Millenials want straight-shooting authenticity

Three circles. First circle says "Branding is what you are." Second circle says "Marketing is What you do." Third circle says "Selling is what you say." The three circles intersect and where they do is the word "authenticity"
“How do you truly #influence customers?” by Walter Lim, Flickr Creative Commons is licensed under CC BY 4.0

It’s no secret that Joe Biden is popular among Millenials and I’ve long-argued that the reason behind this is simple: Whether you love him or hate him, you know who he is (or think you do anyway) and that authenticity is something that the Millenials, those who grew  up in a world of questionable information and characters, are attracted to.

With this in mind, it’s not surprising that the Millenials are more supporting of Donald Trump than the Republican candidate closest to them in age and political stance, Marco Rubio.

According to USA Today:

What seems to be attracting younger people so far this campaign season are not policy positions or attack ads but “softer attributes” such as leadership, character, authenticity and celebrity, said John Della Volpe, director of polling at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, which has done extensive research on the attitudes of young voters.

It helps to explain why someone from an older generation – like blunt-spoken, universally known businessman Donald Trump, 69, – often appeal to the younger set., he said.

And why Millenials tend to favor Bernie Sanders.

At the same time, Millenials don’t tend to vote, which means, popular with them or not, the current set of candidates may be better off appealing to a broader voter base, who don’t always favor blunt, straight-shooting talk.

But this may change it the future. And, this tells us a lot as marketers about how, if we are targeting to Millenials now, we may want to approach them. Whether or not they view an organization as authentic may have greater value than if they like your product, service, or benefits.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. scscheffler says:

    Nicole: I’d be curious to see a generational breakdown of the Republican candidates supporters – especially Millenials. While I agree that this generation seeks authenticity, I question if Trump’s authenticity is what they really want. I have some pretty “authentic” relatives – but their ideas, beliefs, values, etc., are so polarizing, combative and unattractive that it doesn’t matter how authentic they are. There’s something to be said for civility – and humility. Those are qualities to which ALL generations are drawn. And, in Trump’s case, they are in short supply.

  2. nicolefinkbeiner says:

    Thank you so much for commenting! I think there is a bit of “what they say they want” vs. “what they will really act on” here. A lot of people say they want Trump’s version of authenticity, but does that mean they will vote for him? Not necessarily.

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