When marketing to Millennials, the generation that outnumbers Generation X by more than just a few million, and although everyone’s focus is their impact on the economy and other sectors; brands are worried about something else. Since the millennial generation is so diverse, brands often wonder as to how they can market their products to them.
The reason for their diversity is their knowledge about technology and their ability to form different perceptions. A major reason why many brands fail to reach their marketing objectives is that they don’t acknowledge millennials as a force to be reckoned with. Hence, it’s unwise to simply apply any old marketing tactic when appealing to a group of millennials.
For starters, millennials are no ordinary buyers and they want to make a difference with their purchases. For this to happen, the individuals of this generation look for brands that give them such an opportunity. That means more and more companies are looking for that edge above their rivals that most millennials seek.
This edge is simply support for a certain cause. It sounds silly but in a market as saturated as the one today, consumers have a hard time making decisions as to which brand they should support. The youthful and energetic generation believes that there should be a reason why they should pick one brand over another, and support for a certain cause makes for a convincing marketing practice.
Now, let’s bring our attention to companies that practice such a brand philosophy. TOMS, a brand well known for their shoes that mimic the alpargata design, is winning millennial hearts with their ‘One for One’ philosophy i.e. for every product that is purchased, they donate shoes to a needy person. Their marketing strategy works, for the simple reason that their values are similar to those of a majority of the millennial population.
To what extent is this true? Well, recent reports show that millennials, despite being the most economically disadvantaged generation, are willing to pay more money to brands, if it means that they can support their movement in being socially and/or environmentally responsible.
In fact, this determining factor is more influential than a brand’s ‘profile’ which consists of large advertising campaigns, endorsements and other marketing tactics. According to the Brand Value Index, TOMS ranks higher than reigning sportswear brand, Nike. Why? Because millennials, who comprise most of TOMS consumer base, believe that the brand has objectives that stray from the traditional profit-making narrative.
Since this generation is more tech savvy than its counterparts, there’s no denying that they look for a different brand experience. Not only do they want to buy stuff, they also want to be part of the ongoing conversation. While brand-customer communication is becoming increasingly common among new companies, there is still a long way to go. Millennials love attention, not only do they want to be part of a brand’s target population or upcoming marketing strategy, they want to actively shape a brand’s image by defining it.