Taylor Abramowitz

Associate Director, Digital Strategy

3 Ways to Think Like a Challenger Brand

Earlier this month, my colleague Howard and I attended AdWeek’s Challenger Brand Summit in New York City. This particular event was full of brands that continually challenge the industry, like our clients Ulta and Colourpop, as well as newer brands ready to disrupt the space. Since it might be awhile before we can all be together again at in-person events, I wanted to share my top three major themes I took away from the conference:

Millennials and Gen Z: Their Interests and Targeting
A major topic throughout the conference was how to target Millennials and Gen Z. In a session presented by Verishop, we learned that 67% of millennials want to shop online and have a higher expectation in terms of convenience, shipping time, and free returns. Companies are spending significant market research dollars to better understand Millennials and Gen Z.
 
Millennials are generally drawn to subscription models for apparel & accessories, beauty, household cleaning, meal prep, and health supplements. These subscription models allow for a tight-knit relationship with DTC brands, especially when free trials and product details are offered prior to signing up.
 
Gen Z is the generation of creators. Creating content, music, and art that is connected to self-care and mental health is extremely important and is a motivator for Gen Z’s purchase behavior. This passion for creation is why platforms like TikTok are growing significantly with this audience. If you want to know if TikTok is the right platform for your brand, check out this blog post by our social team.
 
The Importance of Authenticity and Transparency
Based on the interests of Millennials and Gen Z, there is more focus on authenticity and transparency of brands (in terms of wholesomeness, not cookies). These consumers want more than just a brand; they want a brand with high social responsibility, a brand that treats their employees and factory workers with respect, and a brand that values the opinions of their consumers.
 
For example, when Reddit updated their terms and conditions, they held an “Ask Me Anything” to their user-base to ensure everyone understood the changes. More brands are holding sessions like this or “Transparency Tuesdays” on Instagram to answer questions from their consumers around their workplace processes, culture, and ethics.
 
Storytelling through Creative
The Gen Z creator mentality allows for an abundance of user-generated content. Several brands shared how they are leveraging this content on social media as their paid media assets. For example, a travel brand shared selfie-style videos of where their users have traveled to highlight their available inventory.
 
This shift in audience mentality is creating a higher demand for brands to be always-on. This means they are refreshing creative and posting more frequently to tell the full brand story. Brands are shifting their media budgets from new campaign launches to this always-on frame of mind and utilizing user-generated content as a way to authentically share information about the brand.
 
It’s always important to remember that in times of uncertainty it’s important for us to all come together, support one another, and continue to learn from each other. If there is anything Rise can help you with during this time, don’t hesitate to reach out.

03/17/2020 at 08:16

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