The Future of Marketing: You Get What You Give
For the Millennial Generation, experience is everything.
Millennial consumers look for brands whose value systems they align with, and whose products enrich their lives. They want to know you care. Brands that are thriving today focus on creating superior content and providing experiences that educate and excite consumers. The relationship is no longer passive and superficial – Instead, it is interactive, inclusive and collaborative.
We think this shift is great because it demands that brands get REAL about what they are offering consumers and why.
Content is King.
Online content is increasingly the way that brands communicate the value of their product to potential customers. Great content informs, and reflects integrity and expertise.
The new content marketing mantra is “give, give, give, then take” – this is based on the premise that the customer will willingly convert to their brand once genuine trust and confidence have been established. This is also a reflection of the consumer’s desire to see brands they support making a difference in the world. Successful companies of the future will be promoters of not just a product, but a lifestyle and value system.
Patagonia is one brand that has realized the importance of content creation, and has made this their primary means of marketing. As a leader in environmental advocacy, Patagonia has begun producing and sponsoring content that sheds light on certain issues. They recognize that this activity does not directly promote the selling of a particular product, but rather gains the ongoing support from their customers. Not only do their products set them apart from their competitors, but also their repositioning as environmentally friendly, conscientious leaders who foster a community around those values.
“We’re here to solve environmental problems. If we can show that, then people process what we’re about, become loyal and commit to the brand.” – Joy Howard, marketing at Patagonia.
Great Experiences are Invaluable.
We all know that physical possessions have a temporary lifespan. On the other hand, incredible experiences live on forever through great memories. Millennial consumers value experiences as much, if not more than, physical possessions. This is why brands that offer rich experiences and associate themselves with a lifestyle are prospering in today’s market.
Evidence that Millennials put a high value on great experiences is apparent in the rising popularity of music and art festivals like Coachella and Burning Man. These are one-time experiences that offer opportunities for life changing experiences.
Brands can emulate this trend by offering enriching, ongoing or even one-time experiences for their customers. Film and video are also powerful tools to reach consumers that may have less physical access to your brand. Patagonia’s sponsorship of the documentary film “DamNation” is an example of how film can inspire consumers and communicate brand values.
The days of the cheap, quick sell are over. The Millennial consumer is savvy and informed, demanding that brands offer exceptional product. Moving into the future, successful brands will find ways to incorporate exciting and educational experiences into their marketing strategy for the benefit of customers. We think it’s a win-win for industry leaders who are willing to dig deep and level up!