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Establishing a connection with their users is a smart game that brands need to play. By sharpening their intelligence and making good use of their wits, some brands have successfully made a mark and left a strong impact on the millennials.

Millennials or Generation Y are the demographic cohorts that directly follow Generation X. Often credited with coining the term Millennials, Neil Howe and William Strauss define the millennial generation as those individuals born between the years 1982 and 2004. This generation has seen their fair share of ups and downs, from being directly impacted by the 2007-08 economic slowdown to being the only generation in history to actively participate in the global shift from analog to digital systems, and of course, the growth and popularity of the internet and everything else that came with it.

Arguably the largest demographic right now, a Brooking’s data study shows that by 2025, almost 75% of the workforce will be millennials. Therefore, as they make up a large part of today’s (and the future) consumer audience, brands have started changing the way they speak, to effectively connect with this generation.

 

Let’s take a look at a few trends in design, communication & marketing for the millennial generation by VGC:

Millennial
Millennial
Millennial

1. Shorter Attention Spans, Shorter Content

With the inception of internet ads and social media, content (especially video content) has constantly been getting shorter. And with the introduction of Vine in 2013 (Vine allowed users to upload and share six-second long video loops), Snapchat and more recently Instagram stories, brands have found creative ways to connect with millennials in a very short time span.


Millennial
Millennial

2. Spending with a Purpose

If there is one thing that millennials support, it is a purpose or causes that they can get behind.

 

Brands with social responsibilities/purposes like Toms shoes (where for every pair of shoes sold, they gift a pair of shoes to an underprivileged child) or WeWOOD (that plants a tree for every watch they sell) connect very well with millennials as they feel that they’ve actively participated in an effort to make the world a better place.


Millennial
Millennial

3. Hype, Collaborations and Limited Period Drops

The Millennial generation can also be called the ‘Hype’ generation. Anything (from art to a product or service) that is able to generate enough hype becomes very attractive to millennials.

 

Take the Adidas x Dragonball collection (which was unique because an iconic Anime Saga collaborated with a leading sneaker brand) or the entire line of Supreme collaborations (originally a skate company, Supreme has collaborated with the who’s who of luxury brands), some a of which are downright weird, including a crowbar priced upwards of $250, which goes to show that any product can be a success if it is able to generate enough hype and perhaps, also drops for a limited period of time.


Millennial
Millennial

4. Bold Typography and Colourful Minimalism

How do you get a brand communication to stand out from amongst the tons of other content there is out there?

 

Simple, make it unique, creative, colourful and bold.

 

Millennials love minimalism, but the benchmark is much higher than what it used to be. Flat design, paired with bold typography and vibrant, contrasting colours make for an attention-grabbing website or creative piece.


Millennial

5. Personalized Experiences and Creative Participation 

Brands today have become more inclusive by getting consumers to participate in various aspects of the brand experience.

 

Take for instance Absolut Vodka, a brand known for its creative collaboration and promoting art & creativity, allowing young designers to take a crack at designing a bottle for the Indian market or Coca-Cola with its game changing ‘Share a coke with’ campaign, that made (nearly) everyone feel like they were special when Coke put their name on their cans.

When a consumer gets to participate in or co-create a brand experience, it really helps create a lasting impression of the brand in their mind.

 

As the millennial generation continues to be the largest consumer segment and as everything else around changes, there sure will be a rise in the number of exciting new trends, techniques, and mechanisms by which brands and consumers will interact.

Millennial
Millennial
Issue 45

Published in Issue 45

When celebrations are all around for the new year, everyone is curious about what this new year will bring. So, the rounds of looking back to the past year and trying to predict the new one starts. We started the same exploration through this issue by reaching various experts for their take on the trends for their respective fields. And with many expert interviews, we got various unique viewpoints, as Elephant Design shared the importance of having a well-thought packaging design for products. And on another hand, VGC gave an insight into, how a brand should be created for the Millennials. But to top it all, with very deep logical design thought, Itu Chaudhuri says that the trends are a modern seasonal disease, and we designers should continue taking it with a grain of ethically-produced, iodide-rich rock or sea salt. All-in-all this issue is a very interesting and a must-read, if you’re looking for greater clarity and want to start your year with a lot of deep design knowledge about the brand development to packaging design, user experience design, to storyboarding and more.

 

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