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Global Millennial Empathy Brands

April 2015

By Claire Brooks

How do brands leverage intense marketing channel disruption and sustain a deep and lasting connection with Millennial consumers?  I’m shortly to publish a book about ModelPeople’s Strategic Empathy® Process which has helped our brand clients do this for the last ten years; so this month, we asked our GlobalCultureBlog® correspondents to write about how brands show empathy through many touch-points. There’s too much content to cover in one editorial so June’s blog will return to the theme.

Nurture my development

Millennials prioritize creative and technical skills which give them currency in leading edge corporations or allow them to build portfolio careers in these fields, so it’s hardly surprising that they relate to brands which support their creative and personal development. Our SF correspondent connects with online education platform Skillshare’s, manifesto, “The future belongs to the curious”, and values affordable classes she can take at her own pace. Our NY correspondent is inspired by the futuristic design and capabilities of Samsung’s new Galaxy S6 for creating and documenting his art. Adidas’ cultural currency in music and dance style also inspires his art for years.

Inventive Authenticity

Like consumers of any age, working age Millennials have a soft spot for authenticity and the brands they wore as teens, but they want authentic brands to be inventive for who they are today. Our Mexico City blogger revels in nostalgic energy and freedom when she wears Vans, but its quality and updated styles are right for modern urban living. Levi’s classic, simple style has kept our LA blogger happy since he was 8 but he loves that the brand has not stood still but now offers a range of style for everyone. In London, our blogger loves her Mulberry bag for its timeless style, reinvented and made aspirational for a new generation.

Favorite with a Twist

When it comes to favorite foods, Millennials look for a different, more thoughtful experience that reflects a creative and entrepreneurial zeitgeist but has its roots in quality and craft. British chocolate brand Amelia Rope has sophisticated flavors like Pale Rose “for grown-ups”, while in Berlin, organic market Alnatura offers “exceptional creations’” like white mango. In LA, Udi’s offers a wide range of high-carb favorites, gluten-free. In Mexico City, traditional Mezcal offers a unique cocktail experience because of the variety of producers, creative flavors and mixology options.

Well-designed Accessibility

While luxury brands are aspirational, Millennials also respect democratized brands which offer well-designed utility at an affordable price. For our LA blogger, this is part of the appeal of Levi’s. In Bangalore, auto brand Maruti has made a cultural connect with newly affluent young adults by offering sporty design along with affordable price and maintenance. Similarly, Indigo Airlines has avoided the mistakes of the budget airlines by focusing on customer service.

See June’s GlobalCultureBlog® for more on creating Strategic Empathy® with Millennial consumers.

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