Using Social Media to Build “Affiliative Value” with the Millennial Consumer
As market researchers uncover more insights about the desires, motivations, and aspirations of the Millennial generation, three dynamics resonate:
- Make it fun: Millennials want marketers to be playful, to show a sense of humor and irreverence.
- Make it personal: They want the product and the message to be shaped just for them, addressing the needs that are, in their own minds anyway, special and unique.
- But mostly, make it meaningful: In this sharing society, millennials think of themselves, their own public personas, as a brand to be managed and groomed for great things. They want their brand to stand for something, to be associated with ideals they believe in. To that end, they want to align themselves with products, services, and brands that stand for doing good in the world.
Lottery operators are well positioned to deliver on these three goals. Their product is games which are designed to appeal to all varieties of play-styles and preferences. The messaging is multi-media, multi-channel, and getting more sophisticated and tailored to the individual every day. And unlike other gaming operators, in fact unlike almost any other business, lotteries exists for the very purpose of serving society. Not for the purpose of maximizing shareholder return, but for the purpose of supporting charitable causes that would otherwise lack funding, and raising the standards of integrity and responsibility in the process. How could there be a more vital and uplifting brand than Lottery for the millennial to affiliate with?
Millennials identify with brands more personally and emotionally than do older generations. 50 percent of U.S. Millennials ages 18 to 24 and 38 percent of those ages 25 to 34 agree that brands “say something about who I am, my values, and where I fit in.” 59 percent of Millennials reported that the brands they bought reflected their style and personality; 40 percent said that they were willing to pay extra for a brand or product that reflected the image they wished to convey about themselves, compared with only 25 percent of non-Millennials.(1) Values have become a preeminent consideration for Millennials in making decisions in the marketplace. Businesses must prove themselves to be good citizens, faithful stewards of the environment, accepting of diversity, charitable, and socially just.
This generation has a strong affinity for brands that conduct themselves in socially responsible ways. Half of Millennials say they “try to use brands of companies that are active in supporting social causes.” Millennials are more likely to buy a product if they know the provider is “mindful of its social responsibilities” and they buy from companies that “show concern for the environment and sustainability.” (1)
According to Derrick Feldman, the lead researcher and creator of The Millennial Impact Project, a multi-year study of how this generation supports good causes: “Millennials are passionate about the use of their time, talent, treasure, voice, and network as a valuable asset for philanthropic endeavors.” They can also be observed to be passionate about their image, and keenly aware of how the brands they become associated with become a part of their own personal brand. The affiliative value of celebrated sports figures and movie stars are examples of this. But so are the charitable causes that are important to millennials who want to be perceived as enlightened members of society. And so are companies which do something good for society or promote a worthy cause. CSR gets promoted on Social Media because people want to affiliate with good behavior, acts of kindness, and the values that we want to integrate into our own personal brand.
It may be an interesting question to ponder the underlying motivational drivers for the high value that millennials place on the brand and good cause affiliations. The bottom line is that how they are perceived by others is important to them. The modern consumer is using brand affiliation to help them define themselves and the values they want to represent, and Social Media provides the platform, the constant visibility to build their own personal brand. You are more likely to see them wearing a “Save the Planet” t-shirt than a “Support BP Petroleum’s right to drill”. Likewise, you are more likely to see a “like” promoting an act of charity by brands that they already think are cool (like Nike or Starbucks or Prius or Patagonia) than a “like” promoting product benefits.
Perhaps winners of Lottery might feel better about publicity if the publicity were to help the Good Causes that Lottery Supports. Instead of celebrating their own personal good fortune, they may prefer to celebrate the affiliation with charitable works that Lottery funds. Of course, we would all be most thrilled to win the jackpot, but that may not be the image we want to project. Maybe Lottery can make it easier for the players to affiliate with a brand that represents so many good things for society. Let’s make Lottery the Good Cause that millennials are passionate about supporting.
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- être amusant
- être personel
- mais surtout, avoir du sens: dans cette société de partage, la génération Y pense à elle-même, à sa propre personnalité publique comme une marque à gérer et à soigner pour accomplir de grandes choses. Elle veut que sa marque représente quelque chose, qu’elle soit associée aux idéaux auxquels elle croit.
- Hágalo divertido
- Hágalo personal
- Pero, sobre todo, hágalo significativo: en esta sociedad de lo compartido, las personas de la generación del milenio se toman a sí mismas como personas públicas, como marcas que han de ser gestionadas y preparadas para conseguir grandes cosas. Quieren que su marca signifique algo, que pueda asociarse con aquellos ideales en los que creen.
- Machen Sie es unterhaltsam
- Machen Sie es persönlich
- Und am wichtigsten, machen Sie es aussagekräftig: In dieser „Share“-Gesellschaft sehen die Millennials sich selbst und ihre eigene Persönlichkeit als eine Marke, die für große Dinge verwaltet und gepflegt werden sollte. Sie wollen, dass ihre Marke für etwas steht und mit Idealen verbunden ist, an die sie glauben.
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