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Take It From A Millennial // Meaningful Connections

7 July 2017

It’s finally Friday once again, which means I’m back with your weekly dose of millennial insight. Last week, I started by telling you who millennials are. This week, I take you a step further into one of the many aspects that shape millennial purchase behavior: meaningful connections.

giphy (5)So let’s take it back to where it all started. According to just about every millennial, the 90’s were the absolute perfect years to grow up. From Beanie Babies, to the Easy Bake Oven, 90’s kids had it all, and we are yet to forget it. We were lucky enough to grow up in a time where fun innovations were coming to life, but advanced technology had yet to take over. Now, as young adults, we often look back and remember the 90’s as the greatest years of all time due to the fact that we were not glued to tablets or smartphones like today’s kids, but we were playing with Polly Pockets and Bop-Its outside with our friends instead.

As a brand attempting to target millennials, it is very important to acknowledge how much millennials adore and remember the years before technology took over human connection. Still, as much as we value the past, the truth is we are now in 2017 and tangled in all the tech. However, we still seek those connections, even if we’re looking for them through a screen. This is where you come in. Your job is to ignite that feeling within millennials in order for us to form a real connection with your brand and not only buy your product, but remain brand loyal for years. 

Some brands have gone so far into using the nostalgia factor that they’ve giphy (6)developed advertising campaigns that focus solely around the 90’s. For example, Internet Explorer launched a YouTube video garnered towards 90’s kids to pull them back into the good ol’ days where Internet Explorer was king. The video went viral and has over 50 million views to date.

Nevertheless, as great a turnout as Internet Explorer had by using nostalgia directly, this tactic might not be the right fit for your brand. Forming meaningful connections with millennials does not exactly mean that you must take us back to our childhood. All it really means is that you have to evoke that same feeling we get when we experience that nostalgia. It’s that key feeling of human comfort and familiarity that we feel so in touch with.

As a new brand or a less popular one, building that familiarity and connection is not something that can be done quickly or easily. Creating a consumer-brand relationship takes not only time and effort, but also consistency.giphy (7) You first have to find that unique competitive advantage that your makes your brand stand apart and use that to create the basis of your connection. Then, you have to stick with it for the long run in order to exponentially build awareness and eventually have that connection stay with us permanently.

Frosted Flakes is a brand that undoubtedly stuck to its guns and created prolonged consumer loyalty, especially from millennials. They of course began as a small unknown brand, but they used meaningful connections and consistency to transform Frosted Flakes to the cereal powerhouse it is today.giphy (8) They started by relating the sugar on the product to magic and fun, which lead them to Tony the Tiger. This fictional character, along with his powerful slogan, “they’re grrrreat”, changed the game. His contagious personality, catchphrase, and unwavering spirit created a strong bond with us as kids, and we continue to feel that connection today when we see Tony the Tiger on commercials so many years later. This very connection was so strong that it continues to keep us brand loyal after so many decades.

All in all, just as millennials yearn for that connection when forming brand loyalty, there is another side to the spectrum. When brands fail to form connections, millennials are quick to leave them for the next new thing, because remember, millennials are not afraid of change. This shows that it is beyond essential to form connections in order to have the largest consumer group in the US on your side.

Now, I challenge you to improve your brand’s connection to the millennial generation. Look within your current strategy to see what your brand is putting toward our relationship, and how you can grow that to create an even more solid bond, and eventually unbreakable loyalty. Your efforts will not go unrewarded.


Written by: Micaela Valderrama

July 5th, 2017

Compass Marketing & Consulting