Why Justin Timberlake Should Be Your Millennial Marketing Consultant

Just like the teenager who grows into themselves, realizing their likes, dislikes and personal form of expression – especially while experimenting in college – so too, did Justin Timberlake. The Millennial generation came of age alongside Justin Timberlake, after 2001 saw N Sync’s “Pop” become the bubble gum hit sensation that high schoolers couldn’t resist. With a few junior albums along the way, Justin Timberlake has officially released his most mature self; all grown up and ready to reinvent business models. Continuing to mirror the Millennial generation who has become hyper aware of their digital self, so has Justin Timberlake. He has embraced every social platform for his brand as he possibly can, and not just through the usual channels but through his signature gaming that has enabled him to become a cultural icon.

Last week, we reported that Justin Timberlake was back in the game with his new album 20/20. Instead of releasing it to iTunes right away, or mysteriously having it “illegally leaked online”, JT has embraced the best of both worlds by releasing the entire album for free on iTunes and Spotify one week before its official album release date (oddly enough, legend David Bowie did just the same a few weeks ago).  He was also featured on SNL last weekend, as an official addition to the “Five-Timers Club” honoring his past appearances, which have infiltrated Millennial pop culture humor. The SNL episode gave them the top-rated episode in 14 months; another angle to JT’s business-strategy savvyness. 

20/20 is the most mature of any album we’ve seen from Timberlake. With the launch of his first single from the album, Suit & Tie, Justin Timberlake is bringing the clearly-needed suave man back in an era of “geek chic”, beards (see IFC’s Whisker Wars) hooded sweatshirts…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I am the one who buys random beauty products to recommend to friends if they are good.” –Male, 14, KN

Millennial travelers want the opposite of what their parents looked for in a hotel. Marriott International says that while Boomers “wanted familiarity, safety, and comfort," the next generation of travelers “want local and unique.” Global experiments in changing hotels to match their preferences have resulted in pop-up roof bars and locally sourced cheese-and-charcuterie restaurants. The brand predicts that Millennials could make up half of their guests by 2020—if they are able to appeal to them. (Fast Company)

Put your cookbooks away, younger consumers are bringing their devices into the kitchen. Think With Google and Kraft Foods' research revealed that 59% of 25-34-year-olds cook with their smartphones or tablets handy, while consumers over 35-years-old are more likely to print out a recipe. Search interest for “best recipes” on YouTube is reportedly up 48%, and “how to cook that” has become one of the top 10 most popular how-to searches on the site. (MediaPostDirect Marketing News)

The Apple Watch may not be Millennials’ cup of tech tea. A new study finds that “Millennials are dissatisfied with the Watch,” because the thrill of using it wears off after 30 days, and it feels like a “weak extension of their iPhone.” Others felt guilt over wearing the Watch because it seems ostentatious or frivolous. Not having a “killer app” could be another problem, though the initial reactions to the device aren’t necessarily an indication the Watch is doomed. (MSNCNBC)

Taco Bell says that understanding Millennials’ diversity and experience-driven mindset are the keys to being successful with the generation. Transitioning the brand from “Think Outside the Bun” to “Live Mas” is a part of their continued efforts to target younger consumers, who CEO Brian Niccol says see food as experience, not fuel. The chain strives to be “culturally relevant to the 25-year-old” because, “if you’re 40 you want to be 25, and if you’re 15 you want to be 25.” (Fortune)

Is Taco Bell right about the generation? What brand is killing it with Millennials, and what faux-pas are being committed? Is it ok to use young consumers' slang in a campaign? Ypulse Editor in Chief MaryLeigh Bliss visited Fortune Live to talk about the importance of appealing to young consumers, Millennial marketing mistakes, and the brands that are getting it right. (Ypulse)

Quote of the Day: “Anyone with natural beauty [inspires me the most when it comes to health and beauty]....everyday people more than celebrities or those with heavy makeup or fake bodies.” –Female, 32, NY

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