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SB Voices: More than millennials

While it’s true that defining a target audience is imperative to any brand’s marketing strategy, pigeon-holing consumers through generational categorisation is a redundant practice in 2017, writes Annie Hayes.

Also referred to as ‘Generation Y’, ‘Digital Natives’ and ‘Generation Me’; a quick Google search tells me that the millennial demographic is the most studied and surveyed generation to date.

Born between 1977 and 1996, the term is often used to refer to tech-savvy, socially-conscious, self-obssessed, progressive, nomadic, multi-cultural, liberal individuals. However when you consider that the youngest millennial is just turning 21, and the oldest is hurtling towards 40, raking everyone under one umbrella term seems absurd.

Life seems to move at breakneck pace in the digital age and as such the wants and desires of any given consumer span a few years at best, let alone 20. Employing such vague marketing tactics will surely result in directionless campaign that will fail to engage anyone.

This topic was touched upon during William Grant & Son’s recent market report. An excerpt reads: “A simple example to explain this notion is that of the school lunch hall. Whilst a room may be filled with 100 people of the same age, a series of sub-cultures exist: nerds, jocks, goths, hipsters, punks, rebels, the list goes on. To look at, they are all different, to be approached and spoken to in different ways.

“However there is at least one thing that joins them all together: their core driver is the desire to learn – a single attitude that joins the many. The key to more effective consumer targeting is finding this connecting point; the attitudes and values that are shared.”

By exploring mindset over age, brands can widen the scope of their audience and take steps to appeal to the multifaceted personalities of the people who identify with said mindset.

“Think of the drink you would choose in a lively nightclub with friends on a big night out, versus your choice on a date in a cocktail bar,” the report continues. “The same person will make the decision, but the context completely changes attitude, behaviours, receptiveness to particular marketing tools and ultimately, choice.”

By tapping into attitudes, values and cultural influences, brands can better position themselves to their target consumer – and become more human in the process.

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