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"WeListen" Blog

How Millennial Shoppers Are Engaging with CPG Brands

Millennials largely lead the way in adoption and use of technology, and they have influenced older generations—particularly the Gen Xers and Baby Boomers—to adopt technology as well. Ninety-two percent of Millennials own smartphones, and they tend to lead in adoption of social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat compared to older generations.

Group of people walking through a large open hallway using tablets or mobile phones.

It’s no mystery why CPG brands that want to connect with Millennial shoppers use technology to do so. CPG brand apps are popular, as are retailer apps. They help these shoppers access information precisely when they want it, and they may offer other perks, like discounts. Millennial-focused marketing is a shift in paradigm for legacy CPG brands, but it’s doable and fairly straightforward if you understand the major purposes and techniques of mobile marketing with the Millennial age group.

What Outstanding Mobile Marketing Does

Millennials, more than other generations, want to create relationships with brands. Brand awareness campaigns are only the beginning, though. Mobile marketing campaigns must include several other key elements to be effective:

  • They must offer rewards. Many shopping rewards apps deliver reward points for certain purchase decisions, and the points can be redeemed later for perks like gift cards. The perceived value of these perks tends to exceed their cost to brands.
  • They must create a social milieu. Millennials are likelier than other shoppers to share their purchases (and purchasing experiences) online, and brands that create a sense of fiscal responsibility in a community setting are popular.
  • They must communicate at the right moment. Apps are so popular among marketers and shoppers because they deliver the right information at the right time.
  • They must demonstrate social responsibility. One reason apps are great for this is because electronic coupons are easily scalable and environmentally friendly.

Fiscally Savvy, Without Using Scissors

The Millennial shopper is fiscally smart. They’ve had to be, since many of them came of age during the recession of the late 2000s. But they don’t like clipping coupons. Many of them don’t get printed newspapers that carry coupon inserts, and much of the mail that arrives in the mailbox goes straight into the Millennial’s recycling bin. Apps address the need to be fiscally savvy and don’t require the time and effort of coupon clipping. 

Multiple coupons with a pair of scissors.

What Brands Must Do to Engage Millennial Shoppers

Brand or retailer apps are not the be-all and end-all of engaging Millennial shoppers, however. The good news is that the loyalty to be gained with Millennial shoppers pays off, which is especially important since these shoppers are expected to spend $65 billion on consumer packaged goods over the next ten years.  

Brands must be authentic, because Millennials can see exaggeration and pandering a mile off. Authenticity comes from sharing brand stories, offering behind-the-scenes information, and answering their questions (often on a social media platform). 

Influencers can be important to today’s CPG brands, because Millennials don’t respond to yesterday’s ads that put a CPG product in the unlikely hands of a top box office star. They do, however, respond when their favorite influencers on platforms like Twitter and Instagram say they like a particular product. 

Brands must also be social, recognizing that the consumer conversation is now two-way. Successful brands engage with consumers online, and they do so across multiple channels, including apps and social media channels and through all devices.

Ultimately, Millennials are great consumers, and they can be fiercely loyal to their favorite CPG brands, as long as those brands offer authenticity and honesty while making use of the technology Millennials rely upon. There’s more to it than making an app, but strategically planned mobile marketing is cost-effective and poised to pay off significantly over the long term. PKG Brand Design is always on the forefront of new CPG branding and packaging initiatives; please subscribe to our blog for the latest package design industry news!


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