We're a long way from anyone being able to predict the future but valuable research is giving us a better idea of where society is headed, what the millennial consumer values most, and what direction marketing needs to take as a result.
In the past, marketers told consumers what they were supposed to want from a brand and developed creative around gimmicks and facades to coerce and persuade. But consumers are smarter than that now. They can see through the facades and demand a more open and honest relationship with brands. Credibility is being defined by truthfulness and integrity. So now marketing is driven by the wants and needs of the customer, and sales teams everywhere have been scrambling to adapt and evolve. Authenticity no longer becomes an option. Either you embrace it, or it will be forced upon you.
When I started in this business, advertising was very one-dimensional, and creative was all about messaging. But times have changed. When it comes to brand credibility in the digital era, nothing speaks louder than honest and purposeful engagement. Therefore designers and art directors must think more holistically about the process to be successful. Traditional behavior and consumption patterns are gone and study after study is showing that the largest generation in the U.S. value socially conscious experiences and causes over innovation, great products, and brand popularity. These key values persist across the millennial age spectrum and signify more of a shift than just a trend.
So skip the sales posts and deliver on experiential content. Foster and nurture emotional connections that reward engagement and empower identity.
Across the board culture is starting to spend time and money very differently. In fact, the brand experience is driving consumers like never before, and creates more opportunities for storytellers like myself who are enthusiastic about smarter creative that skillfully translates a client’s needs into authentic and enjoyable brand engagement.