As the father of two Millennial-aged sons, I am fascinated by how different this generation is than my own. And how differently they respond to advertising and marketing than other generations.
In their book, Millennials Rising, authors William Strauss and Neil Howe document several important characteristics of Millennials. If you’re the CMO of a travel or leisure brand, they offer you clear direction on how to market to America’s youngest adult generation.
1. Invite Millennials to be a part of your team.
Millennials value teamwork and belonging more than other generations, because they started working together in teams at an early age. So give them ample opportunity to interact with your brand as a member of team.
- Create group-oriented promotions or events that connect them to your brand, their friends and other customers.
- Promote aspects of your brand that would be of value to groups. For instance, if you’re a hotel, promote group facilities to friends who vacation together.
- If you’ve incorporated social media into your marketing efforts, allow them to become part of your extended marketing team, by giving them a forum for interacting with other customers and commenting on your brand.
2. Make Millennials feel special.
Millennials were raised to feel special. If you don’t believe me, just ask any Millennial friend or relative to show you all of their awards and ribbons. My sons have a trophy-case full, and they got most of theirs just for participating. If you’re marketing to this generation:
- Offer them small perks or rewards that honor each customer personally.
- Give them a place on your website or social media site to provide feedback.
- When they do give you feedback, acknowledge them for it with a personal reward or thank you.
3. Create more structure around your brand.
More Millennials grew up in daycare and more have spent time participating in structured after-school activities and team sports than other generations. So they are looking for “safe” brands that have clearly defined rules of engagement.
- Offer orientation videos that explain how your brand works, and the rules for engaging with your brand.
- Promote the structure and safety of your brand in company literature.
- Offer structured activities and promotions that create a “win” for Millennials when they participate.
The authors of Millennials Rising offer a total of seven distinct characteristics of Millennials, and many accompanying insights into this unique generation. This book is a timely and insightful read I would recommend to any CMO developing marketing strategies to Generation Next for your travel or leisure brand.