Marketers have been cautioned against creating sub-brands that target the so-called millennial generation.

According to Nick Liddell, Director of Consulting at branding agency The Clearing, this approach effectively says that a brand wants to divide people by age and generational differences.

Furthermore, he said there is a “big question about whether it really works.”

“It smacks of established brands that are concerned about their own cool credentials,” Mr Liddell commented.

Marketers were instead encouraged to think about what the creation of a sub-brand might say about the parent company.

For instance, Mr Liddell questioned whether or not it elevates the main firm, or if it might instead draw attention to potential weaknesses.

“In some cases, people become a bit bored of the brand and want something newer and sexier,” he observed.

However, he suggested that instead of making a brand appear more relevant and youthful, a youth-focused sub-brand might actually emphasise the age of the overall brand.

Mr Liddell added that much of the research surrounding the millennial generation is incorrect, as it is wrong to suggest they are particularly different from young consumers that have come before.

Mark Ritson of Marketing Week made a similar point, saying that targeting segmenting an audience on the basis of their age is “stupid” and goes against “just about every basic principle of segmentation.”

He stated that while “clearly millennials as a generational cohort do exist”, the idea that this “giant army” all think alike and want the same things is wrong.

Furthermore, Mr Ritson said the notion that they differ from other older cohorts in significant ways is “superficially persuasive but turns out to be equally nonsensical”.

Should your brand launch a youth sub-brand? Marketing Week