5 Steps To Engage Millennials — Brand Champs

Blog Millennials BC Feb blogAuthenticity, Not Interception – Engaging Millennials, a media-savvy generation comprising 27% of the U.S. population, requires an approach that marketers have traditionally not embraced . . . an approach about authenticity and transparency, not interception.

Millennials are always multi-tasking . . . many of them multi-task using multiple screens and multiple devices at the same time. This is a generation that grew up with the Internet. They’re used to checking online before buying something. And, they expect a seamless online experience regardless of the device they’re using.

Another consequence of growing up with the Internet is that Millennials prefer democratic, collaborative processes. They love being part of a team . . . they want to participate and they want their views to be heard.

Millennial Power – By 2020, Millennials will have $1.4 trillion in spending power in the U.S. They’re educated with an innate understanding of marketing and of their power over and value to brands. Millennials are significantly more likely than older generations to believe they have the capacity to help a brand succeed or fail.

Millennials As Brand Advocates – According to the Hashtag Nation “Marketing to the Selfie Generation” study, Millennials will advocate for brands they love . . .

  • 59% will “Like” the brand on Facebook
  • 57% will get involved in direct advocacy
  • 54% will purchase a that brand’s products in-store
  • 48% will buy that brand’s products online
  • Yet, 40% of Millennials complain brands don’t take them seriously. Don’t want to be “one of those brands?” Then, keep reading . . .

Brand Success – 5 Steps To Engage Millennials

  1. Make It Authentic – If your story is organic and not synthetic, it’ll engage Millennials. Johnson & Johnson’s Clean & Clear #Seetherealme effort, for example, is an unscripted integrated digital and social campaign that showcases real-life teenage girls struggling with their skin issues.  The 19-part YouTube series has done phenomenally well because it touches a chord with young Millennial females. The bonus? It made the girls feel involved . . . it gave them a voice.
  1. Support causes that are important to Millennials — Millennials are constantly on the lookout for brands that align with their values and allow them to actively make a difference in their everyday lives. TOMS is doing a great job with this type of marketing.  The TOMS “One for One” campaign is one of the most successful cause brand campaigns. TOMS is winning with Millennials by engaging them in innovative ways, encouraging them to share their stories and marketing a cause that’s different.

The TOMS “One for One” campaign is so successful with Millennials because TOMS provides an individualized toolkit for participation and Millennials are encouraged to share their stories and engage in open dialogues about the cause instead of the product. TOMS is now considered a movement by Millennials . . . not just a company.

  1. Create experiences — Millennials buy stuff for reasons that are different from GenX and Baby Boomers. They buy things they can tell others about. They buy things because of what those purchases say about them. This explains why Millennials spend money on experiences.  The traditional advertising route won’t work with Millennials. Brands that are engaging Millennials are shifting their marketing dollars to events where Millennials can experience the brand. Chipotle is engaging Millennials through offline and online events.

In 2011, Chipotle launched Cultivate — Food, Ideas & Music Festival. In the first year, more than 17,000 attended and attendance continues to grow. The Festival features live music and chefs from around the country. Attendees are also educated about responsible farming.

Chipotle’s content marketing takes on industrial farming with their video “Back to the Start, which depicts the life of a farmer as he slowly turns his family farm into an industrial animal factory before seeing the error of his ways and opting for a more sustainable future.

Chipotle’s offline and online experiences motivate Millennials to have a relationship with Chipotle . . . to eat at Chipotle, share Chipotle stories with their friends and collaborate in advocating for the importance of developing a sustainable food system.

  1. Provide opportunities for them to interact — Millennials have the need to share their lives online and in-person with friends, family and the general public.

Starbucks is doing a great job with this! Campaigns like Tweet-a-Coffee and the Starbucks app allow Millennials to use social media to share coffee and connect with each other. Starbucks locations encourage face-to-face interactions with their cozy seating arrangements and high-top tables that create a feeling of community. Starbucks Millennial marketing is successful . . . it ranks highly among Millennials in terms of brand equity, according to Goldman Sachs.

  1. Include them in decision-making — As Millennials age, it will be crucial for brands to continue conversations with them using insight communities and other engagement tools.

Millennials want to be included in the decision-making process beyond focus groups or social media. They want to be brought in as respected thought leaders to help contribute ideas and develop concepts and strategies. They want to get their voices heard in the early stages of a campaign or new product development.

Use These Steps To Engage Millennials — If you want to engage Millennials, your brand needs to make it authentic; support causes that are important to them; create experiences; provide opportunities for them to interact; and include them in decision-making. The result? Brand success.

