Before we take a look at three brand examples of effectively marketing to millennials, let’s do a quick refresh on who they are and what they value.
They are usually defined as individuals born between 1980 and 2000 and have been referred to as the “always connected” generation due to their close relationship with technology. Research has shown that their values have been influenced from such historic events such as the Great Recession, 9/11, and the election of the first African-American president: Barack Obama.
Knowing this, what should you know about marketing to them? Millennials want to participate with a brand’s marketing. They tend to strive for a healthier lifestyle and want to align themselves with an authentic cause.
A huge mistake to avoid when it comes to understanding and marketing to Millennials is that they should not be viewed as one uniform group. Today, Millennials’ ages can range from 21 to 35.
Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS, traveled to a small village in Argentina and discovered that the people living there had no shoes. He then went on to create his company based upon a unique model—for every pair of shoes sold, TOMS would donate a pair to someone in need.
Since its inception, TOMS has grown into a multi-million dollar company. The company has created a culture where philanthropy and profit can co-exist and has encouraged customer interaction. Customers can share their stories, experiences, and photos as a way to raise awareness.
What TOMS did right: Allowed Millennials to live the story and align themselves with a brand that has a cause.
2) Dollar Shave Club
This innovative company came on the scene with a radical pricing model and impressive marketing approach. For a small monthly fee, you can have razors and grooming products delivered to your house. At the same time, you get to join a community.
With the humorous online video and catchy line, “our blades our f***ing great,” Dollar Shave Club quickly became a well-known brand. This company has continued to develop its community by producing entertaining, relevant content.
What Dollar Shave Club did right: Disrupted the market with an innovative approach to pricing and marketing.
Millennials are all about sharing, specifically a sharing economy. Unlike some of the older generations, Millennials are not as into cars, but they are into convenience, and Uber knows it. Uber has encompassed both of these trends into its service and marketing strategy and makes it incredibly easy to find a ride and pay for it using its smartphone app.
Millennial Marketing Takeaways
Follow the footsteps of the brands that got it right by doing some (or all) of the following:
- Create an experience in which Millennials can participate. Encourage them to share video comments after you close their loan, invite them to leave an online review, record a video “behind the scenes” in the life a loan.
- Develop content that encourages sharing on social media.
- Align your brand with a cause, like Give Back Homes so that Millennials will recognize you value social causes.
- Disrupt the market with an innovative approach to pricing or marketing.
- Solve a need for Millennials and create a marketing message to back it up.
Above all else, look at Millennial marketing as a process vs. a one-time event and have fun with it!