A hot topic in experiential event marketing is the customer value proposition, and where this is heading for younger generations.
Millennials, more than anyone, want to stand behind a brand that has the same values they have. They want the brand to be relevant, helpful, inspiring and most importantly: meaningful. It’s now not only appreciated but expected of brands to be aware of how they are impacting society and making efforts to help their communities. In turn millennials often become brand ambassadors as they are a walking-talking billboard for the brands they love.
So how can companies now incorporate this trend around passion brands in their event marketing plan to captivate millennials?
Bringing consumers together in the same location to have an experience with their favorite brand is the perfect platform to educate and involve buyers, and millennials especially with the causes they support.
So what can you do? Have a go at some of the following methods to try and include millennials by making a positive social impact alongside the brands they love:
With experiential events being the perfect platform to create immersive experiences for millennials, brands can easily get millennial attendees involved in supporting the cause by having on-site activities.
- Integrate charities with projects they can partake in for half the day
- Have on-site meal prep stations attendees can participate in to stuff, box and ship meals to towns in need
- Include in your invites that entry to general sessions are only possible if they bring an old clothing item or a canned good to donate
- Create sign-ups for volunteer opportunities they can participate in back in their own communities.
Having this face-to-face interaction right at an event will empower a brand and the connection millennials have with it. This is a great way to have a lasting impact on the buyers and give them something meaningful to take away from the event. The possibilities to involve the attendees in social responsibility are endless and will even create out-of-the-box content that can be used at a later date.
Practice what you preach
This business practice seems so obvious, but it can easily slip by the wayside. Millennials not only want to hear a brand is making a positive impact socially, they want to see it front and center. That’s why practicing what you preach is so important at events where attendees’ eyes are on the brand constantly.
- Make sure your company’s core values are apparent throughout the event
- If a brand supports health and wellness, offer healthy alternatives throughout the event
- Have water stations easily accessible
- Incorporate healthy cooking classes into a giveaway instead of restaurant gift cards
- Charity blend-your-own-smoothie exercise bikes
- Donate any extra food leftover from the event to local homeless shelters.
Easy and small changes will make a huge impact when involving younger generations, because those small details matter.
Here are some examples of brands doing it right when it comes to millennials and CSR. Target is a leader in corporate social responsibility and involving their customers and local communities. My Target Cares was a campaign launched in Miami, Dallas and Atlanta where customers could participate in picking which charities Target would donate to. It was a tremendous success that got people involved in their efforts and the perfect way to help the causes they support.
TJ Maxx was not widely known for having a positive impact on the communities they service. With an increase in millennial shoppers to their store, they have stepped up their game in the world of corporate social responsibility and are really focusing on giving back to the community. Their community mission is to “Deliver great value to our communities by helping vulnerable families and children access to resources and opportunities they need to build a better future.” From in-store fundraising to clothing donations, TJ Maxx is largely helping give back worldwide.
GES and IAEE also team up to give back to communities each year.
With millennials currently having the most spending power, it’s crucial that companies pay close attention to their needs. They have told us they want brands to be socially responsible but more than that they want to be involved. Experiential marketing has a lasting impact on consumers, so tying in corporate social responsibility will make an event and a brand stand out amongst the masses. Millennials have the buying power now but Generation Z is next. How will they want to make their impact on the world?