13th May 2016

3 Things We Learned About Branding for the Ageless Millennial

by Kate Walker, Social Media Content Executive

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the Millennial group as people reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century. This pretty much refers to anyone who was born between the early 1980s and 2000, anyone between the ages of 15 and 35. The term and this generation are fast becoming one of the most important consumers groups of our lifetime.

Millennials have grown up in a world that’s seen astonishing advancements in technology and given them the ability to communicate, spread information and share content faster and wider than ever before. A 2014 study by NewsCred stated that by 2020, the total spending power of the millennials will be more than $1.4 trillion and more than 82 million of them consume online content monthly and that’s the USA alone. With so much money being spent and so much of their lives online it’s not surprising that brands are tailoring their behavior to reach out to them. It’s more important than ever to secure loyalty from this hugely influential consumer group.

However in today’s world I think it’s fair to say that the millennial definition now applies to a broader range of people compared to when the term was first used. With such huge advancements in technology, and the continual growth of social media it has meant that many people over the millennial age group consume and use online content at the same rate that the ‘official’ millennials do so too. Five or so years ago the term used to be very specific but now you have adults who are 40+, 50+ or 60+ years old who are just as tech savvy as someone half their age and use social platforms to stay connected (my family even have our own Whatsapp group to stay in touch). The term ‘millennial’ is dead. Long live the Ageless Millennial!

If brands are still using the traditional millennial group as their target, they’re ignoring a enormous swathe of the global population who have eyes-on as much marketing, have a higher level of disposable income then the 15-35’s and spend it on larger, more expensive purchases than their younger counterparts.

So how do you begin to secure the loyalty of a group who are bombarded with over 5,000 marketing messages a day, who have an endless and unlimited supply of content at the click of a button and have the freedom to pick and choose who to engage with and buy from?

Below I’ve got three key learnings from our work with Radisson RED on how to engage the ageless millennial and create that distinctive connection with our own ageless millennial consumers.

1. Jump on ALL of the relevant social channels

Social media surrounds us all, we’ve grown up with it and most couldn’t contemplate life without it. It’s imperative that brands, both large and small, understand this group, which social platforms they hang out on and how best to connect with them in order to engage the viewer to build strong loyalty.

Radisson RED is a brand that’s aimed at the (ageless) millennial generation and we had to make sure that our social media content was strong and diverse enough to connect with the consumer, creating a memorable experience for them. For RED we’ve used Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and Vine, all platforms we know their target audience use and post different types of content that we know will appeal. We share high quality images from our blog posts on Instagram, retweet new music artists and fashion bloggers on Twitter and then share our amazing blog content over Facebook.

Millennials want to access information easily and quickly, so it’s important that our social channels reflect this. Using research by the Adobe Global State of Content found that when consumers had only 15 minutes to consume content, 63% would skim articles on trends rather than read an in-depth article and 57% would watch a video report on breaking news rather than read an article on breaking news. Using this insight, Vine and Instagram are two perfect social channels that are great for connecting with our intended audience. The videos are quick and easy to consume and showcase the best images and content from the Radisson RED blog, Amplify RED.

There are endless possibilities on social media to secure consumer loyalty and as long as you are continually engaging across a broad range of channels you will stimulate positive social engagements, creating brand ambassadors.

2. Make it personal

Genuine, human experience counts for a huge amount when it comes to brands. Audiences don’t want some faceless corporation treating them like just a generic consumer. They want to connect on a personal level with a brand, make an emotional link and are far more receptive to brands that make them feel like they are part of the process.

Involving the audience is a huge part of the whole Radisson RED brand so we’ve given the viewers the opportunity to be featured on the blog. ‘I want to be featuRED’ is where RED consumers can tell us their story, what sets them apart from the crowd and what makes them different. If they are an aspiring artist, musician, photographer, fashion designer or anything that fits with the RED vibe, they can submit their story and if we think they are right for RED they have the opportunity to become the subject of a blog. Giving the RED audience the opportunity to submit their articles they become part of the story, drawing them closer to the brand.

I want to be featured - Radisson RED

“Millennials value being heard and consider companies that communicate openly more trustworthy, so gain their confidence by engaging with them directly.”
David Hawley, Vice President of Marketing at Advocate Marketing Solution.

We make REDs social interactions very personal as well. As David Hawley says to build trust and value for an audience, engage with them directly, have a conversation and be their friend. We’ve heard lots of people say that they’re scared of social media because someone might say something bad or unfair about them. Well, they’ll say them anyway whether you’re on there or not! Social gives you the chance to interact and give the audience a direct voice with your company.

Ensuring that we continually communicate and respond personally to consumers through social channels builds up a brilliantly positive social reputation for RED online. This continual communication builds brand advocates who may then go on to tell their network about RED because of the experience that they’ve had, and as sharing social content is commonplace, they’ll hopefully recommend the blog as somewhere that produces interesting, positive content.

3. Keep Everything Interesting

As mentioned above, that human connection with brands is all important. Digital consumers love it when they feel that the brand has created something with them in mind. The 2014 NewsCred study found that ‘64% of millennials respond positively to content that is tailored to their cultural interests, and roughly a third say that they are more likely to buy from a brand if it delivers interesting content that teaches them something.’ So the simple message is, to secure loyalty from this generation it’s important to create content that interests them.

Radisson RED is a hotel brand that doesn’t talk about it’s hotels. The blog is only about art, music and fashion content sourced from all over the world and absolutely zero mention of the hotels, what deals they have and the latest restaurant menu. We’ve posted about the best outfits from Coachella, amazing graffiti in Málaga, the Rio Carnival, music artists to watch in 2016 and 12-hour travel guides for a number of different cities written by local bloggers.

Millennials, whatever age they are, are one of the most influential social groups in the market. They spend a lot, they browse a lot, they consume a lot and they’re only going to get bigger. If brands build a strong social presence, connect and interact with their viewers on a personal level and produce interesting and honest content tailored to the interests of their audience they build a strong, engaged following and will ultimately secure their loyalty.


Kate Walker, Social Media Content Executive

3 Things We Learned About Branding for the Ageless Millennial