Millennial Branding: Promotion Tactics for Young Consumers

POSTED BY Greg Keating ON May 17, 2016 8:30:00 AM

image credit: itpictures via flickr ccu

By 2017, millennials will have more spending power than any other generation. As BazaarVoice writes, capturing the business of the youngest consumers is critical to the future success of CPG brands. While millennials spend, on average, 28% more at mass retailers, they’re less likely to have strong loyalties. For CPG brands with the right promotion methods to gain notice from millennials, the future looks incredibly bright.

Forbes notes that millennials approach brands much differently than members of Generation X or Baby Boomers. For consumers born after 1980, shopping is a social experience. The youngest consumers are most likely to trust recommendations of their “digital tribe” to discover new grocery products.

CPG consumers who are hoping to target the youngest shoppers must “redesign” the way they approach product promotion. Studies of millennial buying habits indicate that television commercials, radio advertising, and celebrity spokespersons aren’t likely to be as effective as mobile campaigns, social media and other forms of digital outreach. Join us as we review promotion methods that can drive success with millennial marketing.

Market “Bespoke” Products

Millennials are adventurous eaters, and always up for a surprise when it comes to sampling new products. One surprising statistic indicates 43% higher demand for fruit-flavored coffee products. In the words of consumer behaviorist Ken Hughes, millennials don’t want “carbon copy brands.” Instead, there is considerable demand for unusual food experiences with a personalized twist. Brands of all sizes can produce innovative products that carry a story to appeal to the palates and minds of millennials.

They Crave Exceptional Content

HubSpot reports that the average millennial spends 25 hours online each week. These hours are spent on social media and in search of exceptional, “authentic” content experiences. In fact, millennials are most likely to share, ReTweet, pin, and trust content that they perceive as authentic.

Authenticity excludes anything that’s too sales-driven in tone. It doesn’t include overt marketing messages. Instead, millennials trust honest reviews from their peers, and brand marketing messages that feel like they could have come from a trusted friend or family member. 

Promote Your Values

Despite perceptions of millennials as self-centered, they’re actually among the most altruistic generations. Concepts like environmental sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and more deeply matter to millennials, who are willing to put their money where their mouths are. 

Food Navigator predicts that as the purchasing power of millennials grow, these youngest consumers will funnel more money towards local and organic products, as well as items produced by brands with a strong sense of corporate responsibility. By marketing values and offering products within millennials’ budgets, brands can appeal to the youngest consumers.

They Want to Collaborate

A staggering 42% of millennials want to help brands develop future product offerings. Millennials are inherently curious, hence the exploding popularity of food promotions that offer a “behind the scenes” look at how ingredients are grown and sourced. They have a genuine interest in helping develop products that are suited to their unique interests, tastes, and lifestyles.

For CPG products, enlisting panels of millennial consumers can be a powerhouse tool for new product innovation and development. Brands gain access to real customer feedback, while their customers get to feel like they’re a significant part of the product development process. In addition to proof that their target market will like their new products, both parties gain the benefit of stronger relationships.

Understanding the unique needs, preferences, and pain points of a generation can be crucial to CPG promotion success. For grocery companies who are hoping to capture the business of millennial consumers, it’s important to develop authentic content, bespoke products, promote their values, and foster collaboration.

Topics cpg

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