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McCann on Millennials, Social Media, and Brands

Study finds brands should follow the top five traits young people look for in social friends
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Call them the FB generation.

McCann Worldgroup’s newly completed global survey “The Truth About Youth,” which polled 16-to-30-year-olds, concludes that millennials live in a new “social economy” in which the power of sharing and recommending brands cannot be overstated. (Past generations defined themselves by material possessions or experiences.)

This group, according to the study, lives outloud, emphasizing public self-definition, life narration, and broadcasting via blogging platforms, digital cameras, and cheap editing and design software.

In the words of one study respondent: “If there are no pics, it didn’t happen.”

McCann also found that respondents in Brazil, China, and India, where emerging consumers are forging fledgling brand loyalties, feel most strongly about telling friends about brands they like.

The agency’s takeaway: Brands should follow the top five traits young people said they look for in their social friends. Advertising should truthful, genuine, sociable, mature, and humble to connect.

The biggest mistake marketers make? Overestimating their own importance. Young consumers say they quickly tire of brands that clutter up digital feeds with what they see as useless information. We can relate.