For most bands, selling music, merchandise and tickets is a primary function of the business end of the brand. I don’t need to go into how challenging that can be and I won’t. What I want to tackle is the unique opportunity that the Millennial or Generation Y demographic holds for bands.
This generation is noted for a number of things that are of importance to bands. Number one is their tendency to be community minded. This community extends to the world as this is the generation who has always been plugged in to technology. Their friends extend beyond borders and their community is the world. They believe in making a difference. They can be narcissistic but I argue that that is true of every age demographic.
Another interesting fact about Millennials is their musical taste is varied and wide. They tend to listen to a far wider range of music than other generations. A great number of them absorb the music from various decades and genre’s in order to feel well-rounded musically. This is important to them.
While this generation doesn’t have a problem dropping a lot of money on the newest technology, they aren’t necessarily spend-thrifts. They may choose to hand over hundreds of dollars on a new IPad but most likely they won’t cough up .99 to download your new single. However, they are a force to be reckoned with in sharing what they like within their social circles.
Opportunity abounds for your band with this influential group.
Let’s look at each of the points above and examine how they can be a benefit to your music career.
First, Millennials are community-minded. They see themselves as part of the collective – the whole. As such, they like to interact with people from diverse backgrounds. Second, they have liberal taste in music. In fact, most of the Millennials I know are fairly expert on an impressive range of music from the Beatles to The Black Keys. And last, but in no way least, they share what they like with their entourage through social media.
Millennials hold the power to be your bands BEST brand ambassadors. They know what they like and they take that and share it with their community. They are the generation of viral marketing and they intrinsically know how to spread the message. They may not be big on paying for music but they are HUGE in sharing bands they like and encouraging others to check out the music.
So, how do you make this work for your band? First, Be REAL. Millennials can smell a put-on a mile away. They value sincerity. If your music is quality, you will find a niche group of Millennials that love your sound. Encourage them to share your information. Incorporate social media into live events by asking your audience to take and share pictures and video clips from each show. Give them the fuel they need to feed their desire to SHARE everything. They want free music? “Here you go…share our new album with the WORLD. Let’s see who can get the most retweets of the link to download our music”.
This is how you play in the sandbox with Generation Y. Speak their language and use the same tools they use. Have you ever seen a Millennial walk without texting? Of course not. It’s not possible for them to do anything without texting. So make that work for you.
Creativity is key. Make friends with the greatest marketing firm on the planet: the Millennial Generation.