of specificity and mass appeal.
In other terms, you have to find a way to keep up with the Joneses, in an age where the Joneses aren’t sure what they want.