“Entertain me, make me happy, capture my attention, speak to my confidence… and then leave me the heck alone.” In an NPR podcast, Sam Sanders held a focus group with millennials in their “natural habitat”—right outside of an Urban Outfitters. He asked all different types of people the same question: What brands market to your demographic the best? The quote above is from the first respondent. Personally, I think he’s summed it up quite nicely for all of us.
Through his research, Sanders came to three conclusions about branding to millennials:
1. Millennials kind of like to talk about themselves.
2. Millennials are do-gooders who like to be nice.
3. A lot of millennials are kind of broke.
Let’s face it. Brands love marketing to millennials. And in today’s rapidly changing world of technology, they definitely have the platforms to do it on. Millennials, ages 18-24, are completely absorbed in social media and usually have their phones glued to the palms of their hands. Whether it be Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook or Snapchat, millennials will be there. And they will be watching.
Brands are innovating new ways to market to that specific demographic, and some of the different ways are revolutionary. In an article on Business Insider, Michelle Thrasher maps out a few of the different ways that brands are starting to market to millennials.
BRANDS THAT ARE DOING IT RIGHT:
As I was doing my research on what brands millennials love, one common brand kept reappearing—the popular eyeglasses company Warby Parker. In almost every case study I read and video I watched, millennials praised the brand. But why?
First of all, they have a cool product that millennials enjoy with a low price-point. But they also allow the buyer to engage with the product. On their website, you are given the chance to try five pairs of glasses for five days absolutely free. The catch? There is none. It’s exactly how it sounds. Get five pairs shipped to you, try them on and ask your friends what they think, and after five days, pack up the five different frames and ship them back to Warby Parker for free.
Remember how I mentioned that millennials also like to do good? Well, Warby Parker is doing that, too. For every pair of eyeglasses that is purchased, they will send a pair to someone in need. It makes the buyer feel like they are doing something nice for the world, which millennials love.
During this year’s Superbowl, McDonald’s was generating buzz on everyone’s Twitter feed.
When they released the advertisement for the “Pay With Love” campaign, social media went crazy. From Feb. 1 to Valentine’s Day, buyers could go in to any McDonald’s and possibly have the chance to “pay with love,” where they would just have to do something nice to pay for their meal, rather than paying with cash.
But it wasn’t until after the advertisement ran that McDonald’s really hit a home-run. They took to Twitter to engage with what people were saying and they worked together in real-time, often replying to other’s tweets. And, after a Superbowl advertisement would run, they would tweet about it and give their followers a chance to win something by retweeting the tweet. It definitely got the millennials talking and engaged.