How Big Brands are Reaching Millennials


Talk about Millennials is everywhere: how are you supposed to target a demographic that avoids ads like the plague? Millennials watch less TV than any generation older than them, use ad blocking software to block apps, and look at most of their media through mediums like Instagram which don’t feature ads. With such a challenging demographic to target, what are big brands doing to connect with this generation?  Here are a few key strategies brands are using to reach this demographic:

  • Create an Experience: Many big brands have turned to experiential marketing, holding events or stunts that create great memories that Millennials will come to associate with the brand.
  • Reach Millennials Through an App: Brands like Nike and Under Armour have developed fitness apps for customers to use and interact with the brand.
  • Understand How They Like to Communicate: Domino’s Pizza now allows you to order a pizza by sending them an emoji. Just letting Millennials know that you “get them” can be enough.

With such a mobile-centric demographic such as Millennials, it is no wonder that brands are turning to reaching them through their phones. Spending as much as 90 hours on phone apps in a month, it’s what’s most important to them. Throwing big events also allow attendees to organically share the experience on their social networks, which exponentially increases the effect of your marketing efforts. Key insights like these will help your marketing efforts, and keep you from being left in the dust.

Read the full article in the New York Times here.

What You Need to Know About Generation Z

Nela & Boris at Lighthouse Point complex - Collingwood, Ontario (August 2nd, 2008)

As Millennials are making their impact on today’s work force, employers are turning to see what they can expect from Generation Z as they prepare themselves for today’s economy. Described as people born from the mid 90’s to mid 2000’s, Generation Z is just now starting to make its impact. Make no mistake: marketers are scrambling to be the first ones to figure out this generation. Fickle, smart, and diverse, Generation Z is quite different from the entitled Millennials, and are predicted to be more like their great grandparents rather than their older siblings. Here are a few key things you need to know about Generation Z’ers:

  • They Are Diverse: With birth rates for Hispanic and Mixed children soaring between the years of 2000 and 2010, this diverse generation sees their African-American president as normal, not a breakthrough.
  • They Move On Quick: With Vine, the social media platform built exclusively on 6-second videos, as the prevalent form of Social Media among Generation Z’ers, you can count on a generation that will forget about your product just as quickly as they saw it.
  • They Are Risk Averse, Safe: Having grown up during tumultuous times, Gen Z’ers are subjected to their parents, the Gen X’ers, will to provide safety where there was none before. Products featuring extra safety features, promoting sustainability, or that promise to be free of toxins are a selling point to these kids and their parents.

Most of all, it is a generation that values the long term. After seeing how Millennials are bearing the weight of the baby boomers, Generation Z’ers are pragmatic and are not looking for a quick fix. Once you can understand the above characteristics, you can begin to understand Generation Z. Marketers will have to be able to understand minds that have short attention spans, but are still looking for the long term. Though it may be confusing and contradictory at first, the first to master their market will have large rewards to reap.

Read the full article here in The New York Times.

Using the Latest Technology to Increase Productivity


Part of maintaining a competitive edge in business is making sure you are keeping up to do with the latest technology. The right network and infrastructure can dramatically increase the efficiency of your employees and your company. That said, here are some infrastructure-enhancing technologies that can revolutionize the way your company does business:

  • High Performance Mobile Networks:With over half of all workers using their phones to access work-related content, it is important to have a solid phone and network that will be there when you need it.
  • Social Networking: Interact and target your audience using social media to drive sales and raise awareness for your brand.
  • Cloud Computing: Access your data anywhere with cloud computing technology. Increasing your productivity, data security, and efficiency, you should look into adopting software like Google Drive or Dropbox for your company.

Technology is core to keeping a business up to date. Adopting the technologies above will make for happier employees who are able to effectively do their job by empowering them to effectively manage their data and target your appropriate audience.

Here is the full article on

Communicating With GIFs

04gif-web1-articleLargeGIF’s are quickly becoming a popular way for young people to communicate on mobile. .gif files, pronounced “jif,” are animated, soundless images that endlessly loop and allow users to communicate specific emotions that would otherwise go unexpressed. Seen as an edgy and witty way to express yourself, GIFs are quickly becoming the new native language of the digital world. Here’s what you need to know if you’re looking to keep up with the next big thing in digital media:

  • Origin: They were created in 1987 by a programmer at Compusoft. Though omnipresent on desktops, their use has only recently invaded mobile devices.
  • Why They’re Used: GIFs are step up from emojis. They’re used to express feelings that a simple emoticon can’t, and millennials are loving it.
  • Who’s Making Money From It? Nobody is really making money from them quite yet, but companies are quickly seeing the value in this format. Companies like Buzzfeed uses them as a storytelling method, and Google recently responded to a question using a GIF in a press interview.
  • Where do I find Them? Tumblr has long been home to a huge number of GIFs, but plenty of other sites host them.

Knowing new forms of popular media is key to staying relevant in digital media. Learning to use these new formats paves the way for innovation, and helps you capture the interest of your customers. After all, if you aren’t connecting with your customers, your competition is.

Don Charlton Breeds a ‘Culture of Candor’

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Don Charlton is the CEO of Jazz, a recruiting software firm. Recently interviewed for Adam Bryant’s Corner Office segment, Charlton discusses the challenges of succeeding in business as a black man and how that has shaped the culture of his business. Ranging from asking very direct questions to acknowledging the dog-eat-dog nature of business, his management style is blunt and hands-on. Here are some other key points Charlton had during his interview:

  • Be Self-Aware: “So you want the candidate to recognize the aspects of themselves where they can be confident and the parts they’re going to need for them to be successful in a new company.”
  • Be Prepared for Self-Improvement: “If you failed at this job in your first 90 days, what things wouldn’t you be doing well? And what don’t you know, but know you need to know, in order to be successful at this job?”
  • Ask Others How They Got to Where They Are: “The more you know about those journeys, the more people you talk to — just asking a simple question like “How did you end up getting into this career?” — the more you’ll start to recognize when the ground under your feet is moving you in a particular direction.”
  • Be Direct: “One thing is the culture of candor. After we have a big meeting with all of our employees, I might say, ‘Hey, you know that conversation that you’re going to have over lunch or at the bar where you might say, ‘Why don’t we do such and such?’ Well, that’s the question you should ask right now.'”

This “culture of candor” conditions employees to be ready for the challenges that are brought on by the nature of business. Hammering out weaknesses before they become relevant is key to success, and we believe Charlton’s culture does just that.

Read the full article in the New York Times here.