10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Connect with Millennials

Jul 15 2016

by Haile McCollum


Putt enjoying an afternoon on the farm with his Brittany Spaniels. 


The oldest of the “millennials” are turing 36 this year and expect brands to interact with them very differently than past generations. We’ve been coming up with ideas on how existing brands can begin to interact with millennials in authentic, meaningful and impactful ways. We thought sharing some of those ideas here would be a great idea!


By 2020 millennials will spend 1.2 trillion dollars annually, or 30% of all retail sales in the US. Embracing the younger end of your audience will help position you in the coming years and help grow a passionate, active audience. User generated content, aka social proof, is the way to go with this group of consumers. They trust it 50% more than any other kind of media. They are especially drawn to authentic content and brands who are socially responsible.


Repost! Make sure to repost customer photos on instagram, always using the same, short, snappy, easy to remember hashtag and tagging the person who posted it.

Repurpose customer photos into your product descriptions on your website. When a product page features a social media photo millennials are 6x more likely to purchase that item.

Empower your customers to tell your story. Make sure every product has a back story rich enough that people want to talk about it and show others. In the photo above, we shot Putt, the owner of Schermer pecans, with his spaniels to give a sense of the story behind the company. He’s a farmer, but he also loves the outdoors.

Think of your website as a story book, even item descriptions should include elements of your story. Make sure to include photography (like the photo above) that isn’t too highly styled and helps tell the back story.

Invest in the way that your shipments are packaged so that the act of opening the box is video worthy. Unboxing videos are hugely popular on YouTube. Just go look if you don’t believe me!

Create a list of influencers (YouTube, Bloggers, Instagrammers) that you would like to feature your products. Mask sure their audience is a good fit and refine your pitch before you reach out to them. Here’s more info on how to do this.

Millennials would rather purchase an experience than a product, so it’s important to position your goods as a piece of a larger, aspirational lifestyle. You can organize a local event and invite influencers to create content about their experiences. Check out Cotopaxi’s Questival as an example of how a brand grew an event that generates massive amounts of content. You don’t have to go this big, you can start on a much smaller scale.

Consider livestreaming as a tool to engage your customers. Facebook now has this feature. Periscope is another app to consider. There is nothing more authentic than unedited livestreaming. Think of livestreaming as another storytelling tool.

Social responsibility is important. Make sure to showcase your good deeds. Look for an environmental or social problem (especially meaningful to this audience) you can help solve and create an initiative.

Everything you do must be mobile friendly. Keep in mind load times and the idea of “micromoments” that is those 150 times a person checks their phone a day (!!)


Haile McCollum View More Blog Posts from this Author

Haile is the Owner of Fontaine Maury a brand and design firm in Thomasville, Georgia. Fontaine Maury works with emerging and growth minded companies and non-profits to engage their audiences in a more meaningful way and maximize profits. She develops, documents and extends brands through creative business strategies including: brand messaging, brand strategy, print design and digital design.

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2 responses on “10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Connect with Millennials

  1. Maria Andrea

    I have to say as a 23 year old “millennial” myself whose been paying attention to the way my peers are consuming (and boy are they consuming” you are Spot. On. With these. We’re no longer just buying a product, we’re buying a whole experience, and an entire lifestyle. We also pay a lot of attention to how responsible and authentic companies are, and of course how they interact with their consumers. Thanks to social media that’s become a whole new game. If companies don’t pay attention to marketing their products and services this way they’ll never make it with my generation. Great post!

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