Millennial marketing

We still want content, but we want eye-catching and impactful content. Content creates the feeling of empowerment, knowledge and when it is tailored, that’s even better. Content that isn’t forced, if we want to read it, we read it, it’s not forced onto us by interrupting our television series or our radio stations. We choose to read content blogs or listen to podcasts. Brands need to utilise this and market in a manner that is informative and content-based. So, what makes this type of content really resonate with us? 

Most campaigns are impersonal and company-focused. They portray the millennial generation as a niche market or a bubble.

We trust authenticity

We trust authenticity, not an advert that could resonate with anyone or any group. Today, young shoppers’ attitudes and behaviour are largely inspired by people they know in person or online or even strangers who share their interests on social networks – such as influencers. We carry these advisors with us everywhere we go – on our phones. We don’t need to see or hear an advert, we know exactly what we want because our influencers are wearing them. 

Brands need to utilise this, by marketing their products to us without us even noticing. Influencer marketing is a way of getting people to notice your brand, but times are changing quickly. Influencers who constantly post paid-ads are getting more and more negative feedback. People want to start seeing the holistic influence, not just product placement. We are becoming far more aware of the environment, mental health, self-awareness, and we want people who are making a difference to start impacting us more. Patagonia does a wonderful job by using people who aspire to make the world a better place, in terms of the environment, and who are relevant to their target market. If Kylie Jenner suddenly posted a photo of a hiking bag (which a lot of similar type influencers do), it would scream product placement. We want authenticity.

Authenticity doesn’t just come from a marketing perspective, but also the brand as a whole. We want transparency from the start, we saw this from the Cambridge Analytica saga, and we have also seen how influencers can damage a brand by negatively posting about it if they don’t enjoy the product.

Sport is becoming more influential

A great example is how adidas is utilising the way that football has now become a casual or streetwear fashion. We used to see people wearing NFL or NBA outfits with their day-to-day casual wear – now, football has become that. We see American Footballers wearing a Neymar jersey, and we see thousands of posts online about how football jerseys are being worn more and more as casual fashion and not just at games. We saw the viral sensation of Alex from Glasto wearing a Thiago Silva shirt for the Dave rap, “Thiago Silva”, and that shows how mainstream football is becoming. We also saw how sport became a fashion statement with the Nigeria FIFA World Cup 2018 kit, it sold out within minutes of being launched. Adidas has always been a forefront from casual wear, and they also have been very vocal around eco-sustainability, we saw this with their collaboration with Pharrell Williams and their adidas Parley range.

We want to create memories and have experiences: We are posting about our lives all the time. At festivals, at the beach, at home, walking the dog, eating food etc. We are online 24/7 and are never missing an opportunity to share share share – hence why we are also referred to as the “Sharing Generation”. This is why people like Alex from Glasto can go viral, and set a trend.

Brands need to create an experience or a memory that we can part take in and share and never forget. Small gorilla campaigns that may go viral, such as having a cool drink stand at a beach and for someone to get a cool drink they need to post about the brand – that photo or tweet will be online forever and the brand has subsequently created a memory for that person plus everyone who follows them will see it and may even also want a free cool drink. 

Corona launched a festival in Cape Town, and expanded it to Durban and Joburg. I think everyone who went has been put off the beer for life. Why? Because you could ONLY buy Corona. If you go watch cricket at Newlands, the South African team is sponsored by Castle but you can still buy every other type of drink in the stadium. 

We want to have fun with your brand. Let us, but don’t let it be the only option or at least actually make it unique and fun. Make us want to share it and make us want to tell people we’re using the brand or have experienced the brand.

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Help us help you make a difference

We also buy and support brands who have strong CSR campaigns, that are making a difference to the environment or bettering the lives of humans or animals. Brands need to market this better or do more of it. Why don’t banks or asset management firms hold seminars that educate underprivileged youths on saving, investing and banking? Why don’t IT firms hold seminars on coding, basic computer skills and the importance of it in the future? 

We actually are loyal

Brands need to target millennials by focusing on the bigger picture and not just their own target market. No millennial is the same. We want different things and we are interested in different things. Target us in that way. 

We are very loyal, but it seems as though we aren’t because we have or buy from many different brands. The hard truth is, we have access to information that was never around years ago and we can look up and gather information on the brand or product that we want. There are more brands, more information and more options than there used to be – this does not mean we aren’t loyal, it means we are finding a brand that suits us and it might take a while. 

Content is king. It’s just evolving. We are becoming more creative, and more aware.

How do you think brands should market towards millennials?



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