The Ongoing Push for Individuality by Millennials and Brands

Companies, brands and people aim to gain recognition by adopting personalities that let them stand out from the crowd. Why? And how are millennials relevant to this up and coming trend of individuality? Those are the questions I will address in this think piece.

A profound trait of millennials is their strong sense of community both locally and globally. A millennial will compare themselves to, seek attention and want recognition from their peers. They will try and find their place in their social group and be heavily influenced by the people they share it with. With every millennial wanting to be their own unique snowflake, logically, they will tend to gravitate towards brands with products that give them the freedom of slightly altering the products they purchase in order to make them stand out from the rest. That is what made this St. Ives Mixing Bar in Soho such an interesting experiment, everyone could completely reinvent face scrubs and body lotions to fit their desires as well as the personality they have decided to adopt and broadcast to their peers via social media.

What does it mean to adopt a personality on social media in order to fulfill the desire to be unique? This can be observed on almost every Instagram account out there. If my social media personality were that of a foodie, my posts would probably include a lot of aesthetically pleasing and vibrant meals I’ve enjoyed in the past. Building up this social media personality across multiple channels such as twitter, Facebook and Instagram would show my peers what I’m into and who I want to be perceived as online. Maybe they would ask me for advice on what restaurants to visit or what food to cook.

So, what do brands do in order to drive sales and create effective advertising? They try to create a brand personality that matches with the target audiences’ social media personality in order to reach them more effectively and as a result drive sales and popularity. Being a restaurant that tries to attract foodies, I would try to get my name on thelondonfoodie so that foodies in and around London would know that I was a restaurant worth checking out. If I were to enjoy a lot of popularity amongst foodies, a foodie-Instagram account may become less credible amongst the foodie community if they haven’t visited my restaurant yet, almost forcing foodies to visit my restaurant.

So, we’ve established that a millennial, due to their sense of community, will want to find a way to stand out from the crowd of their peers by building an identity for themselves. We’ve also established that a brand needs to adopt a personality, in order to be noticed by the desired people.

Thus, the more niche our personality becomes or the more refined our personality is, the easier it is to attract potential customers. What I mean to say by this is that if we find a store that allows us to build upon and matches our social-media identity, with their brand identities, we are more inclined to shop there and in the extreme case of the foodie community mentioned before, almost forced to shop there.