Meet Your Customers - Millennials

It’s the buzzword of the year. Many of us think of millennials as nothing more than a bunch of ego-centric, entitled people who can’t lift their heads up from their smartphones. Even if that’s true, we’d better start learning how to reach them. They are your target audience at Wedding Expo. And they shun many of the methods that businesses have used for decades to attract customers.

This 18-35-year-old demographic is so tuned into social media, reviews and internet-based research that they may already know much of what you’d tell them in your customary sales pitch.

By the time you meet them face to face, you’ll fare better by discussing meaning more than material. They’re looking for a company with the same aspirations & values as they have. Find out what makes them tick. Then, don’t be afraid to show them what makes you tick – why you love what you provide or make or sell.

Millennials love experiences, both their own and others’. And if there’s a little friendly competition involved, all the better. Last fall, Dairy Queen won critical acclaim for pitting apple capital Wenatchee WA against pumpkin festival home Caro, MI. Which Blizzard flavor is better: apple pie or pumpkin pie?

The communities’ residents got in on the good-natured gig, each touting their prized produce. And DQ’s social media fans flooded the internet with votes. The campaign transcended storytelling; it became story-living.

We couldn't fabricate a rivalry between these two towns,” the ad agency that created the campaign reported. “We had to create something real and true so that fans in these towns would take up the cause. And we needed fans across the country to relate to these towns,” to try both flavors, pick a side and crown a winner.

Instead of touting “features & benefits,” DQ and its agency chose to reach a demographic that views much of life as a game. The campaign gave millennials the opportunity to see validation for their decisions through instant rewards – by tasting Blizzards and then watching their votes affect DQ’s always changing website scoreboard.

Did the campaign work? Sales rose almost 7 percent and 700,000 votes were cast.

Think you have an idea that would reach millennials? Share it with us.

Are you providing ways for your customers to share their experience with you and other customers? Tell us about it.

And millennials, are we reaching you? Or is this blog just a bunch of psycho-babble? Let us hear from you, too.