The Millennial Generation is a hard nut to crack. It encompasses people born from the '80s to the 2000s and has proven to be the most radically different generation since the industrial revolution. With the introduction of the Internet and all of the social platforms that go along with it, this generation has become one of the smartest, most opinionated, and globally astute group of consumers in recent memory. Companies looking to cash in on the Millennial dollar have had to change the way they do business.

For the first time companies have had to actually had to ask themselves not just what demographic they want to market to but what is that demographic's core values set or governing set of principles. Some companies like American Eagle Outfitters have embraced the new marketing with campaigns like their Aerie Lingerie line and the newly conceived Distressed Denim Campaign. Both of these campaigns have homed in on one of the Millennial Generations core values, individualism.

In addition, Burger King, which has a strong focus on the Millennial Generation with its acquisition of Tim Hortons, has a CEO who is in his early 30s and is already regarded as a thought leader in modern business. What better way to understand the younger generation than having a chief executive officer who's a member of it!

Others have not taken the time to really understand the new marketing and have fallen out of favor with a large base of consumers such as national cable providers and Microsoft.

UNDERSTANDING THE MILLENNIAL CONSUMER

Changes in technology and global awareness have helped to develop a new consumer. These consumers are more aware of their product options and spend more time researching a product or service before they buy. Where and how you advertise your product has to change as well.

The Millennial Generation, for the most part, believes in these core principles, among others:

Here are a few companies that have made an effort to understand the Millennial Generation and have launched positive and engaging campaigns or business practices geared toward embracing them. Not only do these campaigns assist with overall marketing, but they also assist with recruitment of the top talent of the MG era.

Kayak.com--By embracing the MG principles of frugality, mobility and tech savvyness, kayak.com has developed a platform that allows anyone to browse hundreds of different travel sites simultaneously in search of the cheapest flights, hotel and car rentals. They offered a free app and have made their site mobile friendly.

American Eagle--By embracing the MG principles of individuality, moral efficacy and the right to feel important, American Eagle has struck a chord in the MG population by showcasing real people in a real way that celebrates them as individuals and for not being the airbrushed mannequins that society has become accustomed to.

Apple--By embracing the MG principles of individuality, tech savvyness and receiving a free app with that, Apple has allowed the MGs to create their own individual soundtrack for life. With its iTunes platform Apple has effectively given every person the right to create an individualized digital identity complete with free apps, reasonably priced music and games.

Chipotle--By embracing the MG principles of having the right to explore the world they live in gasto intestinally and frugality, Chipotle and numerous other ethnic eating establishment offerings have been welcomed into the MG fray by offering more choices to the new age foodie at reasonable prices.

Being happy with what you get is not an adage that the Millennial Generation embraces. They want more, they fell they deserve more and in most cases can get more. Globalization has made the choices for the new MG consumer virtually limitless and companies must do more to appeal to the millennial consciousness in order to set themselves apart in their market niche. Knowing your consumer has never been more important as it is today because your consumer knows more than ever before. Wise companies can use the new consumer to their advantage well the not so wise will get left behind.

Published on: Nov 20, 2014
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