Millennials have changed various aspects of the socioeconomic landscape. The luxury brand market is no exception to this trend. However, marketing to Millennials requires a different approach. Millennials think differently as consumers.
Being internet-savvy, they are more interested in interacting with luxury brands through digital media instead of the conventional channels. They don’t aspire to own them because of their high price tags alone. They are also interested in buying durable and functional items, especially when it comes to luxury fashion.
Millennials will become one of the largest market segments in the coming years. According to a recent Deloitte report, Millennials and Generation Z will collectively represent more than 40% of the overall luxury goods market by 2025, compared to around 30% in 2016. This is why luxury brands need to adapt to this changing market environment and attract millennial consumers.
Knowing the following four things will help luxury brands in this regard.
1. Authenticity Trumps Extravagance
Millennial consumers have different value systems compared to other consumer demographics. They are more interested in authenticity instead of extravagance. In other words, Millennials are less likely to be moved by flashy ads, big promises or the limited-edition factor. It’s no surprise that nearly 40% of affluent internet users in the UK used an ad blocker in the first quarter of 2018, while more than 40% of affluent internet users in France and Germany also did so.
If you want to approach them on social media, you need to send out an authentic message. Being authentic means telling consumers how you view your own work (your products, services, and organization) and what it represents. For example, Bulgari, an Italian luxury brand, partnered with “Save the Children Foundation” and launched a social media campaign on November 20th, 2017 in awareness of Universal Children’s Day.
The brand asked their followers to share a headshot of themselves with closed eyes while making a wish. The brand pledged to donate $1 for a closed-eyes wish selfie with the hashtag #SeeMyWish. The campaign generated massive social media engagement for the brand with millions of people posting their wish selfies. It quickly reached its $250,000 goal with the brand doubling their charity donation to $500,000.
2. Rope in the Right Influencers
Influencer marketing is one of the best ways to attract Millennials to your brand. When looking for product recommendations, 49% of respondents to a Twitter survey said they relied on influencers. Influencers can help you create the type of content that resonates with your millennial target audience. They can also make your brand more exclusive by keeping your products relevant to your target audience.
Although hesitant in the beginning, luxury brands are gradually tapping into influencer marketing. Dior, a leading luxury goods company, recently roped in several micro-influencers to drive platform-specific social media engagement. The campaign comprised carefully chosen influencers having less than 500,000 followers along with celebrities including Natalie Portman, Robert Pattinson, Rihanna, and Bella Hadid.
The campaign was created using the hashtag #DiorLoveChain. The influencers included London-based Shini Park, Lyn Slater, Beatrice Gutu and artist Sang-Woo Kim, among others. The campaign generated more than 31,000 Dior-approved posts and reached 16.6 million people in 2017. Sighting its success, Dior plans to launch a second campaign in 2018.
3. Create Memorable Shopping Experiences
For Millennials, shopping itself has transformed into a chance to make memories. It includes not only the online shopping experience through your app or website, but also the in-store shopping experience. The better shopping experience Millennials have, the more they are likely to brag about your brand.
For instance, in their effort to entice the younger consumer base, BlueStone, an online jewelry brand from India, decided to launch the “Try at Home” scheme. When the advertising agency looking after its promotion, requested a trial at their office, it was a huge success. The idea of shopping from the convenience of their home or office is indeed exciting.
“The delight and excitement at the gold coming over is what led us to this fun space of Alia goofing around with jewelry in complete privacy. Something one can’t do in a showroom under the glare of salespeople and spotlights,” said Ashish Chakravarty- National Creative Director, Contract Advertising, the advertisement agency that got the actress on board to promote this scheme. The online jewelry brand also created an event on Facebook using the hashtag #BeLikeAlia to connect with their young consumers.
4. Focus on Instant Gratification
Another factor Millennials crave is instant gratification. Millennials have grown up with the internet and the smartphone revolution. So, they are more accustomed to instant gratification than any other generation. They also tend to change fashion more frequently. Thus, a big seasonal release of new products, especially in the fashion and apparel segment is fast becoming less relevant to Millennials.
They don’t want to wait until next fall to update their wardrobe. That’s why luxury brands need to release new products in small quantities, but more frequently. Zara is a leading clothing brand known for quick product turnaround time. The brand uses big data analytics to understand the preferences of their target audience.
The brand can produce a record-breaking 10,000 new designs every year. The company came up with the phrase “instant fashions,” allowing it to connect with the large millennial consumer base. The quick-response and low-quantity business model allows Zara to compete with big fashion brands such as Gap and Benetton. Unlike other fashion brands, Zara can offer more variety at cheaper rates.
Although luxury brands can continue to sell their products to the affluent class, their consumer base will soon comprise Millennials. Unlike their wealthy counterparts, Millennials have a completely different set of values and expectations. This is why it is challenging to entice them. But hopefully, these four pointers will help you successfully connect with Millennials in no time. What are you going to do to attract Millennials to your brand? Share your thoughts in your comments.