How To Make Your Brand Connect With Millennials

Kristine Lonergan, Garden State Growers
Kristine Lonergan, Garden State Growers

With the rise of the selfie culture and the blogosphere, Millennials care more about appearances than previous generations and have ample information at their fingertips. This translates to shoppers who seek out brands that are socially responsible, fit in with trends, and aren’t overpriced. This group of young folks are always on the hunt for a deal. Furthermore, Millennials don’t care about the size of the company. The most important question to them is: How do I fit in with it? It’s no longer just a matter of buying something; it’s about the purpose behind it.

If you are a brand that isn’t paying attention to the environment, donating to a charity, or positioning your mission statements to reflect Millennials’ individual beliefs, then you can count them out of your annual profits. They want a brand that connects to their values, personalities, and styles.

Millennials Are Smartphone Shoppers

When it comes to shopping, Millennials are definitely tech-junkies. As such, they use their smartphones while traveling along the sales funnel to ultimately purchasing an item. A large majority of Millennials are doing what is known as showrooming. They go to a brick-and-mortar store to view products, then go home to buy them online at the best price. It’s good for minimizing buyer’s remorse but bad for brand competition.

The process of shopping for the Millennial has to be engaging and fun. They no longer care for quality products marketed at a good price. They are more concerned with heightening their appearance and cool factor by getting unique items at a steal that they can brag about to their friends.

How To Market To Millennials

Most Millennials are hooked up to social networks and are constantly seeking out the next best buy, and they’re also looking for new brands that interest them. Millennials will seek out brands that act as their friends and build a relationship with them via email, social media, and the web. If a company can grasp what is known as the “brand friend zone,” then these customers will become a part of their brand’s loyalty program and continue to shop with them above the competition. These shoppers want to be inspired, challenged, and emotionally supported. Make them laugh or cry — basically make them feel something — and you’ll win them over.

The Millennial group wants interesting content, instant gratification, and honesty. They are seeking companies that have a CSR (corporate social responsibility) program in place, and nine out of 10 consumers in this group would switch to a brand that presented an ethical standpoint to them, as indicated in the most recent 2015 Cone Communications Millennial CSR Study.

In addition, Millennials like the option of a loyalty program. In fact, in the 2015 Edition of Customer Loyalty Statistics conducted by Access Development, 77% of participants stated they were part of a loyalty program, with 78% saying they are more likely to buy from a brand that offers one.

Brands That Connect With Millennials Succeed

Brands that have succeeded in grabbing Millennial interest and building a relationship with this group are both well-known and very prevalent on social media. The brands listed as “most loved by Millennials” in the Millennials 2015 Favorite Brands Ranking Report (Moosylvania.com) are: Nike, Apple, Samsung, Sony, Walmart, Pizza Hut, Chevrolet, and Chanel. These favored brands are Millennials’ top choices because they provide high-quality products that fit their personalities, practice social responsibility, and say important things.

In addition, all of these brands incorporate tactics to reach the Millennial consumer base through strategically placed ads, having a strong social media presence, or marketing themselves as aspirational brands that, once bought, make Millennials feel like they’ve succeeded.

Millennials + Gardening

Millennials are very eco-conscious in how they live. Thirty-two percent consider themselves environmentalists, and 83% believe that being eco-friendly improves their quality of life, according to “The Millennials: A Generation Invested in Health and the Environment” from the Glass Packaging Institute report.

And Millennials aren’t just seeking to grow flowers, they also want to grow food. That is a major selling point for brands trying to attract their attention. When it comes to gardening, Millennials have more than just a leisurely activity in mind. They will pursue gardening because they see themselves as embracing a connection with the earth and doing their part in sustaining its resources, as well as helping to build up the biodiversity within their immediate surroundings. They are looking to garden anywhere, in gardens of any size. They aren’t particular or pretentious.

Brands trying to connect with Millennials and get them to garden should first establish a relationship. Build content on social media with beautiful images, motivational posts, and environmental facts. Drive traffic by driving conversation and build that “friend zone” as previously discussed. Make sure to be transparent, and don’t be obvious about promoting your ideas.

Also, Millennials want to be able to connect to gardening with technology. Consider building an interactive app or an add-on to help track gardening progress. Make the event of gardening and your brand interactive for them. Remember, Millennials are always “linked in,” even if they are digging in to the garden.

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