DNA of Millennials

Surprising Shopping Habits Millennials Embrace

By | DNA of Millennials | No Comments

The constant emails and notifications from retailers may seem annoying for some, but millennials embrace it. According to a new study from Euclid Analytics, this generation really enjoys interactions from brands as they shop. 74% of survey participants said they were down to receive messages on their phones during a store visit, while 81% of respondents said they were open to stores being in touch (text or email) after the shopping trip.
The desire to keep in touch with stores is an extension of how this generation has been targeted and the way they’ve grown up. Millennials have shopped online for most of their lives and receive personalized recommendations from brands such as Netflix. This has raised expectations to stay top of mind on and offline after every interaction.
Not all contact from retailers is accepted. Consumers do not want to receive a text about a purchase as they are in the gym. The interactions must be timely and location-based. A text about a sale as they are approaching the mall is much more appropriate.
This feeling of constantly being in the loop isn’t exclusive to online shopping. Regardless of the channel that consumers purchase from, they still want a personalized experience. Brick and mortar retailers are at a disadvantage because customer data is harder to optimize and it’s more challenging to make customers feel special as they physically browse the racks. Thus, these retailers need to find ways to bridge the gap between online and offline worlds.
As online shopping continues to flourish, it’ll be interesting to see how retailers will conform to the in-person shopping experience and entice users to head to the mall. The constant contact with consumers could be a necessary solution.

Capturing Millennials at Music Festivals

By | DNA of Millennials | One Comment

Flower headbands, good music and fun in the sun mean festival season is here. This also means millennials will be flocking to different cities across the nation to see their favorite musical artists. It’s an opportune time for brands to court this market through activations, social sharing and more. One of the most popular festivals is Coachella and the WSJ called it an event, “filled with a marketer’s dream: throngs of influential, open-minded and ready-to-spend millennials with plenty of time to kill.” Festival schedules allow for significant down time, which gives people time to explore sponsored tents, brand experiences and share on social.

The audience at festivals has expanded beyond the physical attendees. People are tuning in on social media to see which celebrities and influencers are attending, what they’re wearing and more. To tap the marketing opportunity presented by these festivals, brands produce on and off-site activations for people at home to enjoy as well.

On-site activations give brands access to the vast amount of people attending. According to a 2015 survey, 78% of millennials would rather pay for an experience than goods. Therefore at festivals, brands want to provide the best experience for this target. Below are a few successful examples of experiential marketing at Coachella.



The retail chain hosted a pop-up shop with a 360-degree desert scene backdrop. Guests could film instant Instagram worth video clips. A strong digital tie-in reaches not only those who came to the event, but the people following them online.

Tag Heuer


The official watch of the festival hosted a tented lounge in the VIP area. Guests could sip on refreshments and buy the new watch, but the main purpose of the tent wasn’t to sell watches. It was for the brand to get to know their new customer better.

Calvin Klein

8dba59_dc84463297a0433c837ee91a9a07b6a1 8dba59_6b4d5cce902c4660bc4c4a00215b8bfe

Instead of trying to break through the noise of the crowded festival grounds, brands such as Calvin Klein take their experiences off-site. They hosted about 25 digital influencers at a hotel in Palm Springs as part of a three day “branded experience” to complement the festival. The event garnered more than one million engagements on Instagram and Twitter in less than 24 hours.

Driving Factors for Millennial’s Retail Decisions

By | DNA of Millennials | No Comments

The buying power that millennials have entices brands and retailers of all industries. There are about eighty million millennials in America and they represent about one fourth of the entire population with $200 billion in annual buying power. Despite this, companies have been struggling to connect with them through advertising and capture their attention. They’re different from their parents and previous generations so retailers have had to approach them differently. Below are key factors to keep in mind that differentiate millennials and their shopping habits.

1. Save for a rainy day

According to the second-quarter 2015 Nielsen Consumer Confidence report, roughly 70% of millennials indicate their personal finances will be either good or excellent in the next year. These same consumers have experienced the hardships of the U.S. economic turmoil, therefore they are savvy shoppers by necessity. They will purchase previously used items and research at least four sources when trying to decide on a purchase.

2. Some millennials are thriving economically

Some millennials struggle with money, but about 27% of this generation qualifies as upscale millennials that earn more than $75,000 per year. This subgroup has a median income 11 times that of the general millennial group. Brands need to understand the needs of this distinct subgroup to capture their attention.

3. Spend money on what matters to them

Yes, millennials love a deal, but they also spend money on what matters to them. Known as the technological generation, millennials will not delay in upgrading their devices to save money. While they spend less on clothes to save money, 35% still make apparel purchases with their extra cash.

4. Digital is Key

About 92% of Millennials own a smartphone, compared with 76% of Baby Boomers. Because technology is an integral part of their lives, it’s a key component of their shopping experience. Roughly 19% of Millennials and 31% of upscale Millennials spent over $1,000 online in the past year. The majority (66%) use the Internet to purchase hard-to-find items. Roughly 70% of upscale Millennials scour the Internet for hard-to-find items.

