Originally published for Affirm on October 17th
Marketing to millennials is the retail industry’s white whale. And with millennials wielding about $1.3 trillion in annual spending power, it’s understandable that brands put a lot of time and effort into understanding this demographic.
The new direct-to-consumer brands have grown up in the digital age and marketing to millennials comes naturally to them. They intuitively understand how to create Instagram followings and turn those followers into loyal customers. Stores like Everlane and Azalea knew that their brick and mortar stores needed to be an extension of their e-commerce business. They invested in an in-person experience for their customers rather than inundate them with a plethora of items to get an immediate sale. They understood that today’s younger shoppers invest in long-term brand relationships that are much more fruitful than a single sale.
It’s a new shift that has taken hold of retail and these newer brands don’t have to unlearn decades-old habits that no longer work today. The historic brands that have been able to adapt and change with the times to become beloved by a new generation are truly impressive. The ability for marketing departments to spearhead a classic brand in a new direction is a challenging feat only a few have accomplished. And when they do, they become the part of the ethos forever. The ad agency Moosylvania analyzed 15,000 responses from millennials to collect a list of their favorite brands, many that have been around since the 1960’s.
Below are a few brands that have made it to the level of legend with millennials and how they did it.
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