To be favored among Millennials, brands should lean less on blanket traditional advertising and more on how they can relate to their daily lives.
After reviewing more than 15,000 responses from Millennials over the past five years (2013-17), St. Louis branding agency Moosylvania found brands that continually win Millennial favor do something for the Millennials’ personal brands.
While the top 10 brands (which includes Apple, Nike, Samsung, Amazon and Coke) are blue-chip, well-advertised brands, some further down the list, like shoe brand Vans (No. 34), outrank heavy advertisers like Budweiser (No. 94), which may have less daily relevance to the demographic.
“Pretty much everything here is: ‘Make me look good. Make me feel good, or keep me entertained,’ ” says Norty Cohen, CEO of Moosylvania. “All these [top] brands are doing something for Millennials’ own personal marketing. When you look at these brands, they’re helping them market themselves.”
Using five years of data, the study also found brands that consistently engaged Millennial consumers continued to rank high over time, he says.
“There were some brands that came and went,” Cohen says. “They did one thing and then [went away]. It’s the idea of consistency driving the connection — staying with it every day.”
Along those lines, the study also found peer influence and conversation was a more effective way to drive trial among Millennials than traditional advertising.
According to the research, peers talking about a brand produced a significantly greater chance of new brand adoption than TV, Facebook and YouTube advertising combined, Cohen adds.
Noting that Millennial consumers are now aging into different life stages, the study separated the demographic into two age groups: 17-27s and 28-37s. In doing so, Moosylvania found older Millennials showed more loyalty and digital connectivity to brands than their younger cohorts.