Connecting with millennials.

1 April 2016

It is important to millennials to know that these big brands are “listening” and driving change in the world.
Mike Brown

The growing power of the millennial consumer has definitely had a dramatic impact on the way brands need to market to this important group. More marketing funds are being allocated towards influencer marketing, cause, social media, digital and digital shopper than ever before. And there are reasons why.

To effectively speak to the new wave of key consumers – millennials, we as marketers must work to evoke feelings of emotions, acceptance, social awareness and inclusion. It is important to millennials to know that these big brands are “listening” and driving change in the world.

Apple announced their aggressive new recycling initiative called “Apple Renew” during the Keynote presentation on March 21. This includes a robotic system called Liam to take apart iPhones and recover valuable materials that can be recycled, such as silver and tungsten. The move is an attempt to address criticism that Apple's products, while sleek and seamless in design, are so tightly constructed that their components can be difficult to disassemble, refurbish and reuse.

Lloyds Bank has released a commercial featuring the different stages of life such as new motherhood, death and funerals, dropping children off at school for the first time, and even love. Within the commercial, Lloyds Bank features many different characters, including a gay couple’s proposal. We witness the proposal and then the two men’s embrace later in the commercial after one of the men says, “yes.” This is a big step forward for a traditional UK bank.

H&M has just unveiled Close The Loop, a slick video promoting its mission to get the world recycling to make fashion more sustainable and socially responsible. With 69 models of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds, H&M might just have created the most diverse fashion campaign ever. There are blondes, brunettes, and redheads, slim bodies as well as plus-size models and fashion sensation Tess Munster, young and old, as well as a transgender model and an amputee. They have managed to communicate their commitment to recycling, fashion and inclusion. All things that resonate well with millennials.

Millennials are prepared to reward socially responsible companies; they are more likely to trust these companies, seek their employment and buy or recommend their products to others. According to the Cone study, after learning that a company is socially and/or environmentally responsible:

83 percent are likely to trust the company more

79 percent are likely to purchase that company’s products

44 percent are likely to actively pursue working at that company

74 percent are more likely to pay attention to that company’s message because it has a deep commitment to a cause

So, the next time you speak with your clients and they are looking to you team for the next big idea, remember the growing trends that are being used by top brands to connect with the largest, most powerful generation of consumers – millennials. Social responsibility/awareness, acceptance, inclusion and environment/recycling is important to this group. I mean… it’s only human!

Mike Brown

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