The Millennial Approach

The Millennial generation has its particular slant on life. I think I have some insight on this.

I don't know if this is the key to understanding young adults today, but it's a perspective that fits. Here it is: "Make It Perfect". And ... "Fun!" It has to be "Fun". 

It may be an outgrowth of that rather well seated notion, "If you apply yourself well, there's nothing you can't accomplish". And, of course, the technological equivalent, "Science and technology can solve any problem". The latter will no doubt explain how come we seem to go down any road we want without too much, if any, forethought about the consequences. Witness the smart phone. Ever more complicated and "refined" iterations. To do what? Play games, listen to [low-fi] music, watch/make videos, take photos. (I use a basic phone.)

Here's a good example of the Millennial generation mindset. There's a new coffee maker gadget out, funded by a kickstarter campaign. Crowd funding ... that should make it Millennial right off the bat. The new device is called the Fellow Duo Coffee Steeper. It'll set you back $99.00.

The Duo is a drip coffee device which is touted to deliver a consistent, grounds-free cup of Joe. In short, a clean cup of Coffee. Have you ever had Turkish or Greek coffee? If not, just to say ... there's grounds. Lot's of grounds. Hadn't been a problem for umpteen hundreds of years for them. The Duo is supposedly an improvement over the French Press. In short, it's a new gadget. A better gadget, by design. And, boy! Is it designed!

There is a video introducing the product at the end of this piece. No amount of human time, energy, or ingenuity seems to have been spared. I'm sure it works just as promised. But, hey, how much do we have to think about making a cup of coffee?

In our home we use a "Coffee Sock". A thick cloth bag fixed to a ring with a handle. Boil water in a pot, put the grounds in, let it steep, pour through Coffee Sock ... enjoy. It'll set you back $1.99.

Now you might counter with how something like that Duo Coffee Steeper is less fuss and muss than my Luddite approach. If that is the overarching concern, then Keurig is your cup of tea. But, yes. As far as prep time is concerned. Yet, when you look at the descriptive video you'll see that with all those parts, there is some doing you'll have to be doing just to get the device ready and go through the steps in brewing. But, clean up. That's where simple is still best. With our Coffee Sock, dispose of the collected grounds and rinse. Done. With the Duo ...

You should know the Duo has 6 parts [to assemble, then to take apart and clean]. In the video the point is made that there's no clean up before you drink your coffee. Great. But, what about after. I don't live with my parents. Mom won't do it.

And, you know that glass carafe will break some day. We had a glass Chemex. Nice, but quirky. It broke. We didn't replace.

All this takes me back to my marketing communications days. Yes, I was an Ad Biggie. Before there were Mad Men.

Once I had a client who marketed a very well known brand of packaged ground Coffee. During my initial learning time I spent a day with the Colombian Coffee Bureau in Manhattan. The take away was the "drip" method was recommended as the best. I brought this up with the marketing manager. My client, however, pointed to the fact that Coffee percolator sales were strong, and growing.

It took a genius to put all that together. The intuition is what I call the "gadget factor". Voilà: Mr. Coffee. Delicious drip style Coffee ... from a gadget. Key word: gadget. We love gadgets. I bring you back to my point about the smart phone. Almost talismanic in it's significance. Fetishistic, also comes to mind.

So now, yet another — but, better — gadget. I won't even go into the issue of just how much Coffee by volume this thing makes. They say 4 cups. Seems like they'd have to be small cups.

You be the judge. In watching the video just keep in mind my original thesis about the mind set of the Millennials — which may have gotten lost in my characteristic wrambling way.

Do you see what I mean?

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