Slash Culture: The Continued Rise of the Millennial Consumer

The dreaded impact of the millennial consumer in the eyes of the “Old School” marketing and advertising professional has essentially turned the whole industry on its head. Millennial buying power will soon surpass that of the generations before them, and brands will have to work harder than ever to meet demands. They will continue to influence trends, all the while expecting the world around them to adapt accordingly.

A panel led by Viacom’s Director of Culture and Creative Insights, Maya Peterson, kicked off with the statement that only 32% of millennials believe that brands are as trust worthy as people are. To gain their trust authentically, brands are pulling out all the stops to cater to the millennial convenience driven and flexible lifestyle. Brands are taking a lot of stock in delivering hyper personalized experiences to capitalize on millennials’ many different tastes and preferences.

What I’m coining as “Slash Culture,” (no, this has no relation to the campy 80s horror movies you may know and love) seems to be leading the way in making sure millenials don’t feel bound by one label or stereotype. What many people see as the “Me Me Me” generation, I see as refreshingly unapologetic.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have my doubts about influencer marketing, but if brands tap into something unique that isn’t fake or forced, a true connection can be made.

Panel member Hannah Bronfman, who is a DJ slash entrepreneur slash beauty expert slash health and wellness enthusiast, spoke to the room about the authenticity of herself as a brand. Because she is true to herself, what she stands for is authentic and she has therefore been able to create a cult following. As a global brand ambassador to for adidas and American Express, she’s been able to successfully move the needle for these two powerhouse brands without having to act like something she is not.

When these success stories rise to the surface, we are able to take things a step further and correlate that success to brands being the new icons of culture. With the help of influencers and brand ambassadors, brands can not only become the trend, but set them as well.

Sessions Mentioned:

Brands: The New Icons of Culture: 

Think Millennial: