There are over 87 million Millennials in the U.S. with the population overtaking Baby Boomers sometime this year. Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce. One in four are parents. There is no doubt that marketing effectively to this market segment is essential for a business to survive and thrive. More than ever promotional stickers are an ideal fit into your millennial marketing mix. Here’s why.
It’s a sharing economy and Millennials broadcast opinions. Word of mouth is more important than ever. Everyone is increasingly aware of what others are doing, but, keep in mind social media and word of mouth is not limited to online. According to a study by The Keller Fay Group 90% of word of mouth conversations about brands is taking place off-line. Stickers are the original social media. They are a badge that encourages word of mouth and off-line influence.
According to Social Chorus, only 6% of Millennials consider online advertising credible. And, 95% say friends are the most credible source of recommendations and product information. This is why testimonial and case studies are so important in today’s marketing mix. Again, what is often ignored is that stickers on cars, laptops, water bottles, etc. are basically testimonials, not an ad. They are badges and signs of alignment with their interests and values.
I read somewhere that the old adage “he who dies with the most toys wins” has been replaced for Millennials by “he who dies with the most experiences wins.” This is a positive development for the world, but it also is important to note for your marketing efforts and use of stickers. Promotional stickers are the physical badges that document and broadcast those experiences and encourage word of mouth.
Millennials more often than not, are buying values, not products. They care about what a business stands for and what organizations and causes they support. This is not something that can be faked for marketing purposes – consumers have access to all the info they need these days to confirm alignment, or misalignment with a brand. Again, stickers can help strengthen tie-ins with values, causes, and brands. The product or organization itself is becoming more secondary to consumers than their own status and associations.
Marketing messages and ambassadors today must be intentional, transparent and honest. Though Millennials are buying into values and experiences they can also be distracted. Marketing must disrupt, online and off. Companies must differentiate themselves, differentiate their products, differentiate their marketing, and differentiate their stickers. Companies must create more meaningful experiences while also differentiating the marketing, the message, and the sticker/badge.
Millennials are content creators with about half posting their own photos and videos. According to Millennial Marketing about 40% of Millennials want to participate in co-creation of products and brands. User generated content (UGC) is 50% more trustworthy and 35% memorable than brand imagery. What this tells us is that we should be involving fans and customers in the creation of our content and marketing. And, the creation of our promotional stickers.
The Grateful Dead was a great example from the past of effective user (community) content creation. Many of the images, stickers and t-shirts were created by fans. The band supported and encouraged not only the taping of their concerts, but the creation of products as well. The band grew and succeeded as much by a community of insiders and word of mouth as the music. The Dead were Millennial Marketing pioneers before there was a millennial generation. And, stickers were a big part of their community and marketing.
A more recent example of effective Millennial Marketing is J Skis founder Jason Levinthal. Jason involves his customers and community in everything from the creation of his product to it’s marketing. On his site Jason states; “You can see everything I do on a daily basis, successes & failures will be completely transparent to you.” As Jason once told me; “I was always of the mind set that you need to get your consumers not only as your advocates but also your marketing and advertising department. My goal is always to leverage my consumer following and stickers are my #1 way of doing that”.
As I wrote in my book Stick This!, because people are becoming less influenced by traditional advertising that interrupts them, marketing has shifted to a more permission and connection based model. There is nothing more effective and influential than word of mouth marketing and endorsements from trusted sources.
As we’ve moved towards recognition, acceptance and implementation of Millennial Marketing, smart businesses are also realizing that Sticker Marketing is an important part of that shift.
Do you agree? Disagree? Have comments or examples? Please chime in with a relevant comment or feedback below.