Is 50% of the market ignoring you? A unique generation, unlike any before, Millennials are adept at identity management and analysis. Their own, and yours. By 2025, they are likely to represent 50% of the market for consumer goods and services. Growing up with digital communication and social media, millennials find it completely natural to manage and manipulate their online personas. Social media enables the shaping and reinvention of identities with a view to displaying an ‘ideal’ self. Take the ‘spontaneous selfie’ published to Facebook or Instagram. It’s almost guaranteed that the posted image is the best of a series of ten or more, that the background has been carefully cropped to manage how the visible content boosts the persona, and that the photo has been otherwise enhanced with colour or tone or focal filters. The end result is not so much how the person appears in real life, but how the person sees their authentic self. It’s a projection for the world to see that communicates an inner feeling – an augmented view, to convey a specific impression. This careful manipulation is needed because millennials know that their post will be approved/rejected by their peers and the wider social media universe in a heartbeat. For brands, it’s crucial to grasp what it takes to pass the approval/rejection test. Simplicity and absolute clarity of purpose are needed to hook into the millennial state of mind. Whether the medium is a website, a social media account, a TV ad, a pack design, a brochure or an event stand, brands must be more focused than ever about communicating what they represent. The augmented, sharpened and honed view of a brand’s true purpose will pass the test. Any fogginess will jeopardise its potential. look again at your website and consider the sophistication with which millennials manage their own online personas. Is your site a bland template filled with pictures and text about your product or service, or is it taking your visitor by the scruff of the neck and giving them an in-your-face brand experience? Will visitors remember what you stand for when they click off? consider the ads you run, be they print, TV or digital. Are they simply words and logos in a box or are you giving audiences one unmistakeable impression of who you really are? Can you be ignored, and are you relying entirely on unending repetition to bludgeon knowledge of your brand into your audience? take a look at your product packaging and POS presence. Is your brand shouting one thing clearly from the shelf to jump in front of its competitors? Or is it trying to be too many things – obscured by blandness, uncertainty and mixed messaging? The list goes on, across the entire array of marketing communications. Capturing the millennial audience is becoming critically important for the success of most brands. To make the grade, a brand must always remain true to its core purpose. It must remain distinctive and not allow itself to be diluted by bolting on every passing trend. It must be honed, polished and perfected so that its attributes are communicated unmistakably. It must be authentic. 2017 authentic. Fizzbuzz specialises in Branding and Marketing Communications, with offices in Australia and the UK.