Gain marketing insights, consumer behaviour trends and creative inspiration from team BTI
Newsletter Signup
Newsletter Sign-up
Subscribe to our newsletter to gain marketing insights, consumer behaviour trends and creative inspiration.

*By clicking the submit button, you agree to receive newsletters and informational emails from BTI Brand Innovations.

Posted by Stuart Jansen on July 24, 2015

Since the 80’s, we have seen an incredible amount of technological advancements, resulting in a pre-internet generation, commonly referred to as Millennial, having their world repeatedly turned upside down by new technologies that have revolutionized the world. From the internet, social media, mobile phones, 3D animation, robotics, to virtual reality, Millennials (those born from 1980 to the early 2000’s) have witnessed major changes in all aspects of their lives. With all that has changed, Millennials love to look back nostalgically at “the way things used to be”, and are quick to adapt to advancements.

A Millennial’s willingness to adapt, combined with their nostalgic personalities, results in early adoption behaviour, making them the perfect target market.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2015 Movie PosterWhy is nostalgia an important factor for marketing to Millennials? Because it makes them easier to target. There is a reason why McDonald's is bringing back Hamburglar, or why The Avengers, Power Rangers, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies now target adults instead of children. T.V. shows like Full House and Boy Meets World are getting spinoffs decades later, and Netflix just started airing Bill Nye The Science Guy. Even Dorito's is giving away the last "Ketchup Dorito's" with 80's packaging.

Millennials love remembering their childhood, and how different things were "back in the day". When you add nostalgia to your brand or products, or even the design of your ad, Millenials are more likely to talk about it, share about it and make a purchase. When consumer's feel nostalgic about your brand, they feel like you "get" them, and were a part of their "good ol' days". Remember, the majority of Millennials’ Facebook friends are from their childhood, and these are the people who they will share their nostalgic news with.

Another detail to remember is that some Millennials are parents, and they want to share their experience of childhood with their kids. Millennials want to watch their childhood favourites with their kids, and buy them toys and clothing which they themselves can relate to.

Early Adoption Behaviour

New technology transforming their lives is something that Millennials have grown used to and accept. Unlike previous generations where new technology was often met with fear and high resistance to change, 52% of millennials show early adoption behaviour to new products. The traditional "Product Adoption Lifecycle" puts 13.5% of the market as early adopters, and the "Early Majority" as 34%.

 Product Lifecycle Graph

What this means is that in the past when you came up with a new product or technology 2.5% of the market would be the first to buy it; the innovators. Then, upon introducing it into the mass market 13.5% of the market would welcome the change and purchase the product; the early adopters. Next, your product would see it's most rapid growth as the early majority - 34% of the market - would buy it. In your final stage of slow growth, or maturity, the late majority - 34% of the population - would begin to adopt your product. Then you reach decline as you saturate the market and the remaining 16% - The Laggards - purchase your product, while the majority abandon it.

The fact that 50% of the Millennial market are early adopters, means that they want to buy your new product, and they want to be the first to do so. You don't need to convince them to make a purchase, you just need to show them that you are offering something of value.

 So what makes Millennials a great target? Whether you offer something new and innovative or old and nostalgic, they're happy to buy it! Just make sure that what your offer is good, because there is plenty of competition and online reviews to keep you honest.