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millennials

Millennials: The Hard Workers and The Savers

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Millennials: The Hard Workers and The Savers

Millennials have been accused of being the laziest generation yet. They are labeled narcissistic, impatient, entitled and disrespectful. Although many believe this, the statistics say otherwise.

According to the Pew Research Center one in three American workers today are Millennials. This year, the Millennial Generation surpassed Generation X as the largest share of the American workforce. This proves that young people are focused and hardworking.

Not only do Millennials work hard they also save hard. They are leading a new era of financial conservatism. Millennials are confident about their ability to save and diligent about their budgets. 56 percent of Millennials believe they are “good savers” and many rely heavily on banking and financial apps to help do so. They have turned to their phones to aid them in tracking their spending.

The accusations of laziness and labels of narcissism are nothing new. Each generation before has faced similar claims, the only difference is that the Millennial Generation is actually evolving. They have adapted and learned how to cope with debt and they are preparing for a better future much earlier on.


As a brand, it can be difficult to reach a generation that is unwilling to spend. On The Fresh we have explored how to craft a campaign that appeals to Millennial Women and the African American Millennial Man. Although specific, this background knowledge can help your brand become a staple to the Millennial Generation. The hard workers and savers will view your brand as worth investing in every time.

 

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Marketing to the African American Millennial Man

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Marketing to the African American Millennial Man

We have learned a lot about the Millennial Generation on The Fresh with our recent series on Millennial women but we thought it would be beneficial to dive even further into sub-sections within the Millennial Generation.


As we have explored before in our blog Change It Up, the Millennial Generation is incredibly diverse. They have become one of the most ethnically diverse generations in the United States. Specifically, the African American population has grown 64 percent faster than the rest of the country since 2010. They are the third largest ethnic group of the Millennial Generation, occupying 13 percent of the population.

As a brand it is important to incorporate this information when marketing and to not homogenize Millennials. When targeting African American Millennial men there are a few things to keep in mind:

Inclusivity

38 percent of African Americans feel underrepresented in media and twenty five percent feel that many advertisements targeted towards them are offensive. Research has shown that African American consumers tend to respond more favorably to ads that feature an African American cast compared to ads featuring a non-African American cast. This means that when you're marketing, manipulate campaigns to reflect diversity and avoid falling into stereotypes.

Social Media

African American Millennial men are avid social media users. They are reported as being the most intense users of the internet based on time and frequency. More than any other Millennial of ethnic background, African American men use social media to research and purchase the best product for the best price. When targeting African American men consider emphasizing online campaigns.

Mobile

Interestingly, African American men are 78.4 percent more likely to own an Android over an iOS device. Overall, smartphone and tablet use is very high at 90.9 percent. This sub-section of the Millennial Generation is highly invested in their phones. Interactive and easy to navigate mobile websites are a must.

After engaging with a product, African American Millennial men have significant brand loyalty. By including some of these tips and reminders, your brand can connect more closely with this important sub-section of the Millennial Generation and possibly have a lifetime consumer

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Marketing at the Speed of the Consumer

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Marketing at the Speed of the Consumer

As a brand, it is important to keep up to speed with your consumer. We have discussed this concept as it relates to social media on The Fresh before.  Our blog, The Millennials’ Most Significant Relationship: Social Media, covered what millennial women are looking for when they engage with social media.  This is just one facet of the increasing speed of marketing.

Consumers are plugged in. They are continually connected and constantly influenced. Social networks have evolved to be more interactive and multi directional. Online networking can now mimic real time communication. As a brand you must operate at this level.

All channels have increased speed.  Results are expected faster, judgements are made more quickly and demands for growth have increased. The online community can build up or kill a new product over night. New knowledge is expanding. In the mid-20th Century knowledge doubled every 50 years and in 2010 new knowledge doubled every 11 hours. Today, new knowledge most likely doubled since you woke up this morning. New information is churning out at a volume and speed that makes it difficult for brands to secure themselves in the market place. Operating at the speed of your consumer can help you stay at the forefront of this tidal wave of new knowledge.

There are several things brands can do to keep up with the consumer:

  • Leverage big data and analytics. Research and know what your customers are engaging with. Applying this data leads to faster and better responses to overall business challenges.

  • Aim for immediate satisfaction. This includes offers such as same day delivery, and instant downloads.

  • Respond. Customers need attention throughout the customer journey, no matter what stage they are in.

