In Millennial Marketing

Millennials care about what your brand says, does, and thinks. Millennials have different motives when they shop, and these motives move their purchasing decisions. Millennials want to support and buy from a company that displays its values and goes beyond just aesthetics.

For example although it caused sales to suffer, this year Dick’s Sporting Goods removed all firearms from its 125 stores in an effort to reduce gun violence. Dick’s felt strongly about their decision with the assurance that customers will buy other items than just firearms. For Millennials this showed ownership and brand authenticity.

We can’t forget Gillette’s ad featuring a dad helping his transgender son with his first shave. Gillette won over fans with its strategy of taking a strong stand on divisive social issues. When asked, Gillette simply stated they support “everyone in their journey to looking, feeling and acting their best every day.” Demonstrating the diversity of the market is a representation of brand responsibility and Millennials can see themselves spending money on this.

Recently Nike made a bold statement in featuring quarterback Colin Kaepernick in their ad. Nike has had a tendency for many years to choose athletes and topics with controversial back stories to represent their brand. They have built an edgy brand that is not afraid to stand for something. In fact, Nike has been doing this for years. Think of their 1995 ad which was part of their “Just Do It” campaign.  It featured an HIV-positive, long-distance runner.

What do these companies all have in common? They are ready stand up for what they believe in. These companies don’t care to play it safe. Fifty percent of Millennials want to support a brand that stands for more than just a name. They are intrigued by companies that express their values through content and engagement.

So what does this mean for marketers attempting to reach Millennials?

  • Create thoughtful marketing strategies that aren’t just attractive ads
  • Give consumers a reason to care about your brand
  • Show consumers why they should care the issue.

Ultimately, the brands that showcase strong values will build brand awareness and increase customer loyalty.

Millennials currently have more spending power than the Baby Boomers and by 2020 Millennials will have a collective spending power of $1.4 trillion. With 70 percent of Millennials saying they will always be loyal to the brands they love companies need to court that love.  If they want to be a part of that $1.4 trillion spend, they need to stand for something.

Lina Felix is a member of the #MillennialPrinciple team.

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