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Agricultural News

For Millennial Consumers, Useful is the New Cool

Thu, 08 May 2014 15:19:22 CDT

For Millennial Consumers, Useful is the New Cool
"Why are chicken wings so popular with millennials?" asked keynote speaker Jeff From of the audience at this morning's Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit in Arlington, Va. "Because they're an affordable flavor adventure!"

According to Fromm, more than 69 percent of millennials consider themselves to be adventurous, a theme that's being capitalized upon by savvy brands in, and outside of, the food industry.

Why are millennials so important? Numbers. So says Kay Johnson Smith, president and CEO of the Animal Agriculture Alliance.

“Milllennials are the largest segment of our population today. There are over 80 million folks that are considered millennials. And, so, these are the consumers today, the consumers of the next decade. They are also the people who are making policy decisions and all of that impacts agriculture.”

She spoke with Radio Oklahoma Network’s Ron Hays as did Susan Allen of DairyMax. You can hear their conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR at the bottom of this story.

Johnson Smith said that millennials are unique in the way they respond to marketing. They want more out of the products and services they buy and the brands they support.

Brands highlighted by Fromm during his presentation include Heineken, who's innovative participatory marketing scheme includes a "Travel Roulette" game at airports which asks travelers to spin the wheel for a chance to win a brand new vacation. The catch? Participants have to change their plans and leave immediately.

Other brand innovators include Ball Jars, Krispy Kreme Donuts and Dollar Shave Club. Fromm told the audience that it's no longer about advertising, but instead about ideas.

"You have to ask and answer two questions; first, is this idea in our brand authority; and two, can we afford to make this bet?" said Fromm, encouraging participants to think outside the box about their engagement with millennial consumers. "If the answer is yes then hit the 'go' button."

Fromm also emphasized that traditional marketing is no longer valid for a millennial consumer, noting that millennials are not a "target audience," but instead a partner.

"We talk a lot about storytelling," explained Fromm. "We live in a participation-economy and millennial mindset consumers want to co-create the story with you. It’s their story. And when they create the story they share it."

So how do you co-create something that's engaging, interesting and "share-able" for millennials? "Useful is the new cool," Fromm explained, recognizing that taking risks and throwing out the old rule book is challenging and scary.

Fromm's parting words of wisdom for Summit attendees: "stand for something other than your bottom line," and, "start a movement."

To learn more about this session and other sessions taking place during the Stakeholders Summit, you can visit the Alliance website by clicking here.


Ron Hays talks with Kay Johnson Smith and Susan Allen about marketing to millennial consumers.
right-click to download mp3


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