On Millennial FOMO and How Brands Can Be Aces in a Valley of Jokers

For millennials, content is king, influencers are queen, and brands are lucky if they’re the jokers at the end of the deck.

As marketers continue to struggle with reaching this audience, the proverbial “millennial problem” is getting harder to ignore. By 2020, they will comprise more than 33% of adult Americans; by 2025, 75% of our workforce. The potential of their future spending power is very high, indeed!

To better understand what makes these consumers tick and how #FOMO (or “fear of missing out,” and yes, it is a “thing”!) impacts their purchase decisions, we recently attended a panel at Social Media Week.

Image Courtesy: Punchstock

Image Courtesy: Punchstock

What we learned came as no surprise: millennials, having grown up with technology in their classrooms from day one, are faced a deluge of content and choices each and every day. They crave experiences that are jealously-inducing while still wanting to be a part of the fun. As they work to curate their e-dentity with practiced precision, #FOMO is not only pervasive, but the impetus behind so much of what they create.

Among the many hallmarks of the millennial generation is its value of community and experience over material objects. This seems to fly in the face of #FOMO which has not only been proven to drive interest, but ultimately, sales.

On advising brands, the session’s host – Code and Theory’s Kelly Anne Meyers – closed the session by stating that “it’s up to you to figure out how they can become part of that experience.”

The rub, however, lies in how you toe that fine line between creating an enviable content experience and allowing millennials to feel as though they’re part of its story.