The Brand Buzz
The latest buzz on the brands wooing millennials with ideas, initiatives, and product launches that challenge the status quo.
K-Swiss pays homage to millennial makers
Recognizing that the “field of play” for the next generation of consumers is not turf, but rather a “shared workspace, a client meeting, or an investor pitch,” K-Swiss has strayed from its heritage as an American tennis brand to introduce a new premium shoe that blends style and comfort for today’s young professionals. In a nod to millennials’ entrepreneurial spirit and the burgeoning population of makers and creators, the new “Modern Court” collection is sold under the tagline, “Dress Like You Made It” and designed for everyday wear.
Reverse mentoring takes off at Target & UnitedHealth
Though the concept of reverse mentoring has been around for decades, it’s taken some time for Fortune 500s to recognize its value and potential as a viable business strategy. Target and UnitedHealth Group are two of the latest companies to turn the proverbial tables as millennials overtake baby boomers as the largest generation in the workforce. UnitedHealth has paired eight senior executives with eight emerging leaders no less than 25 years their junior to exchange ideas around the latest developments in tech and today’s disruptive marketplace. Target’s program focuses on external rather than internal inspiration, pairing Target execs with young leaders at startups to swap best practices from both industries. While different in execution, each programs seeks to encourage a new way of thinking in order to develop strategies that address the needs of the next generation of talent and consumers.
Proctor & Gamble gives laundry a 21st century makeover
For many city dwellers, ‘convenient’ is perhaps the last adjective they would use to describe the process of doing laundry. In an effort to tap into busy young professionals and millennial parents who find value in outsourcing time-sucking tasks, Proctor & Gamble has introduced a new laundry detergent delivery service called Tide Wash Club to alleviate some of grievances associated with washing clothes. A membership subscription grants users free shipping on bi-monthly shipments of single-use laundry packets of Tide Pods, so they’ll never be caught without detergent on laundry day. This comes on the heels of a similar, Chicago-based Tide initiative that launched earlier this year, called Tide Spin, which allowed customers to order laundry and dry cleaning from Tide-branded services directly through a mobile app.
Lyft’s New Partnership with Starbucks is the Stuff of Miracles
Inspired by two millennial guilty pleasures, Lyft’s new partnership with Starbucks may be the key to convincing young, urban professionals to open their app instead of Uber’s when booking their morning commute. Lyft is now doling out five Starbucks loyalty points to any rider who orders a car between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., as long as they sync their Starbucks Rewards account to the Lyft app. The partnership also extends to other co-branded offers, like $5 towards a beverage order at select Starbucks outlets with the purchase a $20 Lyft gift card, and the ability to gift your driver a cup of coffee directly through the app. The partnership is part of an exploratory exercise for Starbucks, who may roll out additional initiatives that connect its rewards programs with other brands.
Concierge insurance by (millennial) design
UK-based Ageas insurance recently launched a new app-based insurance product that is so well-tailored to the lifestyle needs of millennials, it’s as if we designed it ourselves. The all-inclusive product, called “Back Me Up,” provides insurance coverage for the things millennials need and value most, like mobile phone screen and key/lock replacement, worldwide travel insurance for lost items, and medical emergencies. Users can sign up for or decline individual coverage at any given time by swiping left or right on items like health, travel, and home. This encourages users to interact with the product more often while allowing for personalization and flexibility based on changing needs. Finally, someone who gets us.
Millennial moms holler at Hollar for dollar store discounts
It’s no surprise that Hollar, the brainchild of former Marketing VP at Jessica Alba’s Honest Company, David Yeom, has taken hold of millennial moms across the country. As the first dollar store to ramp up its e-commerce with an eye towards millennial shoppers, the online retailer is well on its way to becoming the go-to spot for guiltless buying across multiple categories for twenty- and thirty-something females. Hollar provides more premium product offerings than competitors like Dollar General, selling brands like Essie and OPI nail polish rather than Wet n Wild, for example, and sees the beauty category as a major opportunity for growth moving forward. To keep customers coming back, Hollar uses an algorithm to serve up new products and recreate the feeling of discovery and spontaneity that make the traditional dollar store visit so enjoyable.