10 Ways Brands Can Connect with Millennial Consumers
And some of the companies winning our (Instagram) hearts
1. Align physical design with emotional drivers
Millennials are drawn to the promise of unique experiences, which creates an opportunity for brands to leverage physical environments to develop a connection with customers. Whole Foods recently revamped three of its store locations to focus on bold visuals, local details, and authentic messaging catered to Millennials.
With illustrated phrases such as “Change the world every time you gather around the table” written across the walls, the in-store experience evokes an immediate emotional response from the consumer.
2. Meet consumers where they already are
By establishing a presence in environments where Millennials are already operating, or positioning a product that matches their current lifestyle, brands can increase awareness and relevance with new target markets.
Chandon won big with Millennials by adapting their sparkling wine packaging, price point, and purpose to inspire everyday celebrations.
With bottles adorned in splashes of pink and blue, nautical stripes and gold scribbled phrases like “The party starts here” — the packaging and messaging presented the perfect Instagram opportunity and at an affordable price point, Chandon’s new sparkle instantly became a lifestyle blogger’s dream.
3. Sell a product, market a community
Every Monday at noon on the dot, fitness enthusiasts across the country are refreshing the SoulCycle reservation screen to book a front row bike with their favorite instructor. Decked in Soul-branded gear, the company’s cult-like following crams into cycling studios across the country for a high-intensity workout. A pack mentality is built into every part of the SoulCycle experience, inspiring a “ride together” mantra that keeps customers coming back for more, despite the $34/class price tag.
4. Give away something valuable without expectation
Beyond offering free trials of products or services, brands can also offer industry knowledge to win customer loyalty. HubSpot has a library of free downloadable guides on marketing topics ranging from increasing blog traffic to creating a newsletter and writing an e-book. By sharing quality resources to attract new visitors to the site, HubSpot is able to immediately add value to readers, while rapidly building their database of prospective clients and brand awareness amongst relevant communities.
5. Support the startup ecosystem by sharing resources
When it comes to encouraging entrepreneurship, corporate support is not limited to financial resources. Brands like Campbell Soup Company are investing in young entrepreneurs by giving them access to expertise and industry knowledge to help them accelerate their businesses and careers.
Through the Camp Campbell program, Campbell Soup Company is supporting almost 180 young female founders and change makers who share a passion for food and values-driven leadership.
In return, Campbell can look to this community for feedback and thought leadership.
6. Crowdsource ideas and feedback
Last year, Marriott launched Canvas, a global concept lab that allows entrepreneurs, chefs, bartenders and food artisans to pitch their own food or drink concept for select Marriott locations.
By tapping into the creativity of young food and drink entrepreneurs, Marriott sources a range of innovative ideas and a pipeline of talent to help attract new customers and delight foodies with select pop-up concepts at hotels around the world.
By leveraging platforms like TribeTalk, brands can connect with curated target audiences to get real time feedback on products and services, float new ideas, and execute targeted market research projects. TribeTalk not only helps boost brand advocacy and engagement within consumer communities, but also helps brands reward loyalists and influencers for their feedback with products, discounts, cash or brand experiences. It’s a win-win for all.
7. Inspire consumers to share in their creativity
Coca-Cola is continuously coming up with fun interactive experiences to engage and excite its customers, including the recent “Share a Coke” campaign featuring personalized bottles.
The campaign is inherently viral by prompting Coke drinkers to share a drink with others.
Beyond their creative call-to-action packaging, the company also leverages “freestyle” fountain machines, where drinkers can mix their own unique mash-up flavors (with over 100 combinations available). Not only does this concept allow customers to try out new drink concoctions, but the dispensers themselves supply Coca-Cola with an incredible amount of consumer data on beverage preferences for future product development.
8. Make the most of sponsorship dollars
By finding sponsorship opportunities that align with a brand’s ethos, participants and guests can connect in a more authentic way with the sponsor. Naked Juice and Lululemon have sponsored Daybreaker, a word-of-mouth 7am rave that convenes swarms of Millennials to start their day with a crazy dance party. As two brands committed to inspiring an active, healthy lifestyle, the sponsorship was a natural fit to support creative, adrenaline-pumping experiences focused on enriching people’s lives.
9. Empower brand advocacy by showcasing loyalists
GoPro’s award-winning Instagram strategy shares user-generated footage of awe-inspiring moments taken on GoPro cameras.By empowering GoPro users to share their own photos and videos (and rewarding their favorite submissions with cash prizes), the brand not only engages customers with a multimedia journey of epic adventures and immersive visuals from their loyal community, but also showcases the vast range of their products’ capabilities to inspire purchase-intent.
10. Live your purpose
Nothing solidifies long-term customer loyalty like the emotional connection of shared values. Patagonia stands by its mission statement to “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis” with every decision the company makes.
Whether Patagonia customers walk in the door because of the company’s products or the company’s purpose, they keep coming back because the values and vision of the brand resonate with them.
If you are looking to connect with brands in a more meaningful way, join TribeTalk and get rewarded for sharing your feedback.
Originally published at purposegeneration.com on October 20, 2015.
For more stories inspiring our community to dream bigger and hustle harder — sign up for our newsletter