How to Serve Eggs to Millennials
Hipsters: The original millennials
And by that I don’t mean everyone will soon be wearing skinny jeans, rocking round tortoise sunglasses, drinking PBR, and bragging about how they knew *insert band name here* way before they were popular.
Sure, hipsters can get a bad rap sometimes, but in a lot of ways they represent millennials’ values and preferences — minus the aforementioned characteristics. The so-called “rise of the hipster” in the early to mid 2000s was the beginning of a paradigm shift of young consumers’ preferences and buying patterns. In many ways, their rebellion against the status quo and desire for authentic, personalized experiences was a prelude to what many millennials now seek.
Millennials are a population with diverse demographics. On one end of the spectrum, we have high school and college students, while on the other, young adults and new parents. Despite the obvious gap in life stages, you can draw parallels between core values: The desire to shop local; a focus on value rather than price; interest in customization and uniqueness; a tendency to rely on friends’ experiences for purchasing decisions.
The mistake that many businesses and brands make is not realizing that congruent buying preferences don’t necessarily translate to the ability to take a “one size fits all” advertising approach.
Just because all of your customers like eggs, doesn’t mean they all want them scrambled. You’ve got to identify who likes them scrambled, hard boiled, over-easy and so on.
Their core values might help you create a general strategy but from there you need to deliver a highly targeted and customized experience. Do you like peppers in your scramble? Any meats? How about Sriracha? OK, I’m done with the eggs analogy. But seriously, you need have a highly specific and strategic approach when reaching out to millennials. How do you do this? Well, we’re glad you asked!
GIVE MILLENNIALS EASY ACCESS TO INFORMATION
Millennials will do research for a $50 product. It’s not that they’re all stingy with their money, they’ve just come to expect easy access to information. If a quick Google search or Amazon product review can guarantee they’re getting what they pay for, then why not? However, don’t force millennials to do all of the heavy lifting. If your product has a more robust buying cycle, identify the top questions prospective customers might ask and then present the answers early before they move on to a competitor.
Take ZipCar, for example. Without leaving their homepage you receive answers to four common questions: What is ZipCar, how does it work, where can I get one, and what’s the cost? Below that they provide additional video resources that highlight exactly what some of their customers use ZipCar for. Their YouTube channel is chock full of additional informational videos including the How To Zip series that answers any more questions you might have.
ALIGN YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION WITH THE PERSONAL VALUE PROPOSITIONS OF YOUR SELECTED MARKET
Ask yourself: what is it that makes my product or service better than the competition? Once you identify your key differentiators, present them in a way that speaks to the personal value proposition your customers are seeking. Find out what they care about and align your brand with the needs, wants and interests of your potential customers.
If you look at Topo Design’s website, you see a brand that understands its customers wants and needs. Topo places special emphasis on the fact that its products are handmade in the U.S.A and explicitly highlights their top-notch materials and construction. They understand that the people who buy their gear will be traveling, hiking, commuting, and generally living an active lifestyle. Customers with these types of interests need durable, high-quality products. Their blog, cleverly labeled “In The Wild,” has a plethora of resources including trip documentaries, ambassador profiles, gear guides and product releases.
LET THEM PLAY BEFORE THEY PURCHASE
The more digital assets your company can provide throughout the buying cycle the better. Millennials seek value, and value can be created by giving them a sense of control over their purchases. They want to know exactly what they’re getting, thus pre-purchase immersive experiences give millennials the confidence to buy.
Yakima’s Fit Your Vehicle product experience gives potential customers the confidence to purchase a highly customizable product online and expect it to fit. Yakima allows you to select your vehicle’s year, make, model, and roof type, and then they show you the products that will fit. In addition to this, you can search their products by activity as well as rack type. Similar to ZipCar, they also have a “How It Works” page which gives potential customers Rack 101; An in-depth overview as to how their rack systems work.
DON’T ALLOW YOUR SALES PROCESS TO END AT THE POINT OF CONVERSION
Sure, the sales process leading up to the point of purchase is important, but then what? Too many brands stop engaging with their customers once they’ve made the initial sale. This is a lost opportunity to create brand advocates and encourage future purchases. Creating tailored content that aligns with your customer’s interest helps brands foster brand culture. By fostering this community and increasing communication with converted customers, you can create the coveted brand ambassador. After all, word of mouth and product recommendations are more powerful than any advertising.
SunSki Sunglasses does a great job at doing just that. First off, I love these sunglasses. They’re affordable, durable, and polarized. I expressed my love for them so much, fellow Saltie Brayden actually went out and picked up a pair for himself. See, brand advocacy does work! SunSki’s website provides an in-depth look at founders Tom and Michael’s journey to creating their company which allows consumers to immediately make a personal connection. Their visually driven blog shows brand advocates traveling to exotic locations, attending music festivals, sailing in Iceland, snowboarding, surfing, roadtripping and generally doing every rad activity imaginable. Obviously all of this is supported with very active social channel, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It’s a quintessential example of a brand-fostering community to retain customers beyond the initial purchase.
Picking up what we’re putting down? Digging what we’re burying? Snacking what we’re packing? Check our blog for more insights!