Tap into a Lifestyle, not a Demographic

One of our guiding principles in marketing has been the difference between an age group and a target demographic. Recently, we’ve found a growing number of sources that confirm this approach.

A bunch of article’s on marketingweek.com has addressed the growing difference between a demographic and a mind set. The piece “Is Targeting Millennials a Lazy Marketing Strategy?” explains that a lot of what are now labelled millennials (people born between the mid 1980s and mid 1990s) feel disconnected to marketing campaigns and messages. The article concludes that:

It is clear that brands need to adapt their approach to reaching these young adult consumers. However, instead of a change in messaging to reach this valuable age group, perhaps they should stop thinking of them as a “group” at all.

Then, in an article about Smirnoff’s new campaign “We’re Open” (or “We’re On”? The article leaves us confused) Dan Hatton, marketing manager at Smirnoff, talks about what it means for a brand to be “more always on and present in culture”.

[H]e adds that “the days of buying media against one target group are long gone”, and says it is a “mind set” and “attitudinal consumer” with a certain set of beliefs the brand is trying to reach rather than an age group.

In both cases it becomes clear that it is quite a challenge to follow your quantitative consumer research. Belonging to a target group has become a mind set, and has shifted away from being in a certain age bracket. Richard Armstrong, founder of content marketing agency Kameleon, puts it well when he states:

“Sure, there will be always be similarities and common passion-points across similar age groups, but glaring differences appear when you look at an audience born across two-decades. Take the Spice Girls and Jake Boys (if you don’t know who he is I think my point is made).”