Fran P4W copyFran Lytle is a behaviorist, brand strategist, author & co-founder of Brand Champs.  Fran develops brand strategy, emotional brand storytelling, content marketing & social media programs that engage people by applying psychology & human and gender-specific behavior.  She specializes in developing & implementing marketing-to-women programs. Contact her at fran@brandchamps.com connect with Fran on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.

3 Tips Backed By Science To Engage Women

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Did you know that because of our brain structure humans are story junkies?  Our brain reacts differently when presented with a story than when it’s offered facts.  Stories that we read, hear and watch affect us naturally. Because of our brain’s neural coupling, stories activate parts of our brain that help us to integrate stories into our own experiences.  Since women’s brains have more interconnectivity than men’s brains, this process happens more frequently.  When a woman hears a story, she’ll search for relevance to her life experiences.  If she doesn’t find any, she’ll forget the story!

Share Emotional Stories — Our brain also releases dopamine when presented with an emotional story . . . this helps us to remember the story longer and with greater accuracy than when faced with a non-emotional story.  When women hear or read an emotional story, we’re more likely to tell other women.  It’s because women have more emotional outposts in our brain than men . . . 36, compared to 4.  And, our emotional outposts are located closer to the area of the brain that is responsible for speech.

Women Storytellers

Blog4Photo2Because of genetic memory, women evolved to be storytellers.  Our ancient female ancestors were responsible for raising children in the tribe until they were old enough to have kids of their own. To keep children safe, women shared warnings and instructions within a story . . . which resulted in children following the warning, remembering it and passing it along.  This was a big “Aha!” moment for women. Women also enjoy telling and hearing stories because it’s a way for us to interact while reducing the possibility of having a conversation that might lead to conflict. Because of hereditary influences, women enjoy interaction and collaboration, but attempt to avoid conflict.  Since our past female relatives had to raise children, they  needed to collaborate with other women in the tribe.  Today, this collaborative nature continues to motivate women’s behaviors. So, what do these social science insights mean to your brand?  To engage women, you must be a creative storyteller.

3 Behavioral Tips to Engage Women

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1.  Women are people-powered.  Women consider people to be the most important and interesting aspects of life.  This is because a woman’s highest personal value is establishing and nurturing relationships.  And, let’s face it, how can we establish and nurture relationships with your brand if you don’t provide us with the opportunity to interact with people?  What is your brand doing on social media to engage in conversations with women?

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2.  Women are driven by empathy.    The operative emotion with women is empathy.  We want to belong and be understood.  We relate to stories that have people and situations we recognize.   When we hear idealized scenarios, we don’t identify with them.  We’re looking for the “that’s me!” moments.  But, be careful!  Although we don’t want to hear stories about the “perfect” woman, we also don’t appreciate continually hearing stories about the “harried” woman.  Keep it real.

Blog4Photo53.  Women need women.  Behaviorists refer to this as the “girlfriend factor.”  Having girlfriends keeps us healthy, happy and sane.  When faced with a stressful situation, we don’t exhibit the same “fight or flight” behavior as men.  We’ll huddle with girlfriends . . . which biologically decreases our stress level.  How is your brand helping us to bond with women?

Your Brand Needs Women — We control $7 trillion in U.S. spending.  But, we need your brand to respect us by sharing stories that are relevant.  Show us you respect us by embracing female-specific behavior and share content that we want to hear!

Fran P4W copyFran Lytle is a behaviorist, brand strategist, author & co-founder of Brand Champs.  Fran develops brand strategy, emotional brand storytelling, content marketing & social media programs that engage people by applying psychology & human and gender-specific behavior.  She specializes in developing & implementing marketing-to-women programs. Contact her at fran@brandchamps.com connect with Fran on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.

What You Can Learn From Shonda Rhimes About Branding

#TGIT

Since the 2014 TV season began, Thursday is referred to as #TGIT, (Thank Goodness It’s Thursday), because ABC has given the 8pm – 11pm time slots to 3 incredibly popular Shonda Rhimes shows.  Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder are killing Thursday night ratings.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, these shows have given ABC its highest-rated Thursday night in 5 years.  Ignore the NYT’s article that declared Shonda to be an “angry black woman.” Ms. Rhimes is an extremely talented screenwriter, director and producer.  She knows how to engage viewers and she uses a human behavioral insight to do it…Motivational Drivers.

