Reaching the Unreachable Millennials

Millennials fall between the ages of 18-34 years old and make up one quarter of the UK population. They control £15 billion of direct purchasing power according to recent research, and, as they also form lifelong buying habits, set the shape of consumer spending for decades to come.   Small wonder that marketers fret about engaging them. Recent research from Turn suggests five times more is spent on them than any other segment!

This reflects not only millennials’ importance as a group, but also the difficulty of reaching them.  They are highly resistant to ‘traditional’ advertising, and their habitual multi-screen usage has been described as ‘continuous partial attention’.  But millennials are not resistant to brands or advertising per se – they just relate to content differently.  50% place higher trust in user-generated content and 34% of it comes from social media. 44% text about brands and products, and a huge 84% rely on social opinions when buying. Above all, 80% of millennials want brands to entertain them.

But it is also a fallacy to think of millennials as homogenous.  Recently our eye has been caught by a set of ‘sub-segmentations’ of groups within the broad millennial generation. Segmentation of course, is just a tool to an end – and most helpful one to use depends on your purpose. Here are two we like this month.

The Six Visual Styles of Millennials

Branding consultancy Creative Orchestra identifies six ‘visual styles’ :

Fans of action and drama television programmes, attracted by sepia tones and the mysterious.

The Netflix Millennial – Fans of action and drama television programmes, attracted by sepia tones and the mysterious.

Gaming Millennial

The Gaming Millennial – Lovers of gaming, attracted by high contrasting, action images.


The Urban Millennial – Often seen wearing sports brands, enjoy clubbing and hip-hop


The Techy Millennial – Trendy, tech savvy youngsters, up-to-date with all the latest wearable fashion


The Vintage Millennial – Inspired by the 1920s – 1950s; often sporting a beard; attracted by rugged, stylish looks


The Classic Millennial – Influenced by the 1960s – 1990s; lovers of classic movies and music; rebellious and wild.


Struggling Aspirationals

Silicon Valley based ad tech firm, Turn, goes further, distinguishing four groups along with their relative spending power, habits and how to reach them.


Struggling aspirationals, by far the most numerous group, are also the most fiscally conservative, they point out – so marketing to them needs a focus on value and offers.   Successful Homeowners, Active Affluents and Comfortable TV watchers complete the set. Read the article here.

Whatever segmentation you use, this shows the need to interact with millennials in a relevant way to create brand awareness. Only by getting into the millennial conversation can brands get the attention necessary to influence their purchasing power.

If you want to know more about marketing to millennial men, drop us a line at


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