6 Tips for Targeting Millennial’s through Marketing Design

As Spotify and Hulu join forces to create a package for students and Apple rolls out its 10th version of an iPhone, there is a consistent push toward targeting the millennial demographic among most current business ventures. When approached by clients to design advertisements, work on branding, or anything else related to marketing, you’ll often hear the desperate urge to reach the young adult audience. While yes, it is important to target a younger audience, it’s also important not to ostracize them as if millennials and members of “Generation Z,” are rare and elusive creatures.

For all intents and purposes of this article, let’s use the term “millennial,” to describe anyone born between 1985 and 2000, since they are the most recent bunch of consumers that are reaching financial independence that companies are after. Keeping the latest generations in mind, here are a few key tips on how to succeed at marketing to these early-adopters.

1: Know Your Product Inside and Out

When working on new project for a client, be sure that any information included in the project can be sufficiently backed up with an explanation that is supported with evidence and proof. According to The Economist, the millennial generation is one of the highest educated in US history, so they are not afraid to ask questions. When a product is described as, “New and Improved”, “Now 100% More Efficient”, or any type of promises, be able to answer questions about these claims. For example, companies can now turn to social media to address any consumer speculation about product claims. While Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are crucial when marketing a product or service, they also provide a platform that allows consumers to critique, ask questions, and start conversations about the company. Make sure each of your design elements can be explained.

2: Remain Consistent in Branding

With a plethora of information coming to the attention of the average, everyday consumer, it’s imperative to remain consistent across branding and package designs. For example, Christian Louboutin’s red bottom shoes, Tiffany & Co.’s iconic blue color, and Target’s red and white bullseye are all companies who have a consistent theme across various products. The average revenue increase attributed to brand consistency is 23%, but it takes 5 to 7 brand impressions before a consumer will remember your brand. That being said, feel free to shake up design elements for a company but make sure that it’s cohesive to the company’s color and design.

3:  Offer Convenience to the Customer

Whether you are creating a new product or designing marketing materials, you want your work to stand out. Since many millennials are looking for the most convenient product at the most affordable cost, this younger demographic can sort through what best fits their lifestyle. Therefore, it’s important to make a strong design to showcase your work. While the design doesn’t have to be simple by any means, make sure that the marketing around it best showcases how adding your product will enhance everyone’s life.

4: Apply the Millennial Mindset to Every Consumer

It’s understandable that marketers and designers might get tunnel vision and think that only 18-30 year olds are the ones shopping online or buying products. When making any type of artwork for a product, remember that Baby Boomers and Generation X members are also tech-savvy and have learned to use the same mindset that the current generation uses when making purchases. According to Adweek, 65% of Baby Boomers prefer Facebook as their go-to social media which makes them the largest generation to utilize that particular website while only 33% of millennials favor it.  Of course some product designs could and should be generation specific, but for wider uses, make sure to make something that doesn’t leave out other generations.

5: Make Your Work Multi-Media Friendly

While it’s not only important to keep the company colors at the forefront of your product, make sure that it can be showcased on any media. Since millennials are moving away from traditional media like TV and print, your work must be able to be viewed across any type of social media and digital formats. For example, having an interactive design that only works on desktop computers but not on the interface of a smartphone will hinder the reach your product could have. Going forward with multi-media designs, you can propose advertising a sponsored post on Facebook or Instagram since that will most likely gain more traction than in a magazine.

6: Don’t Try Too Hard

Trying too hard to relate to the largest generation in history is the downfall of a lot of product marketing. Although it’s important to be aware of current trends and pop culture, it’s equally as important not to have your design sound like a parent who is trying to stay “hip,” by learning their teenager’s lingo. It’s easy for the generation of digital natives to pick out brands they identify with pretty quickly, so keep your product’s advertisements succinct but genuine.

With all of this in mind, just remember that there is no right or wrong answer to working on projects that keep millennials and younger demographics at the forefront. However, it is important to know the general basics of what these demographics look for in order to consider a design that is appealing and successful. At the end of the day, companies and designers that put thought and effort into their product will always connect with consumers beyond a superficial level and leave a mental or emotional impact, so make sure to keep creating quality content no matter what generation it’s trying to attract.

Do you have any go-to tips for designing specifically for a millennial? Let us know in the comments below!

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