Brand Equity is Not Enough – 3 Tips for Marketing to Millennials

Photo of Lauren Gallo

iStock 648482122Millennials are now the largest consumer group in America, according to US census data at roughly 75.4 million. They are the consumers of today and will be the consumers of tomorrow. Millennials will spend money on what fits with their personal aesthetic and, more importantly, what feels authentic to their lifestyle. A strong brand name isn’t enough, companies need to provide a much more engaging shopping experience. How do marketers win over this coveted audience?

Take Glossier, a beauty brand developed out of Emily Weiss’ hugely popular Into The Gloss blog. Glossier quickly disrupted the market with its collection of skincare and makeup products that exude a minimal, ‘cool girl without trying too hard’ image. Utilizing social marketing, the brand tapped into key strategies that led to huge success, picking up $24M in Series B funding in 2016 and they are looking to go global. And it’s not just beauty brands that can learn from this example.

Every day, many of us here at Caiman develop and employ strategies like these for our clients to help them reach their marketing goals and further engage with this large consumer base. Here are three strategic lessons that are worth adopting if you want to capture the attention of the millennial market:

Adopt Social Channels Beyond Facebook and Twitter
With channels like Snapchat dominating the social media landscape and brands finding less post fatigue on Instagram as opposed to Facebook, consider adding other channels to the mix to reach millennials. But remember, it’s about delivering a human experience, not blatant advertising. This is something we’ve seen great success with in helping our client eBay launch their Imgur channel. Many users, comment positively that they don’t realize they’re reading an ad and cite eBay as a best-in-class example of doing ads right on the channel. Learn more.

Leverage Influencer Marketing
Word-of-mouth is still a powerful driving force, evidenced in the rise of the influencer - the trendsetters and perceived experts that feel ‘just-like-you’ but that you also aspire to emulate. Influencers are fantastic at selling a lifestyle, and many consumers live for their product recommendations. The “everyday” influencers have surpassed celebrities as the chief stars in this arena, with audience sizes ranging in the millions. They’re personable, likeable, trusted by their followers, and have a lot of untapped power in selling your brand with authenticity.

iStock 519689648Practice Social Listening
The now classic adage still rings true: social media is a conversation, not a monologue. It’s often compared to being at a cocktail party. How do you become the most interesting person in the room? Know your audience and know what strengths to play. If you want you to fit into your audience’s lifestyle, you need to hear what they’re saying and what their interests are in relation to your brand and your competitors. With the rise of free Software As A Service (SaaS) tools like Hootsuite, this has become easier than ever to utilize.

Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” The same can be said for the constantly evolving world of digital marketing. If you don’t stop to see what’s going on, you might get left behind.