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The Do’s and Don’ts of Branding to Millennials

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branding to millennials

Branding is a fragment of business wherein companies endorse their products or services to their target market through different marketing efforts. Branding poses many challenges among companies but perhaps the toughest of these today is branding to millennials.

Millennials are people born between the years 1982 and 2002. Today, this generation embodies 24% of the American population. Millennials are born and raised in an era plagued by economic disorder and consumerism. It’s a tough time to earn a living and sustain one’s preferred lifestyle, as many career men and women of this generation are starting to realize.

Being thrown into these challenging times has made millennials into a special group of people. According to a Nielsen report, these men and women are savvy shoppers of necessity. This means that although they enjoy shopping, the millennial generation only take their business to brands they trust.

This is evidenced by their research skill prior to shopping. The same report by Nielsen indicated that 42% of millennials comb through at least four different sources before making a purchase. A third of this group of people only go shopping on sales or when they’re in a possession of coupons or promotional codes. The study further states that 40% of the group save money by buying second-hand items.

All these findings suggest that millennials are a tough crowd to market to and yet, this group has challenged and captivated marketers and business owners alike.

Because they comprise a significant portion of the population, earning the patronage and trust of these men and women is worth it. In fact, this is what business owners who want to leave a lasting impression in their industry should aim to do.

It may be challenging to please a fussy and calculating crowd, but it can be done. You can simplify this by learning the do’s and don’ts of branding to millennials.

The DO’s:
  • Invest on mobile. Whether it is through improving the mobile experience of consumers or bringing more aspects of your business into the mobile platform, your company’s mobile site and functionality should be at its finest.
  • Optimize your social media presence. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are more than just social channels for millennials. These networks are also search engines for them and whatever information they can dig up is a contributing factor in their purchase decision. Make sure your search results will lean in your favor.
  • Bring your brand to them without smothering them with ads and promises. Let them get to know your brand through an experience they enjoy such as concerts you can sponsor or video blogging.
  • Engage in open communication. These young men and women, like any other consumer, appreciate being heard and taken care of. Responding to messages, listening to suggestions, and acknowledging commendations build a good business-consumer relationship.

“My clients post images of themselves, tagging my business, and it is the best digital format of word-of-mouth marketing possible.” – Ryan Horne

The DON’TS:
  • Some people seem to find it funny to stereotype millennials as a self-absorbed, lazy bunch. This is rather unfortunate because this generation is a large part of the workforce. In fact, a study shows that more than 80% of millennials from 27 years old and up are employed. Half of them are married or have a family of their own. The ones who have not moved out of their homes chose this living condition to save up for other priorities such as travel and other life-enriching activities. The takeaway: don’t be condescending towards millennials.
  • There are marketers and company owners who try hard to throw in phrases and expressions into their content that they think will connect them to millennials. You shouldn’t. Or at least, not without knowing the proper use of such phrases. Otherwise, you will just end up sounding phony.
  • Don’t neglect taking care of existing customers. For millennials, a recommendation from a friend or someone they know is more preferable than giant billboards or a paid TV ad. Remember that you are advertising to a group of people who almost unthinkingly reach out for their phones during commercials or click the exit button on online ads. More than just your efforts to reel in new customers, make sure to keep the current ones happy because your best shot at advertising is through word of mouth.

“Young people need to be asked what matters, not be told what matters.” – Jeff Martin

Once you get to know what makes millennials tick and what they value and aim for, branding evolves from being a business necessity to a sincere desire to reach out and help people with what you can offer. Learning these do’s and don’ts is the first step towards progress.

How is your brand appealing to the millennials? Leave your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Catherine Vanvonno, the author, is the President and Executive Director of 20Four7VA, a global Virtual Assistant (VA) Service Provider. She holds a doctorate degree in Applied Statistics, Research Design and Program Evaluation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and has over 10 years experience in facilitating evidence-based strategic planning, product development, brand management, legislative communications, and medical policy. She is married and has four children. You can connect with her on Twitter.

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7 Ways to Share Your Story on Social Media

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Content marketing is “A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services”. In other words, explicit marketing is simply saying “buy my stuff!” whereas content marketing is the art of persuading people to do so through storytelling. (more…)

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10 Tips to Deal With Negativity While Starting a Business

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There are ups and downs in business but fearing failures can stop you from taking your first step towards excellence. With pandemic on tow, aspiring entrepreneurs feel a little stuck when ideating a business prospect. Here, we give you some actionable tips to deal with negativity while starting a business, even during situations like a pandemic. We also took the liberty to throw in some amazing book recommendations that’ll help you enjoy the process of being positive and achieving your business goals.