5. Trusting Generation

Compared to all other generations, millennials are the most trusting of almost every type of advertising including traditional and digital. For the retailers that can tap into these outlets and properly communicate their message to this generation will see big rewards.

Attract New Hires with Creativity

By | Buying Power of Millennials, Campus Advertising, DNA of Millennials, Engaging Millennials | No Comments

Students go to college to earn a degree and pursue their dreams. They’re doing all of this work in hopes to get noticed by employers and vie for a position upon graduation. It’s an exciting, yet scary time for students. Not all employers are making themselves visible to the college market, but GE is stepping outside of the box to attract this demographic.

GE is thought to be your parent’s company, which means people think that it’s old school and not for the younger generation. On the contrary, GE is quite innovative and wants to prove this to millennials. They created TV ads on late night comedy shows such as “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” There has been a lot of buzz around these late night shows, and GE wanted to capitalize on the audience.

Targeting this campaign by college campuses would be just as effective. The idea is to place your message where students are, and this target is watching comedy shows as well as walking around their campuses. Most students are also hyper alert to anything concerning a job so as a company looking to hire graduates or interns, these are great tactics to employ.

Coke Zero Brings Back Their Drinkable Billboard

By | Buying Power of Millennials, Campus Advertising, DNA of Millennials, Engaging Millennials, Media Planning & Media Buying | No Comments

Classes are in session, and with that comes the excitement for the upcoming football season. Tens of thousands of college students along with other enthusiastic fans will be in attendance to root for their respective teams. Thousands more will be tuning in via television, which presents an opportune time to sample your product with the college market. This is exactly what Coke Zero aims to do.

It’s said that Coke Zero was created for men because they were turned off by the word Diet. Taking a glance at Coke Zero and Diet Coke, one would think they are identical, but they do differ slightly. Although Zero’s launch 10 years ago had a different target, the brand has realized the opportunities of marketing to other targets. Thus, Coke Zero has made a name for themselves, becoming a $1 billion global brand in 2007 and continuing to keep their stature. Surprisingly, it hasn’t been due to giving out samples of their product, which brings us back to the vast sampling pool of people surrounding football games.

Their latest campaign capitalizes on the millennial market physically available at games by setting up billboards at certain stadiums and handing out branded gear with drink samples. In addition to these outdoor advertising efforts, Coke Zero is taking their drinkable campaign to TV. Through 10 new spots, ESPN personalities will ask viewers to open their Shazam app and hold it to the TV. The Coke Zero will appear to pour into a glass on the smartphone, and the viewer will be given a coupon for a free 20 oz. bottle redeemable at select retailers. Coke has accomplished the task of not only engaging fans in person, but involving fans at home, which extends their reach even further. Taking outdoor advertising and utilizing social media, Coke guaranteed success of their campaign.

Why Instagram is Important

By | Buying Power of Millennials, DNA of Millennials, Engaging Millennials | No Comments

Facebook conducted a survey to understand the reasons why millennials are so obsessed with Instagram. Yes, they are not as active on Facebook as people may think, but they definitely love Facebook owned Instagram. After surveying millennials in 7 countries, Facebook uncovered the following results.

Millennials want visuals rather than text. They want pictures to depict what a brand represents rather than a typical ad. They also want to be able to view a lot of content and scroll fast. 73% of Instagram users are between 15 and 35 years old and they check the social platform throughout the entire day. 69% check at home, 39% while going to sleep and 33% when they wake up.

 8dba59_bad47d71e25e4ed8984721ca1ea7abc7 8dba59_6672c8cfbd374197b1c73c6347598c3f

Facebook also uncovered that 48% of users follow a brand because the content is interesting or funny, 62% follow because they love the brand and 54% like to discover new things. In addition to getting followers, brands must stand out amongst the multitude of other brands. To accomplish this, below are some rules to follow:

  1. Be authentic
  2. Write an interesting bio with your website in it
  3. Use a smart #hashtag
  4. Create a contest or campaign to engage and reward your most active fans
  5. Feature your best fans

Advertising is Increasingly Relevant to Millennials

By | Buying Power of Millennials, DNA of Millennials, Engaging Millennials | No Comments

According to new research from Axicom, millennials are more likely to believe advertising is becoming more relevant to them. The survey found that perceived relevancy of ads decreases as a consumer ages, which means the prime time to target this generation is now. Advertisers need to craft authentic messages with emotional resonance and deliver those messages on a consistent, personalized level to consumers across multiple platforms.

1. Set the mood

Get consumers to bond over a universal human experience. Be conscious of the use of certain fonts, colors, images and the tone/style of the messaging. The goal is to evoke an emotion from the audience and create a community for your brand.

2. Fuel creativity

Many brands are seeking the attention of the millennial market, and in order to stand out, brands must be creative. Create short videos, memes and more draw in the consumer. If the content speaks to the consumer, they’ll share it with their networks, which increases your reach.

3. Help them succeed

Provide how-tos, lifehacks and any other content experience that makes them feel smarter. Give them relevant information that can be used in their everyday life or can be used for future reference.

4. Spotlight Pop Culture

Millennials are tuned in to the latest pop culture news and celebs. Incorporating this into your messaging in a tasteful manner will make your brand more relatable to this generation.

