Storytime with Millennials and Gen Z

Author: Peyton Benge
Posted: Jan 22, 2019

Two years from twenty. Two years from forty. Millennials are an expansive range of individuals who are as easy to comprehend as a Gordan Ramsay cooking video. Deciphering how to talk to them? Now, you’re adding yet another layer to the hazelnut meringue.

Millennials are in the middle of a generational identity crisis. Any given member can identify with generation X, Y or Z. So how do brands connect to Millennials when they don’t embrace a uniform identity? How can marketers approach them while preparing for a more diverse Generation Z? To avoid Ramsay-like ridicule, VI picked a young member on the fringe of the two cohorts to answer all of your questions. Lucky me.


teens at a concert

When you engage any audience, storytelling is your bread and butter.  This also holds true for Millennials and Gen Z. But before you gather them around the proverbial campfire, make sure your story includes these five elements:

1. Make it short and sweet.

Tons of Millennials are busy paying off student loan debt. 2 out of 5 of us have young children. But none of us have time to listen to stories that don’t enrich our lives ­–– without bringing us closer to the end of them.

2. Ask: “What’s the moral of the story?”

It’s important to craft an underlying theme of corporate social responsibility.  If not, you risk losing the interest of nearly 75% of Millennials and Gen Z.

3. Be transparent.

40% of Millennials refer to testimonials before a purchase. If you aren’t upfront with your brand’s story, we’ll use our noodle and our Google to expose the truth online.

4. Make it an experience.

Don’t simply explain why we should use your products. With 3 out of 4 Millennials preferring experiences over 'things', it’s vital to show them how your services impact their day-to-day lives.

5. Don’t “target” your audience.

It makes sense to segment different audiences for effective campaign messaging. Just don’t slap your archetypes on our foreheads. We hate them. 

millennial talking in a group

Much of the data surrounding Gen Z is in a formative state and interpretations vary. But understanding how marketers can effectively connect with Millennials will serve as a good checkpoint for the generation that follows.

You’ve learned how to effectively tell stories to Millennials and Gen Z. Now, find out how to use these five elements in the social realm.

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