Marketers marshaling the millennials

The lie behind much (most?) commercial activity is that vendors — when successful — are providing consumers with what they want. If Tic Tac’s latest offering sells well, its creators will congratulate themselves on having filled a previously unmet need.

In truth, these needs are manufactured and the marketing drive to cater to millennials is in fact a blitzkrieg to control their desires.

The New York Times reports: The makers of Tic Tacs had a problem on their hands.

After 18 months of internal study, they had concluded that the all-important millennial generation might not be content with a mere mint.

No, the millennials wanted entertainment, release from boredom, “emotional rescue.”

So this month a new and more amusing Tic Tac is coming to store shelves — the Tic Tac Mixer, which changes flavors as it melts on the tongue. From cherry to cola, for example, or from peach to lemonade.

It’s yet another play in the millennial mania that is overtaking all manner of businesses, and seems to be getting more obsessive by the day. Not since the baby boomers came of age has a generation been the target of such fixation.

But this has a 21st-century style of urgency — with 24/7 micropandering, psychographic analysis, a high-priced shadow industry of consultants and study after study. (A few from recent days: how luxury brands can connect with millennials; what millennials think about restaurant loyalty programs; and which emotions most influence the purchasing decisions of millennials. Answer: anxiety and empowerment.) [Continue reading…]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email