Research Insights: Brands that Connect With Millennials

Understanding how and why brands connect with Gen-Y is critical to Millennial marketing, but research on the subject can be hard to come by. Primary brand research is often closely guarded. That makes figuring out what Millennials want now and, more important, will want in the future a challenge for those without money to spend on getting out and talking to them. Here are three great, free resources on Millennial brands:

1. Outlaw Consulting Trend Reports: Outlaw specializes in researching Millennial trendsetters. They have been doing this longer than anyone I know and provide great content on their site in the form of their in-depth newsletters. These newsletters are full blown reports. They profiled the top 15 brands.

2. Business Week shared their list of brands with global girl appeal (“How Brands Become Girl Approved“) as part of an overall survey of global brands. There were the usual suspects: Coca-Cola, Apple, Starbucks, and Google. But there are also a few surprises — Ford, Citi, H&M, Motorola. Actually, I am not so sure about the surprises and neither are they. But what I especially liked was the slide show, the synopsis of what each brand means to girls and suggestions for what it could mean.

3. Graham Brown also has a long record of understanding youth culture, especially mobile marketing to youth. His blog, contains a wealth of data and links to slide presentation on youth culture and mobile marketing. For a sample, check out this presentation to Vodaphone on slideshare:

I especially value the links to four slideshare presentations on the Gen Y appeal of four specific brands: Scion, Jones, EA games and Red Bull. He describes these as ‘brands with uncommon sense’. Here is the Red Bull presentation.