Oh, millennials. You wonderful, enormous assemblage of entitled, elusive, digitally-savvy, social-media-fiending, meme-generating, disposable-income-garnering, Kanye-misunderstanding, kombucha-drinking target market. What are brands to do about you? You’re the largest generation to date. Everyone wants your attention, and you know it. Brands try everything tactic in the book to win you over, but they forget one very important thing: The book doesn’t exist anymore. You’ve all managed to literally destroy the adages of traditional advertising via becoming “influencers,” snubbing your flash-tatted noses at any sign of overt ads, and basically taking control of the digital space to craft your own world. Brands can either adapt to this new realm… or they can perish. And if they perish, who cares? There’s a glamping site following close behind.

I’m one to talk, I guess. I fit into this generation, which is why I feel entitled enough to write this. (True millennial behavior: Rag on my generation in paragraph 1. Relate in paragraph 2. Come to terms and move on in paragraph 3 and beyond.)I’ve seen first-hand how brands have tried to adapt to the new world the millennial generation has bestowed upon mankind. You can’t throw a dead cat-shaped-rock these days without running into some report highlighting how this generation acts, what they want, how they desire to be spoken to, where they shop, who they listen to, and/ or what their goals are. It’s no lie. If a brand wants to connect with us, it’s only a matter of searching, “What the hell do millennials want?” on the ol’ Google. ATTN Brands: If you actually do search that, prepare to get your hands dirty and your head confused. There’s no clear answer. We’re just an elusive bunch. But I already said that.

We’re also the bunch with money to burn. Did you know that millennials, all 80 billion of us / them, are spending upwards or $600 billion each year? (That’s billion with a ‘b’.) And how are we making our purchases? Well sorry to burst a bubble if you’re a brand reading this, but we’re getting our information from each other. If my friend, Wil (yes my friend is the same name as me with one less ‘L’), tells me I need the new MacBook Pro, I will listen. I’ll buy it. Now if Apple tells me I need it with a slick ad, I’ll say something like, “Geeeeez. It just has a shiny new button. Not worth the extra grand.” Same goes for tacos. Same goes for shoes. Same goes for sleeping pills.

So, brands, it’s time to understand a bit more about the millennials you want to target. This infographic, How Millennials Are Changing the Shopping Landscape, from IMI should help out a bit.

millennial shopping trends

So you think you got what it takes to market to the millennials? Show us your stuff.