  • Utilize the cloud. The infinite space and flexible structure will be useful as the volume of data increases.

Brands need to launch, learn, and improve faster. By staying up to speed with the consumer, brands will eventually be able to predict what the consumer wants even before they know they want it.


Additional Sources:

Customer Think

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Millennial Women Series: Change It Up

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Millennial Women Series: Change It Up

The last of our 5-part series focusing on the Millennial woman. Today’s feature: Change or Staying Relevant.


Millennials are ushering in a wave of change — a change which should affect the tactics and techniques used in digital marketing today. This change is seen in the high diversity present in this generation. Within the Millennial Generation alone the US Chamber Foundation reports that 60% of 18 – 29 year olds classify as non-Hispanic white. There is a record low of whites, with 19% Hispanic, 14% black, 4% Asian, and 3% of mixed race or other. Minorities are becoming more and more represented.

Within this diverse generation, Millennials are revolutionizing everything. Past expectations and stereotypes are being questioned. According to NPR, 34% of 25 to 34 year olds are waiting longer to get married. 38% have between one and six tattoos while 23% have a piercing in some place other than their earlobe.

Millennial women are a large part of this change and revolutionary lifestyle. Gender roles are being criticised and challenged. Millennial women are more career-oriented, educated and ethnically diverse than previous generations. They are pursuing independence like never before and forging new paths for the next generation

Brands must reflect the diversity that is so highly revered by Millennial women. This includes (but is not limited to) race, gender identity, sexual orientation, family makeup, body type, and cultural background. As we mentioned in our recent blog post (Millennial Women Series: Getting More Personal) this generation of women appreciates the personal connection.

ModCloth does a great job of connecting with female Millennials and honoring their diversity.  

In recent campaigns ModCloth has used actual customers as well as their employees to model their products. They have even taken a pledge promising not to photoshop their models. This marketing tactic is authentic. By using a diverse range of models and promising not to alter their bodies, Modcloth gives each customer more of a reason to connect with the brand.

Marketers should not only be considering the eclectic nature of the entire Millennial Generation, but specifically Millennial Women. Including their revolutionary perspective in brand strategy, could strengthen the bond between brand and consumer. These women are a force to be reckoned with, we shouldn’t be surprised as they create more change.

 

 

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Millennial Women Series: Find the Funny Bone

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Millennial Women Series: Find the Funny Bone

Continuing our 5-part series focusing on the Millennial woman. Today's feature: "Humor"


Women are a large segment of the Millennial generation; they’re highly diverse and challenging traditional marketing methods. One interesting way they have affected branding already is with the inclusion of both socially conscious and female-centric humor in marketing.

This is a generation that grew up watching the comedy of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Kristen Wiig. Actresses like Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer join this genre of comic.

These types of performers manage to successfully talk about social and day-to day issues from an honest female perspective while living as a celebrity/idol. Being honest requires one to be vulnerable, and to be vulnerable is fearless. Millennial women are inspired by this type of genuine strength. The off-beat humor isn’t mean-spirited and relates to the actual experiences of Millennial females.

Relating a brand to humor is a clever marketing tactic and it's memorable. This is the cycle:

  1. As the customer laughs they are reminded of the brand

  2. The next time the customer sees that respective brand’s ads, a positive association with the brand is achieved. Through humor.

  3. Humor, humanizes. It builds rapport, makes brands more memorable and increases consumer-brand affinity.

A couple of ads demonstrate this tactic by successfully associating their brand with one of the comics these Millennial women look up to:

Relatability. Relevance. Realness. These are the reasons why brands choose to work with these types of female performers. Contemporary female comedians, tap into the authentic narrative of a Millennial woman. As illustrated in the cycle above, brands can leverage this gateway to strengthen their positioning. As a large portion of the Millennial generation, the female perspective is highly important to consider for brands approaching marketing. The female voice is getting stronger in marketing, humor is one way to reach this defiant crowd.

 

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Millennial Women Series: Hashtags

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Millennial Women Series: Hashtags

We're continuing with our 5-part series focusing on the Millennial woman. Today’s feature: #Hashtagit.


More than 70% of consumers are motivated to explore new brands when hashtags are present. Hashtags are everywhere and a lot of the time serve as fluff, but there is a way to use hashtags to foster conversation and unite consumers in a digital experience. With the Millennial addiction to social media using hashtags can make a great marketing technique. One click has the potential to bring each Millennial to a self curated page that showcases the brand.

