Millennials are quickly becoming a sought-after audience for companies across all types of industry verticals. As the first digitally-savvy generation enters adulthood, they represent a market of over 80 million consumers in the US alone, poised to spend approximately $600 billion every year (according to research from Accenture).
These trends drive millennial behaviors and attitudes.
In our earlier post on “Creating Content for the Selfie Generation,” we explored some of the trends that are driving Millennial behaviors and attitudes. Although they like taking pictures of themselves, that doesn’t mean they are selfish and vain. While they often seek out the best bargain — just like their parents do — they place serious value on corporate transparency. They care about how products are made and the impact a business has on the planet.
For marketers looking to engage this new cohort, we’ve highlighted some brands who are succeeding in meeting this fluid generation on their own turf.
Fabletics Combines Celebrity With Mindful Lifestyles
Fabletics is a brand of affordable activewear for young women whose image among Millennial audiences has been bolstered by its co-founder, actress Kate Hudson. It may seem contradictory that authenticity-focused Millennials could be swayed by the words of an influential celebrity, but Boston Consulting Group has found that “Millennials [are] twice as likely as Gen-Xers to say that they are influenced by celebrities, and four times more likely than boomers.” It’s safe to say that Fabletics brings much more to the table than just celebrity repertoire – with over 1 million members, Fabletics is able to reach a highly sought-after audience by just being themselves.
Beyond the glow of celebrity, Fabletics captures younger minds through its strong company culture and values, which touch on community, achievement, passions or hobbies, and healthy lifestyle tips. The company’s blog, The Core, complements Fabletics monthly product offerings for both active and lifestyle wear by providing substantive, endearing articles around fitness routines, healthy food recipes, dating advice, travel ideas, fashion inspiration, and more.
Virgin Inspires Budding Entrepreneurs and Activists
Virgin’s “In Focus” blog inspires Millennials with stories about the disruptive entrepreneurs and businesses that are striving to change the world. According to a study from Deloitte, roughly 75 percent of Millennials believe that corporations can positively impact society, while assuming responsibility for how their businesses affect local communities and the environment.
Virgin caters to this audience with timely articles about new scientific advances that affect various industries, profiles of innovative business professionals, and monthly deep-dives into bigger topics such as “The Future of Money.” The blog also includes a robust mentor-style op-ed section, frequented by the company’s own eccentric founder and CEO Richard Branson.
Tesco Living Equips Millennials With Useful ‘Life Hacks’
A grocery retailer might not immediately come to mind as a business poised for engaging with Millennials, but UK-based Tesco has led the way in creating valuable content that connects and deepens its relationship with younger audiences. Tesco Living is an online destination filled with engaging “life hacks,” smart money saving tips, upcycling and craft ideas.
Although many of these articles may not directly correlate with a product that Tesco sells in its stores, the utility they offer serves to improve the company’s brand awareness and affinity amongst Millennial audiences, proven with huge engagement on social media. The retailer’s content strategy builds on the type of “life hack” content that was originated by popular sites like Mashable and Elite Daily, and has since proven to not just resonate amongst Millennials but audiences of all ages who share a similar mindset.
Refinery29 Encourages People to Live Stylishly and Share Freely
If you are a young person on the go, consuming most of your lifestyle and culture news through your mobile device, you’ve probably heard of Refinery29. The digital magazine is a lifestyle platform that covers “everything from shopping and beauty to wellness and celebrities, giving readers all the tips, tricks, and tools they need to live a more beautiful life — and share it with the world.”
Shareability has been a key factor in the site’s runaway success. Refinery29’s clean and simplistic site design resembles platforms like Facebook and Instagram, with attractive thumbnail photos, compelling headlines, and prominent sharing buttons. Research from The Content Strategist found that Millennials are most likely to read and share articles that are no longer than 300 words, and Refinery29 has followed this lead and dedicated significant resources to optimizing its content for social media channels, producing digestible content that can be read on the go.
Plated Turns Aspirational Foodies Into Seasoned At-Home Chefs
Plated is a boxed dinner service that delivers high-quality ingredients and a recipe to people’s doorsteps. For a new and interesting dinner, all one has to do is follow the step-by-step instructions. This convenient and easy-to-use food service is obviously appealing to anyone old enough to cook, but Plated enlisted a particularly effective marketing campaign to engage with Millennial audiences.
Following its initial launch, the company leveraged its positive coverage in foodie-oriented publications to promote a mix of earned media and targeted landing pages to audiences across social media and content discovery channels. These articles — which were more authentic than traditional advertising, and often employed a “life hack” approach around simplifying one’s dinner routine — resonated with audiences so effectively that many users signed up for a free trial within the same session.
Although Millennial audiences can seem like a perplexing and impenetrable demographic, they are a generation that marketers can’t afford to neglect. Many brands are forging successful strategies for breaking through and engaging with Millennials in an authentic way. And as the above examples have shown, this generation’s expansive desires and interests leave room for a variety of approaches.