4 Motivational Drivers — People’s behaviors are pre-cognitively driven by 4 Motivational Drivers . . . “Belonging,” “Power,” “Freedom” and “Fun.”   We need to feel these in our lives or we’ll become depressed.  The #TGIT shows take us through these feelings from 8pm until 11pm each Thursday.  That’s why they’re so popular!  Let’s take a look . . .

Start #TGIT With . . .

TGIT#2For those of you who don’t know, (where the heck have you been?), Grey’s Anatomy is a medical drama.  ABC describes the storyline this way, “The doctors of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital deal with life-or-death consequences on a daily basis.  It’s in one another that they find comfort, friendship and, at times, more than friendship.”

The show appeals primarily to the Motivational Driver of “Belonging.”  Secondarily, it appeals to our need for “Fun.”  Admit it, how many times have you danced it out with Meredith & Cristina? And, ahem, there are other types of fun going on in the lives of the doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.  You know what I mean.

Next Up Is . . .

TGIT#3Break out the really good red wine!  It’s time to watch this political thriller that stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope.  Olivia dedicates her life to protecting and defending the public images of the nation’s elite by keeping those secrets under wraps.  She doesn’t just fix problems.  She fixes people.   Now, that’s one powerful gal!

You guessed it.  Scandal appeals primarily to the Motivational Driver of “Power.”  But those of us who watch, know there’s an underpinning of “Fun” in each episode.  It’s fun to figure out how she’s going to fix the situation.

Finish #TGIT With . . .

TGIT#4

This suspense-driven legal thriller stars Viola Davis as criminal law professor and defense attorney, Annalise Keating.  She’s brilliant, passionate, creative and charismatic. She’s also everything you don’t expect . . . sexy, glamorous, unpredictable and dangerous.

This drama appeals primarily to the Motivational Driver of “Freedom” because its storyline keeps us wondering if her students and her clients are guilty or innocent.   Our opinions change from episode to episode depending on Annalise’s actions in and out of the classroom and courtroom.

As in most of Shonda Rhimes shows, this one offers up a dose of “Fun.” We experience this as we try to figure out what’s going on and speculate on the outcome.

#TGIT Appeals To All Motivational Drivers — Wonder why viewers enjoy Thursday night’s 3 Shonda Rhimes TV shows?  By watching, they’re experiencing all 4 Motivational Drivers.

Motivational Drivers And Your Brand

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So, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with your brand.  Wait for it…by embracing this human behavioral insight, your brand will be able to develop strong relationships with people – for many seasons.

Here’s Your Branding Assignment — Gather your marketing team, order in some pizza and grab a large Post-it-Note pad.   Yes, carbs and the large pages that stick to the wall will make this easier.  Post 4 blank pages on your wall.  On the top of each, write 1 of the Motivational Drivers.  On each page, post how your brand taps into that specific Motivational Driver.  Keep posting until you run out of “hows.”

Be honest when posting . . .  this is not a creative writing assignment.  Most brands don’t appeal to each Motivational Driver equally.  When you’ve completed this exercise, step back and look at the wall.

Which page has the most posts?  This is the primary Motivational Driver that your brand taps into.  Which has the least?  Your brand doesn’t really appeal to this Motivational Driver.

Assignment Dos and Don’ts

TGIT#6Let’s say your company is an accounting firm.  This category typically doesn’t appeal to “Fun.” It’s OK . . . this is a category issue, not a brand issue.  However, you may feel compelled to post something here and might post something like this . . . “You’ll have fun when you collaborate with our accountants.”  Buzzer sound!  Really?

But, let’s say your accounting firm conducts fun outings for your clients . . . you take them into NYC around the holidays to see the Radio City Christmas Show.  Now, that’s fun . . . post it on the “Fun” page.

The point is, the more Motivational Drivers your brand appeals to, the more likely it will be to develop long-term relationships with people.  But, don’t force it!  Shonda accomplished this through 3 #TGIT shows.

Now What? — OK . . . now you’re going into analysis, strategy and execution mode – the equivalent of being a screenwriter, director and producer.

If your brand taps into more than 1 Motivational Driver, which page has the most posts, which 2nd and 3rd?  This will guide you in your communication hierarchy.  For instance, if “Belonging” has the most posts from this exercise, your web and social media content should lead with this Motivational Driver.

Take a look at all of your marketing communications.  Do you see, read, hear the Motivational Drivers that your brand appeals to – in the proper order?  If not, your marketing team needs to get to work.

Are there Motivational Drivers that have the least posts, but you’d like to appeal to them because it’ll provide a fruitful competitive space for your brand?  Then, brainstorm.  Think creatively!  What can your brand do to appeal to those Motivational Drivers?