When marketing to Millennial women inspiring and empowering hashtags can generate social buzz and PR. Hashtags such as #likeagirl for Always and #girlboss for Sophia Amoruso’s book have sparked online conversations.

One brand successfully using hashtags for this market is Actavis. This pharmaceutical brand offers birth control with a very low dose of estrogen. Their recent advertising campaign focuses on the hashtag #ActuallySheCan.  #ActuallySheCan was created in response to the existing catchphrase “I can’t even.” This directly appeals to Millennial women empowering them to achieve their goals while encouraging the consumer to get more familiar with the brand. 

The site focuses on a character, Violet, who is a young female Millennial. On different pages of the site the visitor has the option to engage with the brand on a more playful level. Actavis invites visitors to upload selfies to receive a personalized Shemoji and is currently hosting a writing contest called Actually 500 Words Can

#ActuallySheCan creates an online community for Millennial women to interact with the brand and learn about birth control. An online conversation is started where anyone can join or go to receive information. Their hashtag #ActuallySheCan inspires women to take part in the conversation, take control of their own health and go for their goals.

Using hashtags amplifies brand voice and allows the target consumer to engage with the product directly. Not only does it create an online community but it also stimulates a larger movement. Brands, marketers, creatives--consider reaching the Millennial women by creating a hashtag to which she can connect.

 

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Millennial Women Series: For God's Sake, Have Some Values

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Millennial Women Series: For God's Sake, Have Some Values

We're continuing with our 5-part series focusing on the Millennial woman. Today's feature: "For God's Sake Have Some Values." 


According to Forbes, consumers have proven more likely to support a brand they perceive as ethical and fair. More than any other generation Millennials have the highest ideals. Nearly 40 percent of millennials prefer to spend money on a good cause, even if it means paying more for a product. Applying this ‘Millennial perspective’ to your brand can create a dramatic change.

When appealing to the female Millennial it helps to have a strong association between brand and values. Socially conscious brands appeal to Millennial women. Brands that support wellness, naturalness, localism, and are looking to better the world or a certain community are appealing.

Method is a household and personal cleaning brand that creates “naturally-derived, biodegradable, non-toxic” products.  Their mission is to create aesthetically pleasing cleaning supplies that has the safety of the consumer as well as Mother Earth in mind. The relationship between the customer and earth becomes a large part of investing in the product. The customer ends up feeling as if they have improved earth. With a mission and brand traits that matter to the world, Method has earned a spot in the hearts, minds and wallets of Millennials.

This relationship strategy is repeated in the branding of the female care product, Thinx. A fairly new invention, Thinx is revolutionizing female care by creating "period underwear". They are environmentally friendly and for every pair a customer purchases the company sends funds to their partner organization, AFRIpads. Thinx uses creativity and social awareness as marketing tools. Millennial women care about programs such as these that help them manage their well-being and make healthier choices.

It’s more important than ever that brands either or adopt or associate themselves with an important cause. Any brand can sell widgets, software or packaged goods. Great brands can change the world. Millennial are looking for a larger story. It’s up to brands today to build a legacy that connects with the future consumers of the planet, and leaves the planet in great shape.

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Millennial Women Series: Getting More Personal

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Millennial Women Series: Getting More Personal

Over the next couple weeks, we’re launching a 5-part series of blogs focused on the Millennial woman. Today’s feature: Getting More Personal.


Millennial women are revolutionaries. Demanding change and forging new paths for younger women coming after them, Millennial women are inspiring change. Whether or not this affects marketing is not a question. These women expect to be treated as individuals and that includes how marketers and brands speak to them. There are several ways brands can get more personal with Millennial female customers to make them feel valued and take action.

Treat Them Special

Go beyond simply ‘liking’ or commenting back. Giving a little attention goes a long way.  Creating loyalty programs, recognition events, special access to sales and promotional events allows a personal relationship to develop between the brand and Millennial woman. Simply appreciating anyone builds trust. In this case it also leads to increased ROI.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Millennial women want to engage with a brand that they can relate to and see themselves. Companies like Primark do this well.  Primania is an online fashion playground for their customers to post, share and get inspiration from. This site shows a range of individuals who engage with the brand, mainly by taking selfies. It allows old and new customers to picture themselves in the products with more of a sense of reality. These women look just like the customer, they are relatable. Instead of forcing women to believe they have to look a certain way in order to participate, brands can be inclusive, showing that Millennial women of all types are welcome to interact with and benefit from the brand. Do this.

