Interests that once might have been considered the domain of geeks only (e.g.., superheroes, fantasy, space, etc.) are now major media moneymakers, and cultural mainstays. Research by Ypulse and Imgur examined how Millennials have embraced being geeky. This may require brands to adjust their perceptions of what it means to be a geek. The research found being a geek today does not mean what it used to years ago. Compared to only 38 percent of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, 60 percent of Millennials considered themselves to be geeks or are into geeky things. Eighty two percent of millennial geeks said the geek label was not necessarily a bad thing, compared to 71 percent of Gen Xers and Boomers.
Millennial geeks are today’s influencers and trendsetters. For example, 89 percent said they learn about things before the rest of their friends and 82 percent said their interests grow in popularity after they get into them, compared with 65 percent of non-geeks. Ever wonder who is making memes and online content go viral? It is most likely millennial geeks; 67 percent said they know about things before they go viral, compared to 48 percent of non-geeks. In addition, they are much more likely to spread memes and create the kind of content that gets shared online. Millennial geeks are also influential; 84 percent said people look to them for advice on a topic, compared to 60 percent of non-geeks. But they are wary of brand messaging; 76 percent said they use ad blockers and 32 percent said they feel like brands cannot relate to them.