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 was completely invested in Breaking Bad, it took a simple everyday man and slowly dehumanized him through choices that an individual in real life could have possibly made or gone through.”—Male, 22, NJ

The creators of livestreaming pioneer Meerkat made a new app in secret—and it’s doing great. Houseparty is a group video chat platform designed to “capture some of the spirit of Meerkat but in a more personal way that encourages users to participate.” Users can create or join “rooms” to video chat with friends, and are warned if an unknown mutual friend joins the group. The app opens to a camera like Snapchat, is “sprinkled liberally” with emojis, and has already generated almost 1 million mostly teenage users during its testing phase. (Mashable)

Neiman Marcus is in full support of the "see now, buy now" retail strategy some brands have been adopting to keep up with impatient young consumers. The retailer has seen sales decline for fourth straight quarters, and is citing an “out-of-sync fashion cycle” as a crucial part of their troubles. Now that just launched collections are "blogged and broadcasted all over the world via social media," and fast fashion retailers are “delivering trends before ‘authentic runway looks are delivered to stores,’” the retailer is encouraging their vendors to deliver products quickly after release to keep up. (Fashionista

Club Med knows not all Millennials are “frugal single travelers.” The travel brand, “where all the cool kids went in the 70s and 80s,” is now setting their sights on affluent Millennial parents who travel. Spending $1.5 billion in facilities upgrades, Club Med now offers “zen oases,” where “parents to briefly recuperate away from their kids” and escape the pressures of work and home. They also are focusing on the experiential aspect of their brand, adjusting their website to allow visitors to experience their trips digitally before their buy. (Skift)

Kano, one of the first and most unique toys to teach kids coding, is heading back to the Kickstarter to promote three new programmable do-it-yourself kits. Their new products focus on a toy coming “to life when it responds to its environment," and includes a Pixel display that can be taught to display different colors and shapes in response to sounds. The brand’s target market is 8-14-year-olds, but they aim to make it “simple for anyone in the world to make, hack, create, manipulate, and warp technology as it is to use it today." (Fast Company)

Marketing to the post-Millennial generation is all about getting creative, and serving ads through sponsored content is resonating strongly with teens who fully understand it’s a marketing strategy. When AwesomenessTV looked into their popular series Royal Crush—which takes place on a cruise ship and is sponsored by Royal Caribbean—they found that is was 30% more efficient than TV. But one form of traditional advertising is still effective: sampling. To promote their moon sneakers and hot sauce, GE toured colleges to target engineering students. (Adweek

Quote of the Day:  “Young and Hungry are short 30 minute shows, so I can watch it on my lunch breaks at work. I like the humor and the characters. The story line is easy to follow. It's an easy show to binge watch.”—Female, 20, WS

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