Millennial consumers, enabled through mobile and social digital technologies, are redefining what a Brand must offer to attract them and win them as customers. Today’s consumer is actively searching for Brands that align product value with corporate values. The following TEN BEST BRAND PRACTICES are proven to engage today’s Millennial consumer on their issues of Brand Value and Brand Values:
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- Price competitiveness. It starts here for most consumers in today’s economy, but it doesn’t stop here. Although the price tag is a key qualifier on how interested a consumer will be in your product, Brand Value and Brand Values are proving to be the determining factors in whether a consumer chooses your product.
- Delivering value. Value is not always the size of the cash register receipt, but it is up to today’s marketers to learn what “value” truly means to their target markets. While the focus on the customer’s receipt size has been a proven business success formula for company’s like Amazon, Walmart and The Home Depot, not every purchasing decision is going to be driven by price.
- Service. Today’s consumer has replaced “now” with “service.” Service is now one of the key factors in purchasing decisions. Consumers will pay a higher price for the same product if the service they receive is a step above a competitor. The lower the service, the more the company and product is categorized by the customer as a commodity that should be shopped based upon lowest price only.
- Reliability. Whether a product actually works to the customer’s satisfaction is critical to brand authenticity. The 20th century has taught consumers that lowest-price does not equate to value if the product fails to perform. Twenty-first century weather, social and health crises are teaching customers that the price sticker does not include key cost impacts upon their lives.
- Safety. What would you pay for an unsafe product? Obviously, zero because it is of no value. Safety is a killing dimension for a brand. Think “pink slime” or, more recently, Bucky Balls, magnetic balls that posed a significant risk for small children and animals.
- Honesty. It begins here in terms of values. Is your company’s brand representative of the customer’s best interest? Or is your brand a representation of what you think your customer wants to hear? The end-result of being dishonest is to forever lose a customer those that they impact.
- Healthy. Moving past safe, is your product good for the consumer? This is a mega-issue for moms concerned over the wellness of their loved ones. Women have $10 trillion of annual U.S. buying power and the issue of wellness strongly competes with their budget management as their top driver in deciding what to buy.
- Social responsibility. How your company treats others is rapidly growing as a brand shaping factor in our diverse and connected global economy. Paying a worker a dollar per hour to work in an unsafe environment is being challenged by consumers no matter how low the product’s price tag. Corporate social responsibility is maturing because consumers are requiring corporations to take more responsibility for the products they produce. It is now a supply chain risk management best practice that at the very least protects brand equity with the potential of winning customers attuned to social responsibility issues.
- Environmental integrity. A company must have environmental integrity if it wishes to sell to the Millennial Generation. The millennial generation was born into climate change. They see environmental consequences threatening their futures. “Cool with a purpose” is the TOMS Shoe logo that captures the Millennial generation’s imagination and dollars and, most importantly, environmental and social responsibility.
- Emotional connection. How do Apple and Patagonia continue to succeed in the face of lower-priced competitors? They make an emotional connection with a customer. “Well loved” and “authentic” are emotional connections that are hard to win but easy to lose if a brand fails to fulfill the above nine dimensions. Building an emotional connection is the competitive advantage available to local businesses. It is the ultimate challenge for large corporations.