YOUR GUIDE TO MILLENNIAL MARKETING
GUEST BLOG BY ALYSSA CAIRO.
Alyssa is a Marketing & Journalism student at the University of South Australia. When she’s not studying, working or writing, you’ll find Alyssa galavanting across the globe, immaculately dressed in an enviable travel ensemble.
Few words are quite as loaded as the word ‘millennial’.
Also known as Gen Y, millennials are quite often under media scrutiny, earning labels such as the ‘me, me, me generation’ and the ‘smashed avocado generation’.
But for brands, millennials are the golden ticket to growth.
Millennials are known as the largest, most influential generation to date and are considered to have the strongest buying power. As the largest living generation, this is the demographic we as brands want to charm.
Millennials have caught brands off-guard as they don’t respond to traditional marketing techniques in the same way previous generations have. These ‘digital natives’ are more tech-savvy and skeptical of traditional advertising, trusting their friends - real or virtual - over promotion directly from brands.
Instead, millennials are focused on the values associated with the product or service and are driven by experiences. Brands like Gucci have been successful in capturing the attention, and double G wallets, of millennials by reflecting their values, desires and lifestyle.
Katie Elfering from CEB Iconoculture summarised how brands can better adapt their marketing techniques to capture the attention of this sought-after generation:
“First, understand and speak to the values that drive them – happiness, passion, diversity, sharing and discovery.
Second, understand their realistic lifestyles and experiences, and find ways to amplify their reality.
And, finally, make sure they feel informed and involved, not just marketed to.”
Luxury brands are defined by their premium purchase experiences; shopping in one of Gucci’s grand stores is a unique and lavish occassion.
But, in an age where people shop through their screens rather than in-store, how does a luxury brand recreate the same experience online?
Gucci’s online store features ready-to-wear collections, which are curated in ‘real time’ as they appear on the runway. Buying a $4,000 designer handbag has been streamlined, no longer are you required to wait for assistance or experience in-store stock delays (Gucci stripe belt, I’m talking about you!).
Another way Gucci has revolutionised their online experience is through e-commerce operations. Gucci.com offers free returns, find-in-store options, product information and complimentary gift-wrapping. Gucci also places customer service options on their product pages to easily allow shoppers to get in touch with a sales consultant.
What Gucci did right: Catering to the lifestyle of the time poor, digitally-obsessed, heavy mobile-device-using millennial, without sacrificing the luxury experience they provide in-store.
YEEZY BY KANYE WEST
The coveted footwear that’s dominated millennial wardrobes for years by being the perfect insignia of the ‘athleisure’ revolution, as well as symbolising on-trend consumers.
The hype prior to each Yeezy release has millennials around the world lining up to get their hands on a pair. It can be difficult to understand how a sneaker could attract such crowds. Kanye, or even better, ‘Kimye’ aren’t scheduled to appear at every releases.
So to build hype, Kanye always sends a pair of the soon-to-be released sneakers to his group of celebrity friends. Calvin Harris, the Kardashian-Jenner family and even former President Obama are the first to receive their Yeezys.
Exclusive even amongst the A-list, these famous faces quickly take to Instagram to let their millions of fans know they’re on #TeamYeezy.
What Yeezy did right: Recognised that celebrity endorsement is one of the most powerful marketing tools available, generating enormous exposure amongst tech-savvy, trend-conscious millennials. Influencer Marketing is a brand of celebrity endorsement which is a much more practical strategy if your friends don’t include the President of the United States.
Netflix has fundamentally changed modern TV culture and the way we consume entertainment by adapting to the ‘on-the-go’ millennial lifestyle.
Let’s rewind the tape a few years. You walk into work after a major TV event and everyone is talking about it. But, you missed it, you’ll be left feeling out of the loop until the next episode airs so you can try to piece together what you missed.
Networks have spent billions of dollars trying to create an environment where real time feels like the only time to catch an event on TV. However, this is not Netflix’s motive. Netflix has reversed the trend – content is now available all the time, changing the conversation from ‘you missed out’ to ‘you must start watching’.
What Netflix did right: Recognised the ‘on-the-go’ lifestyle of millennials and their need to share and feel connected to others.
No one loves a personalised product more than millennials. Coca-Cola utilised this approach with its ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. The campaign featured 250 of the most popular names among millennials on their bottles.
The outcome? A customised product and Insta-worthy content.
Coca-Cola also created a website based on the campaign that let consumers discover facts about their names, order customised bottles and discover event dates for the ‘Share a Coke’ tour.
What Coca-Cola did right: Created a personalised product for millennials to feel involved rather than just marketed to.
If your brand isn’t currently marketing to a millennial crowd, now is the time to get creative with your marketing strategies. To successfully appeal to millennials, brands need to create experiences both online and offline, develop content which encourages sharing and engagement, appeal to millennial values and include personal touches to products and services.