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5 Clues About 'Mysterious' Millennials

Did you know Millennials don't want to be advertised "to?" They much prefer brands that advertise "with." Research suggest there are five traits that can help you understand and market to this group, which ranges in age from 16 to 30.

Millennials are in classrooms, on campus and spread throughout the entry tiers of the workforce. As with every new generation, marketers want to influence their brand preferences and purchasing decisions. Research and analysis by The Hartman Group has identified five traits of "a generation that has adapted to its environment by learning not to listen."

The first trait—and concern—is that  is that many Millennials tend to be "brand agnostic." (This is where the "not listening" part comes in). Millennials want to customize their lifestyles and to see brands as "their own." Another thing to be aware of, these researchers believe, is that to Millennials, the term "sustainability" may not mean recycling, composting and being green. It can just as often mean "being a good guy" (in terms of social responsibility). Thus, companies who treat their employees well can be seen as having a higher stature than those who simply participate in fair trade initiatives.

The second trait is about the fact that while you may think they're all about technology, many Millennials are seeing this as a negative thing that prevents them from interacting with the world. Other traits include Millennials' views on personal care (baking soda and cider vinegar shampoo, anyone?); their advertising preferences and how they forge relationships with brands.

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