“Why should I listen to you?” That’s not snarky remark from your teenager. It’s the question Millennials ask themselves when faced with brand-created media. And CPG brands should be asking the same thing: “Why would a Millennial audience pay attention to this message? What’s in it for them?” The marketing aversion and ever-increasing fragmentation of the Millennial audience means CPG brands can’t reach them with ad carpet bombing – they have to provide some value that draws Millennials in.

Build affinity by teaching Millennials new skills

Don’t assume Millennial consumers know how to use your product – even something as simple as laundry detergent. CPG brands especially can connect with Millennials by teaching them new skills through recipes, how-to videos, etc. Helping them acquire new skills connects your brand to that feeling of accomplishment.

A cosmetics brand, for example, could offer educational videos on how to achieve certain looks – like smoky eyes or dramatic blush applications – and link to these through a QR or bar code in the aisle and on product packaging.

Give your brand personality through entertaining original content

Entertaining Millennials through content related to your brand message is another way to draw them in. Frozen foods brand Healthy Choice partnered with BravoTV’s Top Chef series to create an original web series, Top Chef Healthy Showdown. Past favorite contestants competed to cook healthy dishes, and the series had over 300,000 views.

Pepsi’s current partner project with the NFL will produce numerous “NFL anthems.” Inspired by Wiz Khalifa’s hit “Black and Yellow,” a tribute to the Pittsburgh Steelers, artists will record their own tributes to their favorite NFL teams, like Kelly Clarkson’s for the Dallas Cowboys.

Capture attention by educating and discussing shared interests

Like teaching, educating Millennials on topics they care about can draw them in with genuine interest. The Whole Foods blog shares organic recipes, spotlights local vendors, offers tips for keeping kids healthy, and gives product backstories like the sources and tastes of their different available mushrooms.

Find these educational topics your Millennial consumers are interested in. A dog food brand might share studies about pet health, training and grooming tips, etc.

Become a publishing platform for Millennials and their peers

Your brand needn’t create all of the content, either – you can be the editor that curates useful content from other sources. Offer a platform for Millennials to share their feedback, offer their own advice and tips, ask each other questions, etc. Eighty-four percent of Millennials say user-generated content has at least some influence on what they buy. And 73% say it’s important to read others’ opinions before food purchases.

Hidden Valley Ranch has a surprisingly vocal and active fan base. The brand asked consumers to share recipes using the dressing, and others could vote on the best or add comments to improve the end result – creating an active, helpful, consumer-driven community around the brand.

Our new report, Millennials in the aisles: How CPG brands capture lifelong loyalty, shares tips specifically relevant for CPGs to use innovation, mobile, and social to foster Millennial advocates. The full report is available for free below.

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