With studies showing that a third of all consumers are likely to stop buying their preferred products if they lose trust in the brand, gaining and retaining a loyal customer base through focusing on your brand’s ethical stance is a concept all online and offline businesses should consider. In particular, for those companies looking to target the generation most likely to define the future of how we buy and sell – millennials, born between 1980 to 2000 – focusing your business efforts on naturally marketing your social and corporate responsibility should be at the top of your priority list.
Millennials have different priorities, focusing their attention on careful spending as opposed to splashing out on big or luxury purchases – making how you market yourself as a retailer or service provider incredibly important if you want to gain their interest and custom as a result. In this blog post, we’re taking you through the ways there are to engage this picky generation of customers – helping you map out a marketing strategy with an increased focus on your brand as opposed to your numbers.
Focus on impacts and outcomes
While compelling creative content is vital to harnessing the interest of those reading about what you do, this means nothing unless people can actually see the result of what you’re claiming to do and care about. Particularly important in this saturated digital world where content demands a lot of our time and attention, focusing on hard facts and snippets of information that convey a real message will go a long way to prove your authenticity to customers.
To do this, businesses that support social impact programmes should look to invest in relevant data that demonstrates their transparency. This fits in with the value-driven approach millennials take comfort in seeing and interacting with, as opposed to the overly branded, obviously commercial campaigns that they don’t engage with.
Practise what you preach
Millennials are arguably a lot more trust-sensitive than other generations – being quick to spot a shallow advertisement or digital marketing campaign solely adopted for PR purposes. It’s important for brands looking to improve (and potentially capitalise from) their corporate and social responsibility, to ensure that their chosen cause is relevant, strategic and fool-proof.
The skepticism apparent within this generation also impacts the way campaigns should be run, as no longer is it simply enough to say you support a charity or cause, without providing your audience with updated progress in line with this. With this in mind, ensure you share regular content in the form of socially shareable news and proof of goals met with your audience, helping your brand to be viewed as honest, dedicated and knowledgeable.
Gaining an audience of potential new customers is one thing, but retaining them is very different. So, when it comes to building your ethical brand identity, it’s important to remember that this isn’t a one-time campaign. Instead, you should view this as an opportunity to upskill in various areas of your business, giving you and your team a new perspective on both your own business and the outside world.
The most effective campaigns use digital and social communications to keep social media savvy users engaged, promote success stories and report on progress. As millennials are mostly influenced by their peers and are quick to share content with their followers and fellow millennials, keeping your content fresh, varying your marketing strategy and localising your story in key markets will help you build a strong, reliable and engaging brand.
It’s no secret that the best marketing campaigns are consistent, building reliable and relatable brand association over time. This is even more important when targeting the millennial generation, who won’t be afraid to pick apart your marketing strategy and share it amongst their friends if they consider it to be unethical. While a branding tactic, corporate responsibility shouldn’t solely be defined as this, and by genuinely investing and believing in your brand, you have the potential to boost your business this year and beyond.