American Made Brands for Gen Y (Millennials)

in Branding Digital Marketing | by Admin

Why are Brands Targeting Millennials?

Much like people, generations have personalities and defining features. Although no one-person is alike, people from the same generation often have common values and similar perspectives due to the time period in which they’re raised. Millennials (a.k.a. Generation Y) are said to be self-confident, upbeat, expressive individuals who are open to new ideas. With 7 billion and counting, the world’s population is growing daily, making Millennials the largest generation in American history. Besides being the largest generation, Millennials are on the fast track to becoming the most educated generation on record. Although there is no specific date range for when this generation starts and ends, the rough estimate suggests it defines individuals born between the early 1980’s to early 2000’s.

This being said, Millennials make up roughly 21% of the population and are already making big purchasing decisions that place them in control of the spending. Here’s the run-down: Millennials seek engagement and have a high need for social interaction. They are said to have a limited attention span and are constantly multi-tasking, meaning they want life made easier, quicker, and faster. If you’re wondering how your brand can reach this fast-paced generation, look no further.

5 Key Attributes that Millennials Seek in a Brand

1. Authenticity

Millennials want to connect with brands that are honest in nature and true to themselves. If consumers feel that a brand is truthful and honest, brand loyalty will increase. Keep in mind that developing trustworthy relationships with consumers is critical to maintaining a respectable brand.

NikeWith words like empowerment and entitlement, the “Just do it” slogan embodies a revolutionary marketing campaign that represents a resilient brand. Nike is a perfect example of an authentic brand that takes Millennials by the chokehold. Encompassed by words of inspiration, this brand has shaped a powerful company culture. By focusing solely on the needs of customers, Nike created an entirely original marketing approach. Nike is greatly rewarded for its ability to anticipating future trends and adapt to a changing world. Nike has revolutionized the “wow” factor through its commitment to preserving a genuine brand. What makes Nike still so popular? From pants with ventilation to seamless fabrics, Nike always keeps the user in mind. With frequent announcements of top of the line enhancements, they aim to keep their customer happy, in the most authentic way.

2. Mobility

Since Millennials are consumed by mobile technology, the new wave of smartphones and tablets has taken over. Industries that have recognized the need for mobile have already begun marketing to the next generation of consumers.

SquareA company like Square is taking mobile one step further. If you’ve heard of Square, you know it’s revolutionizing the mobile industry. By making mobile even easier, Square allows a business or vendor the capability of accepting credit card payments on the go, all from the comforts of a mobile phone. Today’s smart phone is the new virtual cash register. From venturing down a path never traveled, Square took advantage of the developing mobile trend and discovered a new market opportunity. An idea like Square is proving to be extremely successful since it capitalizes on an emerging market.

“71%of teens ages 12-17 have a cell phone, up from 45% in 2004.”

 – Pew Research

3. Engagement

When envisioning the characteristics of a Millennial, social interaction and engagement come to mind. Millennials feel the need to always be connected. A brand that seeks success in the 21st century must keep in mind why engagement matters. Besides the need for a dynamic approach to marketing, Gen Y brands must be constantly evolving to maintain a strongly bonded connection with its consumers.


Shopping and entertainment have now reached a digital age, fortunately engagement is what Amazon does best. From consumer-generated reviews to offering suggestions based on purchase behaviors, Amazon speaks to an involved generation. By allowing a connected generation the ability to shop online through their phones, tablets or computers, cyber-shopping has shaped the future of spending. Besides offering convenience and time-savings, Amazon delivers customers a one-stop-shop across all mobile devices.

4. Sustainability

A socially conscious “eco-friendly” brand is highly respected by the Millennial generation. With a responsibility to sustain the world’s resources, Millennials are concerned with improving renewable energy and keeping bi-product waste to a minimum.

traderjoesA brand like Trader Joes concentrates on providing quality goods, while supporting sustainability. Trader Joe’s tagline is “your neighborhood grocery store,” despite having 398 stores nationwide. The brand’s commitment to being a good neighbor is promoted by its environmentally friendly products and local involvement. With a wide array of quality, low-priced groceries offering options such as vegan, vegetarian, and so on, Trader Joes has brilliantly positioned themselves as a brand that cares about the environment and its people. Roughly 80 percent of Trader Joe’s products are ‘private’ labels, which comprise of no preservatives, GMO, MSG, trans fat or artificial flavors. It’s rare for a supermarket chain to retain the atmosphere of a local neighborhood grocery store, but in all the years it’s been open, it has been attracting conscious consumers with a loyal following.

5. Pushing Boundaries

Brands that seek to target Millennials should not be afraid to take risks. Brands today must have big attitudes and awe striking personalities. A brand that stands up and says, “whether you like us or not, here’s what we stand for” creates influence and builds brand loyalty. A brand that accepts differences, while standing for something bigger, will make a hug impact in a Millennial’s eyes.

chubbiesTaking a subculture by the horns, there is no doubt that Chubbies fully understands their market. Chubbies is a cleverly cunning brand that embraces the frat bother mentality. Their disruptive approach allows them to be blunt and honest, while winning the hearts of Millennials. By targeting a niche market, Chubbies has unlocked an ingenious way to market to consumers.

“Cargo shorts are the only form of contraception that is 100% effective”  – Fact #32 Chubbies website.

According to Doug Banker, founder of the website BroBible, bros can be described as “18- to 34-year-old guys who are socially active, upwardly mobile, career ambitious, and hyper connected.” An emphasis on “bro culture” is an expanding market for both small businesses like Chubbies and big companies like Red Bull, which frequently sponsor college events and fraternities. By glorifying the fraternity culture, they have brilliantly designed an ironic and revealing brand image.

What Now?

Well, now that you’re an expert on the five keys to winning a Millennial, keep in mind the one thing these brands have in common: Adaptability to change. This new cutting edge generation seeks quality engagement and social change. Remember that being different is not only accepted among Millennials, it’s encouraged! Whether your brand is enlightened, connected, involved, socially conscious or just plain eccentric, a generation of loyal followers is just around the corner.

To learn more about how to best market to your target audience, contact Sparxoo today and speak to an expert on our team.