OOH is Effective in Driving Back-to-School Dollars

By | Buying Power of Millennials, Campus Advertising, DNA of Millennials, Engaging Millennials | One Comment

Retailers rake in the dollars during back-to-school and college shopping. Holiday shopping is the highest spending period, but back-to-school shopping comes in second with an estimated $68 billion to be spent in the next few weeks. According to NRF, 41% of college shoppers plan to use their smartphone to research products and compare prices, and 46% of tablet users will do the same. When it comes to making the purchase, 31% will buy products on their smartphone and 35% of tablet users will do the same. Therefore, brand messaging should be in front of these students and their parents. OOH is one of the best ways to reach them and below are three reasons why.


Advertising near the point of purchase is a great strategy. Add directional messaging to point consumers to products they need to purchase.



Nearly 30% of back-to-school shoppers wait until the last minute to start shopping. Digital displays allow flexible messaging for limited-time specials and sales.



With eye-catching creative, brands can break through the clutter. OOH’s wide range of formats, sizes, shapes, locations, and technologies offer a blank canvas that engages consumers during the 70% of the day they spend away from home.


Millennials are E-Commerce Shoppers

By | DNA of Millennials | No Comments

Millennials remain the key age demographic for online commerce, spending more money online in a given year than any other age group. This age group spends around $2,000 annually on e-commerce, and this a major stat since they are most likely making less money than older adults. By 2020, they will compromise nearly half of the U.S. workforce and by 2025 that number will swell to 75%.

This group has always been comfortable with online shopping, so it’s strategic as a brand to have an online presence. There are some exceptions to the rule for millennial online shopping. A few items such as drug store purchases, furniture, shoes, jewelry, clothes and home goods are bought in brick and mortar stores. To sell your brand online to the millennial shopping powerhouse, below are a few guidelines.

1. Create a shopping experience that is optimized for any device

Millennials shop on devices whether that be on phones or tablets. According to research, 30% of millennials use four or more devices a day. Create a mobile-friendly site with large buttons and ease of loading. When checking out, make this process as simple and easy as possible with the least amount of information required.

2. Make social sharing a core component of your marketing efforts

Social media is a focus for millennials. When preparing for advice, 66% of them ask for their friend’s advice and this will most likely occur in an online conversation. In turn, when they like the purchase they’ve made, they’ll go to social media to recommend it to others

3. Develop a content marketing effort aimed at millennials

Content marketing is one of the main ways that millennials learn about companies. They go to the company website and research before purchasing. Social content is just as important as web content as well. This generation demands content that looks good with images, enjoyable experiences, etc. Although the content is important, they do not want to feel bombarded with information. They like opt-out emails and other on/off options for their purchasing.

4. Create a coupon and loyalty strategy

Physical coupons may not be as prevalent, but online coupons and rewards programs are popular among millennials. They are always looking for deals before they purchase items. Yahoo gathered stats on how much this generation loves coupons.

  • 63% of millennials would be more likely to “check in” to businesses on various social channels if it meant they’d receive a coupon or discount for doing so.

  • A 20% discount is enough to prompt almost 50% of respondents to visit a retail location.

  • 23% said they would need coupons valued at least 50% off. 17% said they’d appreciate discounts at any price.

  • 84% of consumers said they’re more likely to visit websites of retailers with loyalty programs.

Social Media CMOs Talk About How to Target Millennials

By | DNA of Millennials | No Comments

Executives from the top social media platforms sat down recently and discussed how to reach millennials. This generation is sometimes seen as hard to truly target and understand. Brands struggle to keep their attention and it’s not that this generation doesn’t like brands, it’s that they are not fond of advertising. This means brands and advertisers have to get creative and approach it differently. The speakers suggested focusing on how to use digital media and building marketing strategies around that. Below are four key insights taken from their talk.

1. Get Local

Steve Hwaang of Snapchat said that brands should think “local” when targeting millennials. Snapchat has a feature where they showcase different live or local moments from user’s area. Hwaang says that, “authenticity is really important. There’s a ton of opportunity for brands to be involved on a more local in the real world.”

2. Less is More with Video

Video has been quite prevalent in ads lately, but that doesn’t mean that brands are using the right type of clips for the platforms. Facebook’s Trevor Johnson advised to make four-, eight- and 10-second videos that grab young people’s attention in a news feed. On Facebook, once users tap on the video, the sound automatically plays.  This keeps users watching longer.

3. Find Social’s New Celebrities

Vine has truly taken off and the stars on the platform are more popular than some Hollywood A-listers for millennials. Brands that can align themselves with these or emulate the star’s work will have more success. When posting videos, photos and GIFs to twitter, it is wise to use these tactics.

4. Data-backed Creative

Pandora’s executive, Tamara Bedrosian, argued that data should determine what an ad looks like. Millennial women like listening to a YouTube violinist, Lindsey Stirling on the streaming service. They also listen to her more on the app versus the desktop and this information can shape a campaign on whether an ad runs on mobile or desktop. Bedrosian said that a company shouldn’t always go mobile-first just to say they are on mobile. Gathering data and correctly analyzing it are key.