Millennials are "Killing" Brands

By Jaylin Paschal

Originally Posted on Medium.

Buffalo Wild Wings. Apple Bees. J Crew. Gap. Abercrombie & Fitch. Aeropostale.

All brands that have been “killed” at the hands of the youth, according to business magazines and top advertisement firms. But are millennials reallyas murderous as we’re being made out to be? Or are these brands simply suicidal?

Refusal to rebrand and adopt to modern consumerism is the real cause of death here. These brands won’t leave behind 1) old business plans, 2) overpriced mediocrity, 3) generic products and 4) ancient design, layout and floorplans.

So millennials are blamed, essentially, for not settling for less. For demanding excitement, innovation and individuality. If it’s not moving the needle, we’re not interested. Millennial money gravitates towards technology, streetwear, themed restaurants, alcohol-infused ice cream, online grocery services. We like to think of ourselves as cutting edge, and we like to spend money on goods parallel to that ideal.

Furthermore, millennials do not have the daunting and crippling sense of brand loyalty older generations abide by. If we’re annoyed by a Pepsi commercial, we’ll just buy the “sparkling lemonade” that comes in a cuter bottle anyways. We have no problem letting corporate giants fall to their knees if they refuse to meet us where our standards lie. “But while there have been many people decrying millennials lack of loyalty, acting as if it’s some kind of a character flaw that this generation refuses to buy products which it finds inferior, the fact is that it’s not only a sign of intelligence in the millennial consumer, but it’s also a remarkable opportunity for brands to develop in ways that will not only benefit them with millennial consumers, but that could benefit them long-term (Iversen, Nylon).” Ultimately, millennials have collectively decided that everyone is replaceable. A pressure that has raised the bar for capitalist ventures in this country, opened an unbelievably wide door for startups and filtered out the average to make room for the great.

And as the largest demographic, the buying power we hold is enough to have to final say so. Keep up, or die. There is no “left behind.”

The bottom line is: Hire young people. Hear them out. Use their ideas. Implement fresh marketing strategies. Require impeccable design. Innovate with products and services. Do more, better.

Jaylin PaschalComment