Taking the Long View: Millennials Won’t Be Broke Forever

Have you seen that great ad by Miller High Life that captures the reality of cash-strapped Millennial consumers? As one of those Millennials just starting out and trying to establish a life on my own while balancing student debt – I really could relate!  Miller Beer did a great job of capturing the angst of what it’s like going from being a broke college student to a broke Millennial.  Mainly, the reality of life after college doesn’t necessarily live up to the hype.  This clever campaign highlights the opportunity for brands to connect meaningfully with my cohort – both today and into the long term.

As newly launched “real” adults, Millennials are making purchase decisions to fill refrigerators, prepare meals, clean bathrooms, do laundry completely on their own for the first time, etc.  Our recent study on student debt shows that Millennials feel under tremendous pressure to manage their financial obligations and daily expenses, citing food, clothing, travel and entertainment as the top areas they cut back on to save money.  Brands in these categories need to focus on messaging that either positions them as a good value or a necessity that can’t be cut.

More importantly, brands need to connect on an emotional level so that as these consumers mature and become more affluent, the brand continues to be relevant.  Miller’s “we get you” approach is an effective one, as would be tug-on-the-heartstrings messaging that connect brands with former family life and home, hearkening to simpler times when Mom took care of (and paid for) everything.

For more information on our Impact of Student Debt survey, click here.