10 Tips to deal with negativity while starting a business in a pandemic

1. Get a mentor

The first thing to do as a new business owner is to find the right kind of mentor. That person could be someone in your industry or in general who you look up to. The guidance must be apt for your business, and it should be a mutual responsibility of sharing knowledge. 

2. Two big R’s – Routine and Refresh

Made a mess of something? Try to reboot the situation and make it work. Take a break once in a while and refresh yourself if you feel stuck or your ideas feel mundane. Plan a routine and stick to them – both personal and professional. Having a routine can increase productivity and engage in more activities apart from your pre-planned schedule. 

3. Inculcate problem-solving mentality

Do not panic once you are thrown a problem. Arrange a meeting with the respective party, listen to both sides of the stories, and make a decision that is more realistic and feasible. 

4. Hire half and half

Whenever you hire someone for your business. Make sure that half of the people contradict your ideas, and the other half have the same mindset as yours. The people who contradict can bring in more valuable points and their perspective might take the discussion to a whole new level.  Don’t take too much time finding the perfect one. Hire an apt person who can have the right attitude. 

5. Network, Network, and Network

Find like-minded people and mingle with them. Be more sportive in the learning process. Listen more and talk less – if you are a beginner. You can only be a constructive person who gives input to someone if you have listened to everyone’s point of view. If you feel down, your network might have something to uplift your mood and change your perspective on something. 

“Negativity, in general, is one of the things that holds people back, and you have to see what’s holding you back to get away from it.” – Lucy Dacus

6. Tech-savvy personnel

Learn a thing or two about the latest technology that you implement in your organization. Since the world revolves around technology, make sure your administrative authority knows as well.  

7. Don’t schedule a meeting, that could have been an email

Yes! I said it. Having unnecessary meetings will weaken the purpose of having a constructive discussion. Having back-to-back meetings drains the team members and yourself too. Always have a 10 to 15 minutes break between each meeting to feel refreshed and give your 100%. 

8. Have a pros and cons list

Always, I mean always have a pros and cons list. Let’s say one of your team members pitch an idea to improve the marketing strategies starting next month. Jot down the pros and cons before approving or rejecting it point-blank. It’s a systematic way of making a decision. 

9. Track your finances

Even if you have a team of accountants and auditors, make sure that you are present (both mentally and physically) – learn if you are not aware of it. Trusting your employees is a must, but not overseeing the records is a mistake that should be avoided. 

10. Remember your “why?”

At some point in your hectic schedule or not having ME time can get to you. During those tough times – ask yourself – “Why am I doing this?”. If you can answer this question with a valid explanation, you’ll feel energized. Because “A purpose drives you”. 

5 Best books to read to be more positive as an entrepreneur

Reading always puts me into perspective. Therefore, I took some liberty to give a sample of positivity and determination through words. 

These are the 5 books that’ll guide you to be a more positive and successful entrepreneur. 

  1. Attitude is everything by Jeff Keller – The decisions you make, the routine you set for yourself, and the affirmations you say to yourself every day are going to make a huge difference. If you feel tired, hopeless, and quitting – then this book is for you to boost you up!
  2. Mindset: The new psychology of success by Carol Dweck – You do what you think. In this book, the author talks about two mindsets: The growth mindset and the fixed mindset and what they’ll do to you respectively. She helps you recognize your mindset and change it for the better. 
  3. Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen – This book is about technology uprisings all over the world and businesses that adopted and implemented technology in their firm. The author teaches you that just because your competitors and others are adopting something into their businesses doesn’t mean that you have to as well. Make an informed decision. 
  4. As A Man Thinketh by James Allen – This book specifically is about the power of thought and how it shapes your life into a more meaningful and fulfilling one.
  5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – The author talks about how people always keep thinking about what the future holds but then forget to live and enjoy the present. And also helps us understand how to make decisions more efficiently based on the present. 

Working towards inner balance requires consistency and perseverance. So does hard and smart work. Being negative is a part of our lives. It’s important to channel it appropriately and make things happen despite the roller coaster ride that is our lives. Hope you overcome your fears and negativity to shine bigger and brighter. Cheers! 

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Defining Your Own Success: A Step by Step Guide

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Everyone wants success in their lives, but success can be defined in so many different ways that it can sometimes seem daunting. In this blog post, you will learn how to make success easier for yourself by defining what success means to you. (more…)

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5 Characteristics of Athletes You Need for Business Success

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Michigan State basketball coach, Tom Izzo, wrote “Players play. Tough players win.” I would add to that, “It’s tough to win.”I think if you, as a leader, are looking to build an organization that is successful – that wins – you first have to accept that it will be tough. There are no shortcuts to success. In my 44 years of coaching, I was fortunate to coach a lot of tough players. I believe the toughness I have seen in athletes corresponds well to any organization or business. (more…)

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