HypeLife Brands Engages Generation Y by Engaging Generation Y

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Branding and marketing agency takes to the streets to discover what Millennials are passionate about... by simply asking them.

Curt Cuscino, Founder and Principal of HypeLife Brands

Curt Cuscino, Founder and Principal of HypeLife Brands

We already know Gen Y is unique. So tell us what makes you stand apart, and then we'll work on understanding what brings all of you together.

They’ve been called Millennials, Generation Y, the Internet Generation, Generation Now and the MyPod Generation. They’ve been called these things and many, many more, and all mainly because this group has been so hard to nail down or understand.

Enter HypeLife Brands, a branding and marketing agency that’s spending 2013 trying to further engage them, study them and spread their word. An agency primarily focused on helping brands connect with this mercurial, yet highly targeted sector of the population, HypeLife Brands is hitting the streets in New York City and Los Angeles to talk with members of Generation Y, to discuss their passions, to snap a photo or two, and to document every Millennial insight uncovered along the way.

Already at the forefront of Gen Y expertise and understanding, HypeLife Brands is constantly looking for new, innovative ways to engage with this unique group, to mine for details and knowledge to pass on to its clients. In their latest effort, Curt Cuscino, Founder and Principal of HypeLife Brands, has spearheaded a project called #ThisIsGenY. Like many of the brands his agency has helped grow, Cuscino is adamant that most true movements begin at the pavement’s edge. “#ThisIsGenY is a street-level culture study born from several key metropolitan areas that we consider ‘flavor hot spots’,” says Cuscino.

“Our main goal is to survey members of Gen Y where they live, where they work, where they happened to be standing the very moment we interviewed them, and then listen to what’s turning their gears in the year 2013.”

For advertisers throughout the country, there is no more sought-after demographic than this group of 18-32 year-olds. And perhaps, there’s no more misunderstood or mysterious group, either. A large part of that misunderstanding comes from a mesh of timing and technology. To Cuscino, Millennials are doing and experiencing many things that no prior generation could have ever conceived, let alone accomplished.

“The Internet has changed everything,” says Cuscino. “Teens have their own websites, college students have their own businesses. Obviously, this is not the first time college-aged kids have started companies, but the trend has never been so ubiquitous.

“Less obvious is the fact that Gen Y is the most privileged generation yet,” continues Cuscino. “Combined with the one-touch simplicity and proliferation of technology, there’s never been a more prime time to adopt a do-it-yourself attitude. Or, put another way, there’s never been a better time do be different.”

This knowledge is half the battle, says Cuscino, and his #ThisIsGenY project is less about finding a label for an entire generation and more about exploring and embracing what he calls a 'similarity of difference' from year to year. “The time for branding entire swaths of people born around the same decade or two is over,” says Cuscino. “But time and circumstance will always generate priorities, passions and trends. And in today's world, those things are changing and evolving every six to 12 months. That’s what this project is about – it's about understanding what those things are, and then using that understanding to help our clients stay relevant.

“We already know GenY is unique. So we want to know what exactly makes them unique. Only then can we help our clients engage all of them, together, at this particular moment in history."


About HypeLife Brands

HypeLife Brands is the leading branding and marketing agency focused on helping brands engage the youth market, specifically Generation Y and Millennials. Key client industries include apparel and streetwear, musicians and recording artists, entertainment and extreme sports. Founded in 2001, the agency is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, with offices in Los Angeles and New York City. HypeLife Brands can be found at http://www.hypelifebrands.com/.

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Zach Russell
HypeLife Brands
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