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Marketing to the Elusive Millennial

Effectively marketing to millennials is a hot topic for nearly every industry, but it seems so few brands have cracked the code of how to do it successfully. Millennials are hard to market to, with their notoriously short attention spans and their love of quickly disappearing trends and forever changing technology. Marketing to millennials has one well-kept secret though, which is that they are 71% more likely to purchase a product when they are referred to it via social media, especially if they are introduced to it by one of their peers. In contrast to that statistic, they are only 7% likely to purchase that same product if they don’t see it on social media. Obviously, those numbers could lead you to a goldmine of customers, but the question is…how do you get your products to be shared and hopefully recommended on social media by millennials around the globe? While this is a question that many brands are asking themselves, a few may just have it figured out. Take a look at the list of brands that we believe have not only successfully captured the attention of millennials but have convinced them to enthusiastically represent their brand as well.


A favorite drink amongst millennials, but why? Although their sparkling water doesn’t taste that much different than any other, their marketing is in a class of their own. La Croix knew they had the opportunity to reach Millennials on a social channel and chose to run a campaign that encouraged their audience to share images using the hashtag #lacroix for the chance to be featured on the page. It sounds super simple, and that’s because it is, but it was also wildly successful. More than 50% of their Instagram feed is images of their fans enjoying La Croix, meaning their posts are all perfectly branded yet unique and highly focused on peer review. Their success is easily measured because the hashtag #lacroix has been used more than 187,000 times between 2016 and 2017 and they had a reported net sale of $826.9 million that same year.


Betabrand works by allowing their audience (who are mostly millennials) to participate in their clothing design process. Their clothing concepts are released to their fans who then vote on them, provide feedback and comments, and, of course, share them across social media. This process allows their audience to feel personally connected to their clothing pieces, which in turn, encourages them to not only share but recommend the products which they feel they’ve helped to create. This leads to tremendously valuable peer reviews which is exactly what you need to captivate a millennial consumer! As for the success, Betabrand has had multiple clothing items go viral, (who hasn’t seen these dress pant yoga pants?) but they’ve also raised over $33 million in just five rounds.


Spotify has a slightly more rigorous marketing plan to reach their millennial audience. They recently teamed up with SnapChat to create a channel where millennials can easily access sharable content such as clips of music videos, messages from recording artists, and music news along with more viral content such as that hideous gold/blue dress! Of course, SnapChat is one of the most popular playgrounds of millennials so creating a channel with millennial attractive content was a power move. Since aiming their focus on targeting to this large generation, millennials now make up over 72% of Spotify’s weekly streams, making them the number 1 music streaming provider in the United States.


Instead of relying upon only peers, Lululemon took a different approach by utilizing local yoga teachers or fitness professionals to represent and recommend their brand. This has proven to be highly effective, not just on social media but also in brick and mortar pop up shops at local fitness clubs and classes. This adds a sense of security for millennials who may be a bit apprehensive about spending hundreds of dollars on a few workout pieces. But, if local yoga teachers and fitness professionals are recommending the brand, then a splurge on workout gear feels a little more worth it. After all, these professionals aren’t wealthy celebrities who can easily afford the price tag, they’re everyday people who the everyday millennial can identify with. With overall sales reaching $928.8 million, it’s evident Lululemon knows how to keep their audience infatuated and eager to spend. While your hunt for the perfect millennial marketing campaign may be just beginning, there are plenty of easily achievable yet effective components which you should consider. If you don’t succeed the first time, don’t worry, with this audience’s short attention span it won’t be long before you’re given another chance to try again!  
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