Where to Market to Millennials? Music Festivals

Everyone still isn’t quite sure just who the Millennial generation is. Millennials aren’t even sure who they are. Seriously, when did ‘Millennial’ become a word? (Is it Generation X or Y…It’s confusing. I digress.) Companies are paying big bucks to figure this out and then target this dynamically complex market. Yes, they are ‘hipsters’ and social media addicts, but they are also a generation of 86 million consumers. Consumers that are expected to spend almost $2.5 trillion within the next year. Now the million dollar question is….will your brand be a part of that?

Brands are using everything they have in their advertising arsenal to reach this audience including social media, traditional media, word of mouth, and viral advertising. Those methods are obvious and becoming more traditional, cliché, and less genuine as brands saturate online air waves. So where else can you target Millennials? It doesn’t take a fancy market research firm to tell you where Millennials are. Just look on Twitter and see that Coachella has been trending steadily for over 12 hours because the lineup was announced at 10pm last night. Millennials are at music festivals. I will waive my fee for this golden nugget of information this time.

pitchfork

Pitchfork Music Festival 2012-Chicago

Every year, it seems a new music festival is popping up in a random city. I know this as I am a music festival junkie. I have gladly paid good money to go to Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Trillectro, Wavefront, and Hangout Music Festival multiple times. And I am paying really good money (i.e. it’s super expensive) to go to Coachella this year. (Insert Outkast reference and happy emoticon) As a Millennial and as a marketer, I can tell you this is one of the best places to authentically reach consumers and potentially convert them to customers. Millennials are savvier shoppers than baby boomers and more educated consumers thanks to being digital natives. This means your job as a marketer is just that much harder.

Having a dual lens on this subject, I will give you some insight. Beyond the amazing music, people are attending music festivals to be a part of something magical. They want to experience something special and share it with their friends. Forbes said it best in a 2013 article, “Then there is the feeling of community, which is inherent in a generation raised on social media. Millennials want to feel like a vital part of a lively, desirable group. And the brands that keep this in mind will best reach this generation of consumers.” Music festivals are an escape from everyday life and a heightened experience. Music festivals are cool. Music festivals are hip. They are the embodiment of what it is to be a Millennial today.

Today’s youth would rather spend $250 on a 3-day pass to a music festival than pay and download a full album off of iTunes. Seriously, when is the last time a Millennial purchased a full album and don’t say Beyoncé. Music festivals are the ultimate sampler platter to see what they like. Now, how does your brand fit in? Enhance the experience for the Millennial. Also, let them sample your brand along with new music. My next post is going to discuss the best ways to do this from my experience. As I said, I’m a music lover and festival fanatic. Plus, I’m over this Chicago weather and dreaming of sunny days and summer festivals. I’m a Millennial.

Images via http://www.google.com

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