They’re (Co)Creators

Millennials Aren’t Consumers

by Tim Osborn

Millennials. They're a huge economic force. And a dirty word in marketing because they're so tough to engage. And that might be because they've grown up on social media, they get marketing, and they don't care.

 

Millennials are social media natives and content creators. They've built up brands for themselves on social media platforms and know how to get the attention of their own personal target market, their followers and friends.

Millennials know what their community wants to see; they understand what it takes to get likes, follows, retweets and shares.

While these 18-33-year old may seem like an usual species to many marketers, they might be easier to reach than you think. In order to capture their attention, brands should try to stay away from marketing at them but rather market with them. They're willing to work with brands if brands are willing to work with them.

Co-creation is a marketing strategy that allows the consumer to work with the brand in their advertising efforts. Its goal is to make the consumers feel like they are a part of the campaign, not the target. Instead of using traditional advertisements that don’t allow a relationship to form with the consumer, co-creation reaches out to the target market in all aspects of the campaign. Once a relationship is formed with the company, brand loyalty is sure to ensue.

How to Co-Create

 Millennial Marketing listed the following benefits of allowing your younger customer to participate in your brand experience:

  1. Your customers can customize and personalize their experiences.
  2. Your customers will feel they have control over their favorite products/services through direct involvement.
  3. Your customers will see that their input matters to you and will continue to engage with your brand.

It may seem scary to lose full control of a campaign, but the millennial generation has put a whole new twist on the world of advertising and marketing. You and your customers now co-manage your brand's reputation, as your customers express their experience of your brand through reviews and social media.

Your goal is to allow your audience to feel like they own a stake in your brand by starting a conversation, listening to their feedback, and personalizing content to their interests.

Check out two examples of campaigns co-created with millennials.

Oreo Custom Taste

Oreo hit the jackpot with their custom taste experience machine at SXSW. 

Mondelez International teamed up with Twitter to create 3-D printed Oreos for the festival. Festival-goers (mostly millennials) were able to create their own custom cookies, choosing their color, flavor and design, inspired by topics  trending on Twitter.

The custom Oreos, which only took two minutes to create, were so popular that customers waited in lines for up to three hours just to get a cookie.

FP Me

Hailing from millennial retail favorite Free People, FP Me is a social campaign that allows customers to connect with each other and with the brand’s own personal stylists.

People upload pictures of their Free People outfits and add clickable links to their clothes online. Other Free People fans gain inspiration and shop from the photos. Not only does this make a community, but it also boosts sales by showing the brand’s clothing in real life photographs. Its sister company, Urban Outfitters, has a similar campaign of its own.

Your First Step to Co-Creation

Your first step towards co-creation can be as small as asking  your customers to  to use your hashtag. You don't have to reinvent your brand. In fact, millennials probably don’t want you to do an entire brand makeover… without their opinion, that is.

About the Author

Tim Osborn

Tim Osborn

Content Manager & Millenial Insights

As a Content Marketing Manager, my biggest responsibility is delivering top-shelf, Grade A, primo writing for our clients. So, if that’s what you’re looking for, I’m your guy!

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