The Motivational Drivers exercise will help you structure and order your brand’s content and imagery.  It also helps identify pre-cognitive behavior drivers that your brand isn’t tapping into.  This should lead to discussions regarding whether your brand should and, if so, how to make that happen.

Human Behavior & Your Brand — Your brand needs to motivate people’s behavior.  It’s a no-brainer that embracing human behavioral insights will help you succeed!  I’ve got to go . . . time to watch #TGIT.

Fran Photo 2014

Fran Lytle is a behaviorist, brand strategist, author & co-founder of Brand Champs.  Fran develops brand strategy, emotional brand storytelling, content marketing & social media programs that engage people by applying psychology & human and gender-specific behavior.  She specializes in developing & implementing marketing-to-women programs. Contact her at fran@brandchamps.com connect with Fran on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.

 

5 Tips To Engage Moms With Content

Blog2Photo1 Your Brand Needs Moms – Moms are powerful consumers responsible for $2.5 trillion in annual U.S.  spending.  And, the mom market is continually self-renewing.  According to eMarketer, approximately 4  million babies are born in the U.S. each year . . . 40% are to first-time mothers.

Moms Want Brands To Understand –  Yet, only 20% of moms feel advertisers are doing a good job connecting with them.  Another 70% indicate marketers aren’t focused on moms in their advertising and 30% report seeing ads that offend them.

Moms Want To Be “Connected With” . . . Not “Sold To” –  So, it’s no surprise that a recent study, conducted by ContentPlus, indicates 70% of moms prefer to get to know a company or brand through original articles rather than ads.  And, according to the Custom Content Council, 61% of moms indicate they feel better about a company or brand that offers relevant content . . . and, are more likely to purchase from them!

Embrace Behavioral Insights To “Connect With” Moms — You’ve probably noticed a lot of advice being bantered around about how to develop engaging content.  However, to engage women and moms, your brand needs to embrace behavioral science.

5 Behavioral Tips To Engage Moms

By embracing female gender-specific behavior, your brand will pre-cognitively engage moms.  This list of 5 tips are “must haves” to develop a motivating and engaging content marketing program for moms.

1.  People First.  Tap into moms’ orientation toward people as the most important aspect of their lives.  Let moms see, hear and read stories about people and situations from people she’d like to have relationships with.

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Dove’s Sisterhood campaign on Facebook engages moms because it taps into women’s and mom’s highest personal value of establishing and nurturing relationships.

2.  Help Others.  Moms want to help other people.  If your brand shows her you help others, she’ll bond with you and tell her friends.  Make it real.  Make it honest.  Don’t do it just for publicity . . . she’ll sense phoniness, (women’s intuition), and walk away from your brand.

According to a Cone Cause Evolution study, 92% of moms want to buy a product or use a service supporting a cause and 93% are likely to switch brands to support a cause they care about.  

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P&G continues to develop strong relationships with moms by helping children around the world through their Children’s Safe Drinking Water program.

 3.  Respect Her.   Moms want your brand to listen to them and respond to what they’re saying.  Remember when you were younger and your mom told you to respect other people?  Well, today’s moms are demanding that brands respect them.  Respect moms by understanding them and their needs.

This can only be accomplished by listening to moms!  Conduct research and listen to their conversations on social media to hear what moms are talking about.

Target listens, and responds with respectful programs.  Through the Blogger Project, Target discovered that moms want to use more natural products.  The Result?  Target curated a collection of brand name products that are cleaner, fresher, safer & smarter . . . Made to Matter – Handpicked by Target.
Target listens, and responds with respectful programs. Through the Blogger Project, Target discovered that moms want to use more natural products. The Result? Target curated a collection of brand name products that are cleaner, fresher, safer & smarter . . . Made to Matter – Handpicked by Target.

4.  The “Girlfriend Factor.”  Moms enjoy being with other moms – their girlfriends.  It keeps them healthy, happy and sane.  Did you know that when women are faced with a stressful situation, they don’t experience the same “fight or flight” behavior as men?  Women will huddle with girlfriends, which biologically decreases stress levels.

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Moms like to hear from other moms. Disney knows this . . . that’s why they’ve created the Disney Parks Moms Panel.

5.  Make Her Laugh.  Doctors agree that laughter can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and even help improve memory. Funny videos account for some of the most watched videos on YouTube. Parenting comedy has risen in popularity with countless blogs, videos, books and TV shows all aiming to provide some humor on the subject.