Target

What better way to personalize than to use sophisticated websites that analyze cookie data and self-service platforms? Using this information actually helps to connect with Millennial women. This group desires to be seen as unique and authentic. The information these platforms provide allows that to develop. Personalized advertising will grow in importance for this generation as they continue to be the earliest adopters of new technology.

As the buying power of Millennials increases, brands must respect that members of this generation expect to be treated as individuals. Go get personal.


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Marketing to the Millennial Woman

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Marketing to the Millennial Woman

When it comes to Millennial women, fact, anecdote, experience and conjecture all play a role in outlining what brands can do to engage better with this subsection. In this article, we combine facts, research, the experiences of women in this category who work with us, like Courtney, and our experiences with brands who have succeeded in building great relationships with this audience.  The following insights are based off of this mix. The comments below are our top tips to help brands build better relationships with Millennial women. 


Get Personal
Women, more than any other subsection in Millennials want to feel that the brand they invest in understands them.  This means that brands need to do their homework. Track and note what social media conversations focus on and pay attention to trends that Millennial women are excited about. Sending personalized emails benefits, too.

Amazon is a great example. They do an incredible job of staying in touch with their consumer by sending emails with recommendations based on last purchased. This is getting personal without being creepy.
 
#HashtagIt
Hashtags create a pocket for people to find one another and connect in. With hashtags, brands can create an online community the consumer can easily associate with.  

Urban Outfitters created an entire website dedicated to their community. The site, UO Community, is a curation of uploaded Instagram photos and pictures hashtagged #UOonYOU.  It gives inspiration to those looking at the site and neatly packages the overall aesthetic of Urban Outfitters markets.
 
For God’s Sake, Have Some Values
Align with a cause or charity but only if it is authentic.  Millennials are known for their idealism.  Companies like Toms that have capitalized on the buy a pair give a pair model are successful among Millennials because they associate themselves with a larger cause and appeal to their values. It’s about making the brand or product larger than itself and asking how it can be seen as a movement.
 
Be Funny
This is a generation of women are growing up with strong and hilarious female leaders. Millennial women look up to Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Jennifer Lawrence, Kristen Wiig, and Amy Schumer--celebrities who are reinventing comedy with a feminist twist.  

Lastly, remember to keep on your toes.  This generation of Millennial women are groundbreakers.  More than ever before, stereotypes and previously crafted expectations are being broken and revolutionized.

That’s it. Well, almost it. Courtney, nice work of helping us pull this together. Thanks for your research, positioning, and writing. But most importantly, thanks for your honesty, insights and willingness to give a part of yourself to help others see what’s effective in marketing. And thank you, reader, for taking the time to find us on #theFRESH. 

We’d be happy to share more of our insights around this audience. Connect with us today.  

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The Millennials' Most Significant Relationship: Social Media

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The Millennials' Most Significant Relationship: Social Media

Millennials are challenging the status quo within marketing and advertising--forcing new tactics within the industry. There has been so much reported, researched and written about the habits of this generation. But one thing stands out: the significant adoption of social media into their lives.


Millennials barely watch television but sleep with a mobile under their pillows. For them, the mobile device is an extension of the body, mind, mouth and heart.  Socializing and connecting is in the palm of their hand. Whether it is through Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr or Yelp--starting a conversation has never been more instant. These social media sites allow millennials to like, hashtag, repost and share content.  They are given the freedom to create their own online archive. 

But what aesthetics are millennials actually looking for in social media? Here's what our research and work tells us:

  • Mobile content
  • Consistent themes, both written and visually
  • Clear and accurate content that is impartial
  • Various viewpoints and recognizable names
  • High quality videos and photos
  • Brands with a sense of community
  • Interactive platforms

These qualities attract Millennials. They help to deliver concise, digestible messages and create a personal experience online. When crafting any content, to engage your millennial audience it helps to keep the following in mind:

  • Reveal the human side of your company
  • Write short status updates (recommended under 100 characters)
  • Respond to each comment or post on your page promptly
  • Produce content that is relevant to your audience/followers (know who they are)

Brands need to act like Millennials to attract them. In doing so, brands reduce the distance from themselves to their customers. That gap is now replaced with a personal connection the customer feels towards the brand.

Questions? Give us a buzz or send us an email. We’d love to discuss our insights and what’s worked for us. 

