Would millennials rather spend on experiences than commodities?
Brand experts say that the millennial consumer is looking for something that is more long-term, gratifying and value-driven
In today’s consumer market it is necessary to garner the consumer's attention by either building an emotional connect or creating a brand experience. In a recent Kantar report finding, it was highlighted that we live in an age of experience, but many brands don’t give much potency to it. Over 86 percent of Indian millennial consumers would rather spend on experience (concert/events) than things (commodities/services).
According to Barbara Cador, Global Head, CX+ Kantar, in a world of technology, with curated social media and Artificial Intelligence, humans are re-evaluating the importance of being in the moment. “While live moments are more than ever alive and kicking, technology will help bring us together to share our experiences in real-time”, Cador said.
exchange4media spoke to brand experts on the key take away from the report finding and whether a brand needs to revive the functional structure of advertising.
Tanya Mathana, AVP Brand Strategy, Monk Media Network, said that the article brought to light the much-needed conversation of customers seeking ‘experiences’ over ‘products’. Mathana said, “For most millennials buying ‘things’ has become a thing of the past. Millennials have grown up in a world where the biggest retail store doesn't own any products (Amazon), the largest transportation service doesn't own any vehicles (Uber), and the most popular food service doesn't own any restaurants (Zomato). For them, nothing can substitute an ‘experience’.”
She added, “For Millennials seeking an ‘experience’ is not just about the product alone. With the online world, the experience from a product holds no boundaries. It is a chatbot that is at their disposal anytime, anywhere to expecting a prompt reply to their queries posted on a brand’s social media platforms. Brands that will be able to create an all-encompassing ‘experience’ around their products will hold the key to the hearts and minds of the new-gen customers.”
Experiences can be created in a plethora of ways. Like Urban Clap did with its major pre-buzz campaign before unveiling Kriti Sanon as their brand ambassador for #SMARTSALON. “When targeting millennial consumers, it is important that the brand speaks their language and leverages platforms or influencers they follow. For the campaign, we used the What's In My Bag? Concept. This has been used by companies and influencers but we decided to tweak it by adding a millennial angle,” Rahul Deorah, VP Marketing, UrbanClap, said. “The shot had several items that women would generally carry in their bags, but the focus of the shot were not these items but their smartphones which had the UrbanClap App. The campaign garnered a lot of attention as fans were eager to know what their favourite celebrities and influencers carried in their bags. We used this curiosity to our advantage and conveyed to them that their smartphones could be their smart salon. Thus, hitting all the right chords with the millennial generation.”
For Sai Sangeeta Israni, GM Marketing, Spykar Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd, the key takeaway from the report was it’s the journey that is more important than the destination. “For a brand which has done great on the product front, needs to now focus more on how enriching, and delightful their experiences can be. Be it dealing at the store, customer care, interesting events, how the brand associates with its customers on various avenues including their website, social media content, or any other digital showcase,” she said.
According to 2019’s Meaningful Brands study by the Havas Group, 80 percent of Indians prefer to buy from companies with a reputation for having a purpose other than just profits. “The industry needs to understand the customer's desires and offer them purposeful offerings. Consumers prefer a brand that stands for a shared purpose that reflects their personal values and beliefs”, said Shivaji Dasgupta, Chief Strategy Officer, Havas Group India.
Speaking about whether brands need to revive the functional structure of advertising Mathana said, “With the birth of the digital medium, advertising needs to move beyond a Facebook post or a tweet. If your ad has not moved the audience in some way or added value to their lives, it’s is a failure. Any conversations or movements created through it should be taken as the true matrix of success. Companies need to realise that these Millennial consumers are looking for something that is more long-term, gratifying and value-driven. The only way to achieve this is through content marketing. Content marketing is a commitment and not merely just a campaign. It is the right way to win over not just a customer’s wallet but his mind and heart as well.”
Mangesh Panditrao, CEO, Shoptimize India Pvt. Ltd, added that it’s the era of micro-moments. “If you are not able to seize every opportunity to advertise, you will fall behind. It is no longer about crafting that one winning message and getting that across. Every touchpoint is now an advertising touchpoint,” he said.
Shekhar Mhaskar, Chief Growth Officer, Isobar, said to bring about that change, the conventional way of thinking by the marketer has to change completely. “We have senior marketers who still follow traditional advertising. The younger blood in the marketing teams are the game changers because they can see things pragmatically from the lens of the true consumer. There’s an urgent need for a huge cultural change”, remarked Mhaskar.
Seeing this trend of experience over commodities, Liva has aligned their strategy and have made a few shifts in their approach. "As a unique venture we have opened a one-of-a-kind Shop-In-Shop on Myntra for an branded ingredient, and appointed stylists in brand stores so that the consumer can feel comfortable and convinced about her buying decision", said Rishi Sharma, AVP and Head Digital Marketing, Liva, P and F Business, Grasim Industries.
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