How Luxury Brands Are Hooking Millennials With Storytelling
Like every generation before them, millennials love a good story. But what’s different about digital natives is the formats they enjoy getting their stories in and the channels where they get them.
For luxury brands, this presents two problems: First, how to communicate their entire image, history, values and ethos into bite-sized digital portions. And second, how to connect with millennials where they gather online, while still maintaining their upmarket ethos.
What luxury brands need to keep in mind is that younger consumers are scrollers. They scroll through social media feeds on their mobile devices and past anything that’s not entertaining or informative to them.
This makes it hard for brands to catch young people’s attention and give their thumbs a rest for a while. And once a brand does have their audience’s attention, they then need to deliver an engaging story that also remains true to their image.
So what kind of stories capture the attention of millennials? This digital-first generation loves anything a bit edgy and new, but contrarily, they also love nostalgia, legacy and especially, authenticity. A winning campaign should be a mix of all three, served up in a digestible, shareable digital format. The production values should also be excellent, as millennials have higher expectations for luxury brands than they do for more casual brands.
The most successful efforts evoke an emotional reaction from the reader, which not only creates a bond between the reader and the brand image, but also makes them want to share it.
You might think that younger people need completely different content than legacy customers, but brands can’t afford to adopt a split personality and craft one image for Millennials and another for older folks. Content strategies need to be consistent.
The platforms and formats that Millenials are using to connect with luxury brands include posts and stories on Instagram, GIFs and short, impactful videos on Facebook, amongst others.
Standouts include Lacoste’s story about a young couple who jump through train carriages as they simultaneously move through different decades, perfectly portraying the brand’s classic timelessness, while the short animated videos that Delvaux created to promote four limited-edition Game of Thrones-inspired handbags are also worth looking at.
These are just two of many examples. And it’s easy to see why they work. Storytelling has inspired humans for millennia and it’s no surprise that brands are inspiring the latest generation too — with a bit of updating to accommodate this generation's tastes and today's social media environment.