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What We Can Learn From Millennial Behaviors in the Alcohol Market

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What We Can Learn From Millennial Behaviors in the Alcohol Market

Millennials have changed the drinking culture. Alcohol brands have four generations to consider; the Greatest Generation (68+), the Baby Boomers (49-67), Generation X (37-48), and the youngest, the Millennials. In this article we look at alcohol preferences of Millennials to outline behavioral patterns of this group that can be applied across industries.  


Social Is Important:
Drinking alcohol is much more of a social activity than with any other generation. Millennials associate drinking with outdoor activities and holiday occasions while older generations think of drinking as something to do alone. And why wouldn’t they? Being social is a fundamental behavioral trait for people age. It’s also mirrors the digital experience Millennials have today. 

Authentic Identity and Storytelling Are Critical:
Millennials look for more authentic and flavorful experiences with their alcohol. They prefer to support brands they feel could make a difference in their own lives. What they choose to drink, is an extension of their identities. “Traditional American” beers, like Budweiser, are seen as bland so they choose craft beers, like San Francisco’s own Anchor Steam. Craft beer brands have found success by creating niche stories and designs that connect authentically. This type of experience has become the standard of trustworthy marketing to Millennial audiences. Simply put, Millennials are receptive to this flavor of content campaigning. 

Event Marketing and Blogs Rule:
When it comes to alcohol, Millennials respond best to in-person events and online blogs. Traditional marketing can be seen as untrustworthy and unnecessary. They take pride in finding a brand they love and discovering it on their own.

Brands from all industries can learn a lot from these preferences when it comes to connecting with Millennials. Baseline opportunities: 

  • Provide opportunities for the consumer to engage with and get-to-know the personality and values of your brand.
  • Align with the storytelling, authentic and adventurous spirit of millennials (How does your brand act as an extension of their respective identities?)
  • Create unique environments for to connect with your brand on a human level, whether it’s in person or online. 

If you’d like more information about how to better connect with Millennials, contact us.  We’d love to discuss how we can help you with your goals. 

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Marketing and Millennials

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Marketing and Millennials

Millennials are the new face of America. So when it comes to connecting your brand to this generation the following is true: Pay attention or be left behind. We've chosen this FRESH topic to shed some light on this important group, and to help you get a flavor of what's happening and why it matters to you. 

Millennials are classified as those born after 1980--the first generation to come of age in the 2000s. Let's get some facts straight. Here are 10 facts from the White House on Millennials:

  1. Largest and most diverse generation
  2. Shaped by being birthed into technology
  3. Value family, community and creativity in their work
  4. Invest in human capital more than previous generations
  5. Reliant on loans for education
  6. Study more, work less while in college
  7. Employment negatively effected by recession 
  8. Women are better educated
  9. Getting married later than other generations
  10. Less likely to be homeowners than previous generations

THE MILLENNIAL ECOSYSTEM 

Millennials aren't just customers. They're the new generation of marketers, too. This double impact has a global impact and is sending marketing strategies on an entirely new trajectory. Big brands are not only taking notice, they're also taking action.

For example Visa is tirelessly exploring its relationship with millennial audiences by engaging startups who can help them tap into this audience. Through a relationship with our partner, KITE, Visa offered a $50,000 bounty to the perfect startup who could help influence and improve their relationship with millennials. 

As professional marketers, Millennials are using the tools they themselves use in daily life to connect with customers, resulting in the explosion of storytelling content, video, imagery, user generated content with an immense emphasis on social media. Born into video and social, they're defining the status quo for marketing. 

As consumers, Millennials are engaging in more two-way conversations with brands than ever before. They expect to be heard, and to participate in the shaping and direction of brands and the world itself. Instead of being marketed to, they expect engagement, to see themselves in products, and to have discussions around brands. This is social. 

WHAT WE'VE LEARNED

Our work with Sephora has provided us with hands-on insights around many particulars related to this audience. Sephora continues to do an excellent job of engaging audiences through common social channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But more importantly, Sephora has done a beautiful job of creating customized content that helps Millennials feel heard and has created two-way conversations through experiences like Beauty Insider and Beauty Board

Marketing with and to Millennials isn't just a casual stroll through the park. Technology is evolving and new innovations are changing the way we market, sell, connect, and communicate daily. For brands, what's true is that we all need to stay connected to what new trends are and to have our finger on the pulse of every morning. If you're trying to do anything with your brand, consideration of this generation must be a key element to your strategy. 

We'd love to share our insights with you. Keep things FRESH

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