During the presentation "Understanding the Millennial Culture," Ben Smithee, a digital marketing expert who specializes in the millennial consumer, kept coming back to the importance of "the story" to younger consumers. "You need a story," he addressed the packed room of jewelry professionals. "That's why Pandora won. It's not a magical product, it lets people tell their story."
"[Jewelers] should own the story telling market. You get to be a part of the most important milestones and celebrations in a person's life. You just need to empower customers to share these stories and connect others to your brand."
How do jewelers accomplish this? Ben advises jewelers to embrace online marketing and encourage social sharing at all points of the sales cycle. Jewelers must also give customers an experience so inspiring and unique that they are motivated to become brand ambassadors and tell others about their experience, your products and your store.
A brand's story goes beyond the "about page." Ben explained, "it's all about good content," on a company's website, marketing campaigns and social media posts. "If you give people good content they will respond. If they aren't engaging, it's not the right content."
Ben shared the elements of a good marketing story:
- It's a story that inspires others to tell
- It causes disruption. For example, a gym that features a city-wide challenge of scavenger hunts for people to earn a luxury gym membership.
- It reaches critical mass and motivates people to "come running"to your store
As Ben explained, a good marketing story has a catalyst (you & the story behind your brand or products) + momentum (technology to share via Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and more).
Transparency & Authenticity
For millennial consumers understanding the product is key. They want transparency. Jewelers need to continue to embrace transparency and consumer education regarding the products they sell.
"What is the most confusing product out there? The diamond," Ben explained. "Consumers are looking for an advocate to educate them." Customers are going to research jewelry online before they buy. Understanding their process and how you fit within it will be key to capturing the millennial customer. According to Ben, "The consumer's journey for information is all over the place and you need to somewhat guide that."
Perfecting your brand's story, your staff's product knowledge and your openness regarding product sourcing and craftsmanship can only help you better reach the millennial consumer.