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Millennials, Communities, and the Future of Brands

As one of the most fragmented and diverse generations, Millennials are usually the most difficult to reach, engage and convince. Skeptical of "big business" and insincerity, this age group is quick to call foul and run from brands, corporations, news organizations and even educational systems that don't seem genuine or relatable.

With increasingly powerful online purchasing power and booming creativity, Millennials have bypassed many of the traditional communication strategies and have made their own way on the web -- discovering breaking news on Reddit, finding new music on Tumblr, getting educated on YouTube.

This panel will discuss how up-and-coming brands, news organizations, and social media companies are using online communities to connect with Millennials. It will investigate the characteristics of Generation Y and illustrate how online entities can communicate effectively to such a diverse age group and turn passionate communities into loyal brand advocates


  1. What are some defining characteristics and online habits of Millennials?
  2. Why are online communities so effective when it comes to engaging Millennials?
  3. What are some best practices and successful examples of brands using online communities to connect with Millennials?
  4. What do brands and companies need to change about their strategy in order to effectively communicate with Millennials?
  5. How can a large company or organization become more personal and genuine using social media?



Jon Zmikly, Senior Lecturer, Texas State University

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