When I speak to various audiences across the country, I sometimes like to pose this question in an effort to get them engaged: Is your brand millennial-ready? In fact, sometimes I like to use that as my talk title.
How do you begin to answer that question? I suggest that there are three basic follow-up questions that I essentially use as a framework or outline for these talks. They go as follows:
- Do you understand the millennial consumer mindset and impact?
- Do you know how to strategize effectively based on that understanding?
- Can you execute the strategy to reach and engage them to act (call to action – typically to buy)?
Foundationally, it is critical to understand the millennial consumer mindset and the impact this generation of consumers is already having on marketing (and subsequently, the marketplace) – and will continue to have in the decades to come as they age and gain even more buying power..
Of course, it is not enough to just understand the millennial consumer mindset and impact.
As marketers, we must take the learning and the knowledge gained and transform it into marketing strategies that leverage that understanding. Where I see most companies fail to be effective in their marketing to millennials, interestingly – and perhaps surprisingly, is not in understanding millennials, but in strategically utilizing that often newfound knowledge. I admit – this may be due in large part to my typical clientele – consumer products manufacturers and retailers – that have been strong investors in consumer research.
Even with deep understanding of the millennial consumer mindset and impact, and strategies developed to effectively market to them – that does not necessarily mean that a company can execute that strategy with millennials to reach and engage them to act. Like an idea, a strategy is not great unless it can be executed well.
All of these questions must be answered in order for a company’s brand to be millennial-ready. Otherwise, it is practicing wishful thinking in the marketplace, and that will prove unsuccessful with millennials.