Millennials are a growing generation with very specific but eclectic tastes, which makes them a sometimes-difficult demographic to characterize. They’re all about Instagramming their experiences, but also enjoy a good weekend of Netflix-binging. They love both craft beer and clean eating. They’re concerned about politics, the environment and the Kardashians. It’s this sense of individuality that’s perhaps the only shared trait of millennials.
Certain brands are taking off among millennials. What do these companies have that their flailing competitors don’t? Read on to learn how they outshine the competition.
Once upon a time, heading to the health food store meant stepping inside a small store in a strip mall and sifting through shelves of obscure vitamins. Today, it means walking into the warm embrace of a Whole Foods, plucking organic local produce from beautiful displays, and grabbing some specialty coffee, a fresh baked good or an organic salad.
Whole Foods capitalizes on millennials’ desire for transparency in its wellness-oriented inventory. The store proudly reveals exactly where its foods hail from and focuses on organic and sustainable options. Millennials appreciate that they can count on high quality and ethical production approaches when they walk into Whole Foods without having to do any background checks on their groceries.
Another trait that millennials look for in a company is convenience. Amazon has certainly cornered the market there. Whereas ordering something online used to mean waiting at least a week to receive it—which often led to a trip to the store instead—Amazon’s two-day shipping policy encourages customers to turn to the online retailer for anything and everything, from a new couch to cat food. It’s not exactly instant gratification, but it comes close.
A big part of successfully reaching this generation is paying attention to what millennials want and finding creative ways to fill these needs. Netflix has historically done a great job of acclimating to changing millennial interests. You may not remember, but Netflix was once a DVD subscription service. However, when things started to shift, so did Netflix’s approach.
Now Netflix serves almost exclusively as a streaming service. With a library of content updated daily and the option to watch whatever you want wherever you want, Netflix offers a level of flexibility that works well for millennials, especially those who don’t work a typical nine-to-five job.
Target is another re-branded brand that is a hit among millennials for many reasons, one of them being its move into private labels. In the past few years, Target started to offer a new type of store brand without the negative connotations that generic products once bore. The sleek packaging, higher-caliber ingredients and affordability of their Archer Farms and Up and Up brands made them easy choices for millennials.
More recently, the stores have begun to undergo makeovers that make them look and feel like department stores. In a world where actual department stores are dying out, why is this working? Probably because Target manages to combine an aesthetically appealing and contemporary layout with affordable prices and apparel and housewares that tap into trends — case in point, Joanna Gaines’ new home goods line.
Apple’s ever-evolving pieces of integrated technology have touched on an enigmatic marketing must that many other companies simply can’t, and that’s consumers’ emotional attachment to a brand. A recently released study of “brand intimacy” found that Apple is number one in the eyes of millennials when it comes to their emotional investment.
Perhaps it’s the fact that Apple is always on the cutting-edge of technology or its all-encompassing devices, from smartphones to laptops. Either way, millennials have a connection to Apple products that goes beyond intellect and inspires a deeper level of devotion.
Tips and Tricks
How can marketers condense this information and effectively target a millennial demographic? Here are the advertising takeaways that marketers can enlist in their own practices from this rundown of millennial-beloved brands.
- Practice transparency in every facet of business.
- Opt for high quality over cutting corners.
- Evolve with the times to make products and processes more convenient and flexible.
- Pay attention to millennial consumers and meet their needs where they’re at.
- Capitalize on trends and pop culture.
- Always strive for that enigmatic emotional attachment through marketing and products.
With the millennials’ collective buying power growing greater and greater daily, it’s important that marketers know exactly how to pinpoint their wants and needs. Take a leaf out of the book of one of these popular brands among millennials if you’re trying to extend your reach to a larger and younger demographic. With a few tweaks to your current branding strategy, you might be able to achieve a Target-level following from members of this influential generation.