REALLY Generation Y.  You’ve heard that we don’t watch TV, and you’ve probably been told that we don’t read that much.  Your research tells you that you can’t target us through MTV anymore, and you certainly can’t my Gen Y what is cool.  So how do you reach our 71 million “Millennials” that spend over 200 billion dollars annually and will soon replace the baby boomer generation as the largest percentage of the workforce?  The answer is simple—you STOP marketing to us.  Let me explain.
First, let’s look at who we are.Through the eyes of a baby boomer, My DAD! can tell you that this generation—sometimes called the “Connecteds”—are our own invention.  We raised Gen Y to believe that they can do anything and be anything.  We made their lives easy enough that they now believe they deserve to live first and work second. (How dare them!)  So the first thing we have to do is stop being pissed off at our own creation and embrace the brilliance of this Gen Y community.
This is the most optimistic generation to ever walk the face of the planet.  We absolutely believe that miracles are possible.  We refuse to work a job that does not bring them a sense of joy.  We care about the earth and servicing their community.  In Gen Y, we have created the possibility for everything that we wanted for the world.  So baby boomer you must stop whining about us being entitled and embrace the power of this generation.  Once you do that, we can then begin to take a closer look at who we are, what makes us tick, and what us want from your businesses.
Let’s look at who has been successful at marketing our Gen Y: Apple, Jet Blue, Trader Joes, Jones Soda, Mountain Dew, and Red Bull, to name a few.  How do these companies speak to this demographic?  To answer that, we first have to understand the four areas Gen Y considers before purchasing a product or service:
  1. Cheap cost
  2. Good quality
  3. Fast service
  4. An “experience”
When Apple created the 99-cent download that took eight seconds to transact, they hit the nail on the head with Gen Y.  Music is an experience, the quality is stellar, the cost is low, and the purchase happens instantly.  What did Apple do right?  They spoke directly to my Gen Y and asked the question: What do you want?
So who gets Gen Y’s attention?  Living in an age where information is everywhere and where everyone can reach them, the Gen Y community is VERY selective about who we listen to.  Just look at their Twitter and Facebook accounts, and you’ll recognize that they get their information from one another—NOT from us, and certainly not from the media.  And the information they get from each other is not in emails, which most of us don’t even touch anymore (I know you probably thought you were being hip with your 100 emails a day!).  We text one another.  We IM.  They watch each other on YouTube.  And sometimes we do all three at the same time! Most importantly, my Gen Y does NOT care about what you have to say unless you have been endorsed by their friends. They care about what our community says, and we take each other and their network’s recommendations VERY seriously.
So taking that into account, how do you reach my Gen Y?  Well, understand that Gen Y is an “experience” culture.  We do not want to be told what to like or what to do.  We want to experience the world for ourselves and pass our own judgment.  We love to be in the trenches of life, and we want to be there with our friends.  HERE is where you have to meet us if you want to be taken seriously and respected by my generation enough for us to buy from you:
·         Concerts (Gen Y LOVES live music.)
·         Extreme sporting events (skateboarding, snowboarding, BMX)
·         Movies (mainstream as well as art-house)
·         Hiking events (They love the outdoors)
·         Video games and video game competitions (Cyber Athlete Professional League, GameCaster, Global Gaming League)
·         Mashups (Weather Bonk, Where’s Tim Hibbard, Y! Mash,  Sims on Stage)
·         Social networking Facebook,
·         Tattoo parlors (36 percent of them have at least one tattoo)
Before I wrap this up, there is one more major element we need to discuss, and that is how to earn our respect when you are talking with Gen Y:  AUTHENTICITY.  We don’t waste time on people or companies that are not being real with us.  Authentic is cool.  Authentic is dorky.  Authentic is hip.  Authentic is truthful.  This generation has seen it all, from televised wars to 9-11 to the hanging of Hussein. We know real when we see it, and it takes us all of three seconds to pass that judgment.
So what does all this mean to you?  It means that you cannot directly market to us until you buy into us, until you value our perspective on life.  So while other experts are out there giving you “tricks” to market to Gen Y, I’m here saying STOP marketing to us and START listening to us. Hang out with us. Experience life with us. Respect us. If you do, Our outlook on life will change you. You’ll begin to behave differently, take on some new values, and begin to live more yourself.  When you do that, you’ll find your audience within our generation.  Then talking “with” us, not “at” us will sell your business. But till then. Tha’s why we have build a simple blogging program to connect to us. Let us find you.We really know what we want to do! The question is… do you? Learn with us about High tech low touch way to market to this amazing generation of mine. Don’t be a wussies my Dad says all the time. Time to learn and make money with us. Hope to read your blog soon. Read more at