Why Clients' Fascination With "Millennial Hipsters" Is Unrealistic

I have a very strong point of view on a phenomenon that I have come across lately: big companies' insatiable obsession with the elusive "Millennial Hipster". 

I'm not sure if it's because so many big companies are located in NY or CA (Hipster Meccas), and therefore people that work in said companies think "that's what kids are like these days," but I'd like to take a moment to point out, that no not all millennials are hipsters. Actually, the majority of millennials are not hipster-like at all.

Sure we millennials like to make things ourselves, and we seek the finer things in life down to what kind of olive oil to use on an organic kale salad, but that doesn't mean every millennial has a home garden, or makes everything from scratch, or thinks that the mainstream sucks. Quite the opposite. 

You can find and manipulate all the data you want, but the true Millennial Hipster is NEVER going to buy into a mass consumer product good. True hipsters go against the norm, and unfortunately, marketing normalizes whatever angle/point of view it touches. The fact that big companies with big national brands want to target millennial hipsters only goes to show that there are so many people out there making key decisions for brands without understanding anything about culture or the consumer. And no big conglomerates, a brand extension doesn't solve your problem. Any ties you have to your little trendy/hipster-y brand extension will still deter your so-desired millennial hipsters from buying into it. 

There is of course an increasing subculture of hipster-adjacent or hipster-wannabes that, at the end of the day,  could maybe buy into a product targeted to hipsters. But the moment they buy into the product, they lose any sort of hipster badge they once had. And can I point out, those people aren't truly hipsters?

I really hope clients and advertising professionals stop with this one-trick pony obsession of trying to get this one psychographic that by principle stands against everything marketing does. The best strategy to attract hipsters, is to ignore them. Eventually when they need something, they'll come to you, and all you have to do as a brand is not freak out and pretend you're something that you're not.

Here's a bonus strategy: how about targeting the rest of the population? Don't you think the average American deserves something well designed and modern too? Or how about targeting Gen Z? They're the next best thing anyways. There are so many more possibilities, so why do we as marketers default to the same cliche view of what's trendy or cool? Let the hipsters be!

Well, I will now conclude my vent on this matter.

 

Cheers!