Tips For Brands To Engage Baby Boomers

Boomers 3Boomers account for $230 billion in sales of consumer packaged goods and account for 70% of the nation’s disposable income. Your brand needs to engage this generation to be successful, but as Bob Dylan sang . . . “The times, they are a’changin’.”

How can your brand engage Boomers? By understanding the values and behaviors that motivate their decision-making and aligning them with the digital age.  Fran Lytle, a Behaviorist, Brand Strategist and Co-founder of Brand Champs shares tips to help brands engage Baby Boomers in this Architect of Change radio interview.

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!

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.

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.