So rather than talk of millennials or Gen Z, we should think about how to leverage digital transformation to maximise the growth of brands based on what makes them appealing in the new world of mass personalisation.

The interesting thing about successful ‘millennial marketing’ has not been the reach of the demographic but rather the appeal of modern marketing approaches to a broader consumer base.

So how should we express an approach that targets people by their attitude and behaviours rather than age?

Take the re-invention of Gucci over the past few years, which saw H1 2017 revenue up 43% and operating income up 69% year-on-year. It could be said that the sleepy sexy look and gender fluidity that Creative Director Alessandro Michele pushed resonated with consumers, but there is a lot more going into the house’s revamp than a change in aesthetic.

Michele never went out to appeal exclusively to the under 35s, even though 50% of Gucci sales are to this demographic. Instead he created something new and fresh that appealed to ‘quirky optimists’ – and not just the clothes, but importantly the way in which they are communicated. Michele went on record to say that Gucci isn’t trying to make a political statement, and fashion observers commented that the new collection is about having fun, with figures like American actress Hari Nef embracing the new Gucci on their social media channels.

Christina Binkley of the Wall Street Journal talks about Gucci as the celebrity’s go-to brand of the moment “because

it’s the hottest brand around, their photos go viral when they wear it, and Gucci is brilliant about working with celebs.” Appeal to millennials is the by-product of good perennial targeting. Taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, Gucci is simply doing it right from every angle: public relations, the right amount of accessibility, celebrity endorsement and street-style endorsement. Michele simply set out to “make Gucci a 21st century statement of contemporary coolness.” Just because millennials came of age in this century does mean not that they are only ones who ‘get it’.

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