No matter what the media says, college kids’ lives do not revolve around the internet. Sure, we might be a part of the ‘millennial generation’ and sure we might be considered digital natives… I mean, we live in a world where the word ’emoji’ is in the Oxford dictionary and the term ‘YOLO’ (You Only Live Once) has made its way not only into our language but assimilated itself into our daily culture (thanks Drake). But it does not mean traditional media is completely lost on us. Millennials still listen to the radio, we still read newspapers, we still notice billboards and we still watch television so if your business relies heavily or even completely on traditional advertising, there is no reason why millennials shouldn’t be a part of your target market. It just might require you to think a little ‘out of the box’. Consider the following tips from brands such as Pestle & Mortar, Major Drop, Future Music Festival and Salty Customs:
Universities are bursting with a range of clubs and many of them are self-funded. By sponsoring a local sports team, you not only get the advertisement on their uniforms, you earn goodwill for the gesture. Furthermore, you get the bonus of word-of-mouth advertising. If you do not want to sponsor a local club then consider sponsoring a university event. Most event organisers constantly publicise their sponsors and print their names on the tickets and other merchandise. You can even donate gift certificates or products as prizes.
Bazaars are a common occurrence in universities and take place a few times every semester. A stall at a bazaar is an excellent way to reach college kids. Hand out business cards and flyers and I guarantee if they like your product, they will come back. If you’re in demand, organizers will notice and ask you to return for the next bazaar and the one after that.
Three things college kids love: Social events, food and good music. Combine all of this together and you have a successful event. Host it at your office or business and create awareness for your brand and product. No one’s gonna forget the party that had the amazing satay. A prime example of this would be clothing brand Pestle & Mortar and their partner company Major Drop. Major Drop hosted ‘The Lucky 1’ to celebrate its first anniversary at The Row in Kuala Lampur on the 13th of June, 2015. It commemorated local music and what Major Drop represented and was definitely memorable. Both these brands integrated themselves successfully into our local lifestyle. Their events consists of their (local) brand, local music, and local food – turning them into a celebration of Malaysian culture.
Contrary to popular belief, students do not limit their learning to what’s included in their curriculum. Anyone can open a textbook, memorise its contents and consider themselves ‘educated’, but what many students are now beginning to realise is that most of what you learn in university is not in a textbook but within the people you encounter and the stories you share. About a year and a half ago, Pestle & Mortar conducted a talk at my campus, Monash University. With almost three hundred students in attendance, they did not discuss strategy or their marketing plan or their financial positioning. They merely shared their story, how Pestle & Mortar came to be, their vision for its future, their fundamentals and most importantly, their passion for creating something unique. It definitely made an impression. And six months ago Salty Customs did the same. Giving a talk at a university lets you directly interact with your target market, provides a platform for a two-way conversation, shares your story, and helps your audience see the ‘personality’ in your brand.
In 2014, Future Music Festival Asia was held in Malaysia. One of their advertising methods? Street art all over popular stomping grounds of teenagers. Almost two years later, you can still see remnants of this art over sidewalks and walls in SS15. Street art, once considered to be the realm of degenerates and outlaws has since become trendy. Street artists have become the in-thing, with many local cafes and clothing stores inviting artists to come in to paint murals and create other unique pieces of art. You would not have to go as far as painting a mural over the side of a building, but an interesting looking poster, chalk drawings on a sidewalk or even adding an artistic touch to your store would go far.
Millennials are constantly on the lookout for something different. In a world where everything seems to be mass-produced, we crave anything that seems even remotely unique or that at least has a story behind it. On any given Friday night, you can find us at hole-in-the-wall bars, enjoying home-grown music, and supporting local talent. If your brand is attached to something that has a story, you will definitely appeal to us. In 2015, Major Drop celebrated the birthdays of local, unsigned DJ’s Naufal and I-Sky, which not only gives exposure to the DJ’s, but also to Major Drop themselves as they held giveaways and urged shoppers to purchase outfits from their label. Moreover, Pestle & Mortar features discovered local Malaysian talents, with its most recent being Kenji Chai – a graffiti artist whose works displayed on canvases of local streets catalysed the rise of street art in this generation. The launch of their partnership was in the form of an event and had over one hundred people in attendance. By getting involved with local art forms, it shows us that your brand has a story behind it and cares about more than simply turning over a profit.
It is incredibly important that you study your target market before you devise which marketing strategies to use. College kids are unique and have a variety of interests, this means that in order to appeal to the masses you would have to know what they like, what they don’t, what they read, what they watch, who they listen to and what’s important to them. By placing your ad in a place where they would notice- such as a magazine, before a movie or on the radio you can create brand awareness. Platforms such as AdEasy allows you to book ad space in media such as Popculture magazine, KLik, Remaja, TGV and other spaces that reach out to millennials.
Remember, you don’t have to adopt all of these strategies. Try a few and see what works and what doesn’t for your particular brand. Who knows what could happen.
This post was not sponsored and reflect my opinions.