It’s a human thing to want to feel noticed and appreciated. Millennials tend to want a little bit more: to feel that they are extraordinary. Whether this stemmed from the trophies handed out at the end of every Little League season or the “You are Special” mantra hummed to us by our helicopter moms, this seems to be something particularly pervasive to our generation, so it’s not something that marketers should ignore.
There are many situations that result in an individual feeling like they are above the ordinary. However, the most rewarding and lasting way to get there is by accomplishing something yourself. And as Millennials are officially capable adults, the power to become extraordinary is totally in their power, and they are doing something about it.
At the end of 2014, Lauryn Hill made a big impact on tens of thousands of people as she insisted on just doing what she wanted: playing basketball. This athlete was particularly extraordinary because of the unique struggles that she insisted on playing through. Before the start of her freshman year of college, Lauren was diagnosed with brain cancer. This meant that, for her to be able to play any college ball during her shortened life, administrators and coaches needed to request that the Mount Saint Joseph season opener be moved up two weeks–which they obligingly did and were happily granted by the NCAA. Because of Lauren’s determination to not her terminal illness stop her from playing college ball, she was able to help lead her team to a win in front of 10,250 screaming fans, and countless more watching from home. Though she passed away months after this memorable game, that’s not all she did: Lauren started a nonprofit foundation which raised $1.5 million as of April 2015 to find a cure for her rare form of brain cancer. She spent the end of her life advocating for a cure which she would never see. She was young and extraordinary.
Millennials like Lauren are willing to use the limited life experience they have to become as extraordinary as they know how.
Marketers can do a lot with this drive to be more and do more than is ordinary. What are some examples of marketing that you have seen best tap into the Millennial feeling of being extraordinary?