There are often stigmas associated with millennials and, in my personal experience, they can be fairly augmented.
Gen Z’ers along with millennials are the two most influential generations when it comes to branding now.
Their mindset and increased social awareness are changing the ways companies and brands themselves make products and interact with consumers.
Let's get the basics
What are Millennials? These are people born from 1981-1996.
What are those considered Generation Z? These are people born from 1997-2012.
What do Millennials and Gen Z want from brands? Put simply, they crave authenticity from brands. Studies show that they value social proof and word-of-mouth marketing from friends and trusted influencers. They want to see more user-generated content and branded content that depicts real people who look like them.
Technology is advancing fast
We are in the middle of a digital revolution; one that is embedding technology into humans and society as a whole.
And technology means more than just how can I rank for page #1 on Google.
While experiencing this shift, aesthetics are becoming increasingly important, as shown by the over 1billion active users on Instagram every month.
Visually Brand Appeal
More and more often it’s about short social copy with an attractive visual to truly capture people online.
This makes sense, as we are visual beings and process images 60,000 times faster than text.
Because of this, products can no longer be solely functional, they also have to be visually appealing to be popular.
Does your brand elicit (pleasant) emotions?
Think about today’s most popular brands such as JBL or Nike.
Their products are not only high-quality but also sleek in design.
People flock to those brands because their attractiveness elicits pleasant emotions in users.
Looks aren’t everything
Brand message and attitude counts just as much and Millennials have indicated that brand purpose is very important in the decision to associate and/or buy from a brand.
These generations are driving a very hard change in their shift in mindset and are putting their money where their hearts are.
You can say goodbye to the days of producing an item, buying billboard space along the highway, and hoping publicity with a catchy slogan will be enough to separate your brand from your competitor.
Nowadays, you're going to need a lot more brand and marketing strategy than that.
Two great ideas to set yourself apart from similar brands are:
Generational Branding Questions to Ask
If you're able to answer these 4 key branding questions, it will be easy for your brand to communicate with the next generation.
1) How are you currently communicating with these generations?
It's important to understand exactly what you're doing differently to reach and engage with these generations. When you're creating content, are you asking yourself the right questions before putting in all that time and effort on blog posts?
2) How effective are your existing marketing strategies?
When you're able to measure and attribute what your marketing efforts are doing, then you'll be able to identify your true brand effectiveness.
3) Do you believe there is room for growth?
First, find the low-hanging fruit then move on to exploring new areas and platforms that you can utilize to engage with more Millennials and Generation Z'ers.
4) Have you performed a digital audit of your brand?
Most marketers will tell you that they know everything there is to know about their brand, including what opportunities there are.
When in reality, they likely don't have a clue as to how they can start to optimize and revamp their brand.
If you're humble enough to admit you're not sure, then it would be extremely beneficial to schedule a free discovery call with a marketing agency that can guide you along the way.
The “why” matters A LOT
These generations are not hard to understand. Many times we paint them as a different species with whom it is difficult to interact with.
That is not the case.
They are simply a digitally-savvy generation that enjoy both functionality but also quality products that are socially responsible and have a strong purpose and identity.
Social Media plays a large role in their decision to purchase from a brand as the message you send reflects your brand identity.
So what’s your favorite brand right now and why? Let us know in the comments below.