The NASA Brand and Millennials: It IS Rocket Science


Here’s an obvious idea anyone concerned about getting Millennials to engage with their brand should check out: Let them tell you how! Apparently, that’s what NASA did, and the result is well worth reading. This 90-page PowerPoint slide show (don’t let it scare you, lots of pictures) was created by Kristen, Aaron, Garrett and Nick, NASA employees, to tell NASA management who they are and how to make NASA relevant to them. Entitled “Gen-Y Perspectives”, it is full of insights about their generation and how they recommend going about connecting what should be an inherently cool brand to their generation. What makes this especially cool is that it is in the voice of the Millennials themselves, so it provides some great direction on how Millennials like to communicate about themselves.Some highlights:

  • Gen-Y is a completely NEW generation of more than 70 million people.
  • Gen-Y will be 47% of the workforce by 2014, although only 25 % now (and less at NASA)
  • Gen-Y is defined as “mobile, interdependent, quickly bored, instant information, instant gratification, likes mentors, global, empowered, wired, multi-tasking, impatient if delayed, expecting NOW, (not 5 minutes from now), but highly adaptable.”
  • Gen-Y were shaped by different experiences which makes them “extremely independent,empowered and optimistic, with no clear boundary between work and life, and a willingness to sacrifice economic rewards for work-life balance”.
  • Gen-Y is not engaged with NASA because we “don’t see the point, don’t understand the facts and can’t participate”.
  • NASA needs to facilitate a discussion with Gen-Y that allows them to participate in the mission.

They go on to explain just how to do it. In fact, they do more than that, they talk about what they have already done! Who knew that you could follow NASA on Twitter? Cool stuff.