Millennials are growing up. As they enter the workforce and advance their career, they’re accumulating disposable income that makes them an almost ideal fit for luxury brands looking to expand their audience and spread their message. This demographic, of course, comes with very different behaviors, preferences, and expectations than the generations before it. Here’s how you can optimize your millennial marketing to increase your effectiveness and prepare your luxury brand for the future.
When thinking about digital marketing and real estate, consider this:
Who Are Millennials?
The word has been used so much, it has become a cliche. Still, when discussing millennial marketing, it’s vital to have a detailed understanding of what demographic we’re actually discussing.
Exact definitions differ slightly. Generally speaking, Millennials are individuals who were born between 1980 and 2000. Today, they are reaching or have already reached adulthood, and are typically between 20 and 35 years old.
As a product of their times, millennials tend to be more individualistic and idealistic than future generation. They grew up in a period of continued economic growth, with few hardships. The result is an optimistic outlook, but also high expectations for any interactions with individuals and corporations.
5 Best Practices to Enhance Your Millennial Marketing
Marketing your luxury brand to this audience group is fundamentally different than baby boomers, GenX, or any other previous generation that falls within your target demographic. As a result, you might have to rethink your millennial marketing efforts. Here are 5 best practices that can help you get to that point.
1. Meet them Where They Are
Put simply, TV ads will not be enough. Millennials have grown up surrounded by digital technology, which is where you need to reach them. They spend an average of average of 25 hours per week online, necessitating a complex digital strategy.
While online, they research products like yours, browse for more information, and make purchasing decisions. They also perform many of these activities on mobile devices, which means your digital strategy absolutely needs to become the centerpiece of your marketing efforts for this audience group.
2. Focus on Authenticity
For most millennials, traditional media is out. They don’t read newspapers in print. They don’t even watch cable TV anymore, opting instead to cut the cord. Instead of being satisfied with promotional content during commercial breaks or next to a magazine article, they prefer authentic content that actually provides value to them.
Forget traditional promotions for your vehicle or clothing brand. Instead, produce authentic content that actually seems believable. Influencer marketing, for instance, has become particularly successful in reaching millennial audiences.
3. Personalization is Key
In addition to being authentic, your millennial marketing messages also have to be personal. Most young adults will catch on to the fact that the message you sent isn’t actually designed for them. But if you can customize it specifically for them, they begin to pay attention.
That personalization, of course, can take on a number of forms. It starts with targeting: rather than setting up a marketing campaign for all adults between 20 and 35, separate them according to demographics, interests, and behaviors. You can also personalize individual email messages and even your website using dynamic content for enhanced success.
This is where the inherent individualism that many millennials show can be to your advantage. As Women’s Wear Daily points out, this individualism makes millennials the perfect emerging audience for luxury brand. Connect your exclusivity to individual interests and behaviors, and you will get this group’s attention.
4. Connect a Larger Message
Of course, as mentioned above, millennials also tend to be idealistic. That, in turn, has driven brands to engage in more socially responsible marketing than we have ever seen. In fact, no less than 81 percent of millennials expect brands they shop from to publicly showcase their corporate citizenship.
That means a message beyond your products. Highlight your sustainability strategy, and share volunteer efforts by your audience. Depending on your intended brand image, you might even benefit from making subtle political statements. The better millennials feel about their decision to become your customers, the more likely they will be to take that step – and become loyal.
5. Engage in Collaboration Opportunities
Finally, luxury brands can take advantage of this audience’s innate drive to build a sense of ownership. Customer-brand relationships, for millennials, are far more than transactional. Instead, they are an opportunity to collaborate. Your task is to build those collaboration opportunities.
User-generated content, for instance, can be a powerful marketing tool. You can even engage them in developing new products or fashion lines; 42 percent of millennials are interested in taking this type of drastic step.
Of course, this sense of collaboration also bleeds into your enhanced responsibilities for customer service. When a millennial complains about your brand on social media (and they will), they expect a swift, comprehensive, and open-minded response. Standard corporate statements simply will not do.
How Millennial Marketing is Entering the Luxury Sphere
Given the age overlap and emerging characteristics of many millennials, an increasing number of luxury brands are beginning to target this group as the next big driver of business growth. One of the most interesting outcomes of that trend might be luxury street wear which combines the exclusivity of brands like Gucci and Net-A-Porter with the casual nature of many millennials.
In the future, only more case studies of similar efforts will emerge. In the meantime, it might be time for your luxury brand to start ramping up its millennial marketing efforts, as well. Using the above five best practices, you can begin to better understand this audience group, and develop a strategy specifically designed to building a new cornerstone of your audience.