3 Ways To Engage Millennials With Experiences

Blog Experiences not things 7.2.15Why Your Brand Needs Millennials — Millennials now outnumber Baby Boomers! According to the latest Census estimates reported in June, there are now 83.1 million Millennials in the country, compared to 75.4 million Boomers. Millennials now represent $1.3 trillion in consumer spending and they’ll account for one-third of the U.S. population by 2020.

Based upon Millennials’ influence and spending power, your brand needs to engage them to be successful. But, you’ll have to kick traditional advertising to the curb because 84% indicate they don’t like or trust traditional advertising.  Your brand needs to be where they are, in-person and online, and show you understand their values.

Millennial Values — This generation has a unique set of values . . . Realness & transparency; creativity & self-expression; civic-mindedness, positivity & fun.  To develop relationships with Millennials, your brand needs to incorporate these values into all touchpoints . . . including experiences.

 Millennials Are Seeking Experiences — For Millennials, happiness isn’t as focused on possessions as it was for previous generations. Living a meaningful, happy life is about creating, sharing and capturing memories earned through experiences. Millennials highly value experiences and are increasingly spending more time and more money on them.

Nearly 8 in 10 Millennials indicate that some of their best memories are from an event or live experience they attended or participated in. Sixty-nine percent believe attending live events and experiences make them more connected to other people, the community and the world.

  1. In-store Experiences Engage — Stores are attempting to create in-store experiences that will engage Millennials . . . and, Sephora is one that’s doing it right.

Sephora knows that shopping for makeup can be a hassle. A woman has to browse the store for what she hopes will look good on her. When she thinks she’s found what she’s looking for, she’ll use the tester to try it on. If it doesn’t look as good as imagined, she moves onto other products. But, to try on the new product, she has to take off the makeup that’s already on. After each tester choice, she has to remove the product to try out the next, which is time consuming. And, let’s face it . . . frustrating.

To save time, she can just buy the makeup without trying it on. But if she isn’t satisfied with how the makeup looks, there’s nothing she can do . . . except throw it in the “rejected makeup drawer.” Admit it ladies, we all have one!

Sephora is addressing this unsatisfying shopping experience by using technology to engage Millennials. Last summer, they launched a mirror that simulates makeup on a shopper’s face by tracking her movements and “applying” eye shadow through the mirror’s camera. Customers can try out various colors by tapping the color on the screen to see how it looks on them from all angles by turning their faces.

Although the mirror can be used by all customers, it’s particularly appealing to Millennials because it helps them make purchase decisions using technology.

  1. Sharing Experiences On Social Media — Millennials not only enjoy experiences . . . they enjoying sharing them on social media! Tweeting and posting from events and in-store experiences is a natural behavior for this generation because they want to share with friends and family.

Taco Bell created an experience specifically to tap into this generation’s social media influence. For the launch of its breakfast menu, the brand gave prepaid burner phones to a group of 1,000 Millennials who received secret missions to accomplish via Instagram and Twitter. The chance to be one of the 1,000 and participate in something innovative and fun resulted in over 16,000 tweets about the campaign in just 10 days!

  1. Co-create Experiences with Millennials — They want to co-create experiences, products and services with brands. It’s important to involve them in experience and product development. But, Millennials want to be included in the decision-making process beyond focus groups or social media. The best way to accomplish this is to have conversations with them.

How To Create Experiences That Engage Millennials — Weave compelling experiences into your brand strategy. When creating experiences for Millennials, tap into their values of realness and transparency; creativity and self-expression; civic-mindedness and fun. When you do, this generation will be more likely to want a relationship with your brand.

Get together with your brand team, invite some Millennials and begin ideating how to create engaging experiences. Toss away the old way of thinking that experiences should be category-specific. Think about events that appeal to Millennials. That’s how you’ll engage them!

Published by

Fran Lytle

Behaviorist, Brand Strategist, Co-founder Brand Champs