Co-creation the Millennial way

In the past, companies used consumers to validate their brand identity. But everything has changed. Orman Guidance Research finds marketers benefitting from the power of the Millennial voice to redefine marketing strategies that co-create a myriad of powerful, shareable messages and experiences.

Changes in marketing research strategy and methodology over the past couple of years place co-creation at the top of the list. It is more than personalizing; co-creation brings customer and company together to produce mutual value. It’s got “win-win” baked right into it.

A successful example of co-creation is the ad campaign for Taylor Swift’s new album, “1989.” After the album dropped, fans learned they could make their own Polaroid-inspired Taylor Swift “1989” album cover. Twitter and other social media followers with eyes open were treated to many Millennial iterations.

“Brand value” used to represent functional + emotional benefits. The Millennial generation adds participative benefits to the list of drivers that merit their attention.

Millennials don’t just want to buy a brand, they want to be a part of it.

They take a more active role in discerning authenticity in corporate America compared to Gen X and Gen Y. To begin or continue a successful track, companies must embrace theParticipation Economyto re-define their brand value.

Millennials constantly produce content for peer consumption. The challenge for marketers is to harness the power of shareable, engaging content to create strong ad campaigns. Interactive brands and Millennials have significant common denominators; they’re tech-savvy, and they love to be heard.

Successful marketers allow content and ad campaigns to be personalized and tailored by their audiences. Millennial content king Buzzfeed uses this insight in nearly every article they post. From their ubiquitous quizzes asking things like, “Which Jennifer Lawrence Movie Character Are You?” to reporting on the, “70 Amazing Songs You Might Have Missed In 2014.” Buzzfeed makes the audience the partner and subject of its content. This strategy is so successful, even a traditional news outlet such as The New York Times is finding more ways to focus on the audience.

In a similar fashion, the Coca-Cola Company found success with this strategy in its development of Sprite Films by asking students to create original short films that demonstrate “a passionate pursuit of self-expression in filmmaking.” For Sprite Films, consumers are both creators and judges of the content.

Want Millennials to serve as your vocal brand believer? Participative benefits that spark passion are the key. Contact Orman Guidance Research to engage this audience toward outcomes that serve everyone.