Moms, in particular, are stressed and at times feel overwhelmed about their role as a parent. Use laughter to connect with mom and give her a quick break in her day.

Here are a few tips for taking the comedic plunge . . .

Know your brandIs your brand all about making mom’s life easier? Or, maybe your products allow her to make healthier choices for her family? Bringing out the humor in everyday situations is a great way to connect with mom. Know your audience to make it meaningful, and keep on par with your brand to stay relevant.

Provide support — Comedy helps a mom realize she’s not alone out there and it’s OK to make mistakes. Motherhood is a journey with never ending lessons along the way.

Keep it tastefulDon’t go overboard with anything too extreme or raunchy – you don’t want to risk alienating moms over a joke gone wrong.

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Check out the American Express Tina Fey “Yogurt Facial Rejuvenation” spot in their #EveryDayMoments campaign — a great example of how to make moms laugh!

Mom, Mom, Watch This!   All moms have heard their kids shout this phrase repeatedly when they’re trying to get mom’s attention.  If your brand yells, “Mom, mom, watch this!” it will alienate moms.  Instead, get mom’s attention by embracing these 5 behavioral content marketing tips.

Fran P4W copyFran Lytle is a behaviorist, brand strategist, author & co-founder of Brand Champs.  Fran develops brand strategy, emotional brand storytelling, content marketing & social media programs that engage people by applying psychology & human and gender-specific behavior.  She specializes in developing & implementing marketing-to-women programs. Contact her at fran@brandchamps.com connect with Fran on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.

3 Social Media Tips to Connect with Moms

Blog1photo   Which segment in the U.S. has $2.5 trillion annual purchasing power? Moms–all 85 million of them!  But, engaging moms is becoming more difficult since they’re time-starved and often too busy for traditional print and broadcast media. Plus, moms consider many brand ads irrelevant to their lives because they want to be “connected with,” not “sold to.” How can your brand connect with moms?  Before we address that question, let’s reflect on several insights to inspire your thinking. How Moms Make Brand Decisions According to a recent PunchTab study . . .

  • 66% of Moms view social networks as a source of information
  • 65% of Moms learn about a product or service through social media
  • 64% of Moms read online reviews before making a purchase
  • 56% follow up on product recommendations read on social sites to learn more

How Moms Feel about Brands

  • 73% feel advertisers don’t understand them
  • 60% feel marketers are ignoring their needs
  • 62% would purchase a product if it “added value to my life”

Moms & Social Media OK . . . based upon how moms make brand decisions and how they feel about brands, the logical conclusion is that brands marketing to moms need to have a presence on social media. However, the type of presence you have will either lead to organic sharing and big traffic or being shunned by moms. Here are 3 tips that will help achieve the former and avoid the latter.

  1. Social media is a conversation. Moms have conversations to (a) Share information; (b) Develop connections; and (c) Nurture relationships.  To connect with and engage moms, interact with them on social media. If your brand is only posting brand-generated content and not relating to moms’ lives, they’ll tune you out. Motivate discussions by asking questions and joining conversations. Most importantly, listen! Because of the way women’s brains are wired, they have a keen sense for identifying insincerity.
  1. Social media is not advertising! Women – including moms – make decisions differently than men. When faced with making a decision, a man will take in information and make a decision. This is referred to as “linear decision-making.” Women, on the other hand, will take in information, consider a decision, but then circle back to validate that consideration. This is “circular decision-making.” She’s validating through social media . . . listening to other moms’ opinions about your brand and checking out if you have a mom-friendly community.
  1. Encourage moms to create and post photos. Because of biological and brain wiring differences between men and women, genders see things differently. Without boring you by sharing the minute details, here’s the point . . . women look at images and create a story.   When your social media relies entirely on brand-generated images, you’re missing the opportunity to have moms share stories about your brand with other moms. Ask moms to post pictures of how and why your brand is a part of her life. Conduct photo contests. Once a month, turn your Facebook, Pinterest , Tumblr and Instagram pages over to your mom fans.

Most importantly, in all of your marketing-to-moms efforts, think about her Highest Personal Value of establishing and nurturing relationships. Then, show her how your brand can address this motivational driver.

Fran P4W copyFran Lytle is a behaviorist, brand strategist, author & co-founder of Brand Champs.  Fran develops brand strategy, emotional brand storytelling, content marketing & social media programs that engage people by applying psychology & human and gender-specific behavior.  She specializes in developing & implementing marketing-to-women programs. Contact her at fran@brandchamps.com connect with Fran on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.