Move Out of the Way to Market to Millennials

By December 14, 2015Engaging Millennials

According to the Harvard Business Review, two traits that tap into the fundamental DNA of most millennials are sociability and urgency. Nike has done a great job of marrying these two traits with their Nike+ app. The app allows runners to track and share their paths on social sites such as Twitter and Facebook. It’s not only the fact that users can share their journey with their social following, but if a user liked your post while running, the runner would hear cheers and applause in their headphones. This allows friends and users to give something to one another without the brand being directly involved. They are simply using the brand’s platform, but doing the rest on their own.

Interactions like these play on the two main traits of urgency and sociability. The runner can post their path instantly and the congratulatory aspect brings the social factor. Although the app has been out for a few years, not many brands have followed suit.Buzzfeed has been able to capitalize on the social aspect. The site uses native content to attract millennials that share with their friends, which in turn draws brands and advertisers.

Once you have attracted the audience and engaged them, the next step is to have a sense of urgency. You want them to share your content without being prompted. This requires creating shareable content that the audience wants others to see and/or experience with them. If they do this, they’ll most likely come back for more. Buzzfeed learned this quickly when they created their polls and quizzes that allowed user to self-identify with others in the community. Fans who enjoy taking a quiz surrounding a topic that interests them will most likely share with others. For example, Disney fans or movie lovers might enjoy the quiz “What Would a  Disney Movie of Your Life Be Like?”

If brands were able to harness the connection between sharing and urgency among millennial communities, they would be able to target this generation and have them be truly engaged with the brand. These users would be engaged without feeling the pressure of a brand pushing something on them, because they are making the move themselves. If done correctly, it would resemble a brand as the host of a party, but the host doesn’t have to put in much effort. The brand (host) would understand the commonalities of each guest and use them to connect one another. The rest lies in the interactions of the guests as the host observes from a distance. Brands move out of the way and let the users connect and interact. Brands such as Nike and Buzzfeed already understand and implement this, but other millennial brands can utilize this as well and capture the attention of this transient generation.

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