The Five-Second Brand

Gen Y is said to have the attention span of a gnat. Having never studied the attentiveness of gnats, let's all agree that this means that Gen Y is easily distracted. They (we) are distracted away from your brand, and they (we) are distracted towards your brand. But how can you make sure that your brand is flypaper and your followers are flies?

The solution: a five-second brand. For example, the average Gen Yer lives life buried in a mobile device. Therefore, your five-second brand must resonate on this emerging platform. Can your message be conveyed across a Droid or iPhone? If you are trying to reach Gen Y, then it better. Gen Y is the generation that never had to deal with a dial-up connection; they aren't going to tolerate a brand that takes 30 seconds to explain. The five-second brand is all about meeting your audience half-way.

So, how do you make your brand shine in just five seconds? Here are three sure-fire ways to get your brand noticed by Gen Y in that time frame.



1. Authentic There is no more annoying and cliché concept in marketing than authenticity. However, it's still a misunderstood concept that people misplay. Authenticity has nothing to do with test groups or tracking. Authenticity is like having 11 toes. You either have it, or you don't. Authenticity is your ability to let your brand's true personality shine through the messaging.

2. Inviting Your audience needs to feel like they can interact with your brand. Gen Y hates being told what to do. A brand that offers open dialogue is a brand that isn't easily dismissed by a distracted Gen Yer. I'm not talking about the suggestion box mentality either. Gen Y expects to see their name alongside of your brand. You need to go far enough to literally include members of your audience in your brand.

3. Casual The business suit of Gen Y is jeans. Even formal industries see the importance of casualness when targeting Gen Y. The funny thing is that Gen Y doesn't find their jeans to be casual. It's just how they are, which brings us back to authenticity.

Look deep within your brand and try to objectively evaluate its position in your marketing. You can't fake these things, but you can dig deep and discover the true voice of your brand. Can you get the job in five seconds? If not, then you have a lot of work to do.

2 comments about "The Five-Second Brand ".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Jonathan Sandak from Intersport , December 18, 2009 at 2:48 p.m.

    sorry but you lost me after the first paragraph...

  2. Christi Pemberton from GC Style Magazine, December 18, 2009 at 3 p.m.

    I would not go as far as to say all that. I have met and seen quit a few Gen Y'ers with a whole plethora of different personalities. I do agree that with everything being so mobile and on the go, you need to make your marketing very noticeable, understandable, and something that attracts immediate attention that motivates action. As far as casual....I can tell you, Gen Y'ers can wear and do wear dress pants, depending on where they work and what they do. We may not always see them in a suit, but I have seen plenty wear non-jean outfits. To be honest, my generation (Gen X --I am 33) which came up in the grunge phase, were often very casual..if you remember grunge. I see a bit more stylish fashion these days.

    As far as Gen Y'ers hating to be told what to do. That is not entirely true. It is "how" you tell them and "why". How many times are we told that we need to help the environment? I have seen more Gen-Y'ers listen to this message and take it seriously...and they are still being told "what to do", which is..."help the environment". They are even given ways to help the all depends on your message, and how you tell someone what to do. It is all about how it will benefit your target audience (Gen Y).

    In marketing, you have to give a clear direction of how a potential customer can get what they want, which ideally will come from purchasing your product. There is a way for the Gen Y guy/girl to get their hands on your product, and they have to have someone to tell them (or inform them) how they can do it. You can't market effectively, if you do not give a direction on how your client can fulfill their need (by using your product). When you do that you are actually telling them what to do.

    Information is just information, but action (a customer purchasing or getting a free sample of your product) comes from your potential customer knowing what needs to be done...what needs to be done has to be given to that person in some visual/audio message...a message that gives draws them into the benefit of your product...which will draw them into the direction of how they can get their hands on it.

    Gen Y:

    They are tech savvy, creative, inventive, used to quick action and mobility, have a stronger eye for cutting edge fashion, greater capacity to work together and have fun in groups, and want an "experience" with the product/service that they purchase. Marketing: Interaction with your brand; however, be careful about those who rather use the conversation platform (i.e., if you have a social media group) to insult and waste time with crazy talk...that is a downfall of social can easily become a breeding ground for knuckleheads and that will move your audience to another brand. Your brand has to be about the "experience"..this can be in words, visual, audio, or a gaming method...but keep all of them interesting. Contrary to popular belief, Gen Y'ers do read..but most read blogs and online sites for information..they are savvy in finding information to fulfill their need to find out what they want.

Next story loading loading..