Millennials are obviously a big market for companies--they're starting families, buying houses and consuming technology in various ways. But is dropping major coin on marketing to this audience worth it? A new survey on Millennial consumers says not so much.
What is? Investing in your product.
"Ultimately, the functionality of how the brand serves the consumer seems to win out," says Norty Cohen, CEO of Moosylvania, the digital agency that conducted the survey. It found that successful marketing campaigns engage Millennial buyers by focusing on three tasks: making them look good, feel good, and keeping them entertained.
Another key finding was the persuasive power of social media and word of mouth: 83 percent of respondents said they discover new brands thanks to endorsements from friends and family. Influencer posts come in at second place, with 52 percent.
For more insight, here are the 10 brands Millennials love the most--and the reasons why.
10. Victoria's Secret
One word: entertainment. In the week leading up to the lingerie company's annual fashion show in 2015, the brand shared sneak peeks and previews of the models' rehearsals down the catwalk. The campaign earned the brand 8.7 million social media interactions on Instagram during the show.
Microsoft's collaboration with Vntana to introduce interactive hologram system, Hollagram, proved to appeal to tech-savvy Millennials and make them look good. The May campaign allowed users to interact with any object they pleased--as a hologram, that is. The system then emailed video, photos or gifs of the participants' experience, which in turn they could share in various social media platforms.
The e-commerce titan mounted an immersive pop-up movie theater in JFK International Airport to promote its partnership with JetBlue last December. The innovative and experiential campaign left a lasting impression among Millennial travelers, according to the Moosylvania survey.
Walmart appealed to consumers' soft side with its "Greenlight A Vet" campaign, launched last November. The retailer encouraged its social media followers to post pictures documenting their support with the hashtag #greenlightvet.
To promote the release of the Galaxy S7, Samsung turned to Instagram and reached out to real consumers. The campaign found photos and videos grainy or poorly lit and retook them using the Galaxy S7. The re-shot images were done so in a sarcastic, funny tone, enabling the brand to stimulate positive word of mouth among its consumers.
5. The Coca-Cola Company
After its successful "Share a coke" promotion, The Coca-Cola Company did a 180 for its February "It's Mine" Diet Coke campaign. The project highlighted the consumers' individuality by distributing millions of uniquely designed Diet Coke bottles and encouraged consumers to share their personal styles (and their exclusive soda bottle) through social media.
Sony partnered up with Snapchat to promote the new Ghostbusters film. Its campaign stood out because for the first time Snapchatters were able to use both front and rear camera to interact with animated filters. Users were able to "slime" others using the rear camera. How's that for entertainment?
As part of its "Unexpected Moves" campaign, Nike released four special edition versions of its Kyrie Irving sneaker--one of which was inspired by doughnut company, Krispy Kreme. The stunt was followed by a "Sweet Moves Tour" this past May, in which fans could buy a pair of "Ky-Rispy Kreme" sneakers directly from a Krispy Kreme truck.
Target has been pursuing Millennials through 10-seconds Snapchat ads. The new e-commerce feature on the social media platform lets consumers swipe up for more information on a given product or swipe down to purchase it.
Apple is Millennials' No. 1 brand. Moosylvania attributes this to its use of user-generated content through the "Shot on iPhone" campaign, which has received over 6.5 billion media impressions.