Co-creation: The key to marketing to millennials

The millennials are the most influential consumer demographic today. They are also consumed by digital - glued to their smartphones, connected by social networks and make purchases via online stores. It is no surprise that brands crave their attention. Creating viral digital content for new product launches is now commonplace. Digital ad spend is also on the rise, and mobile marketing is becoming a priority for top brands.

Fortunately, brands and millennials are not too different. They want the same thing; they both want to be heard. Millennials create new content everyday. Tweeting, writing statuses and blogposts, creating videos and even 'Snapchatting'. Some of the most engaging content online is created by millennials. Whether it is valiantly sharing blogposts while living in a war-zone or 'twerking' videos, millennials are engaged by content created by their peers.

Ultimately, this group wants control; or at least they want their actions to be significant. They don't simply want your new product shoved down their throats. They want to influence its design. They want to be a part of the marketing campaign. This is co-branding or co-creating, where brands give up some control to their audience to take part in product creation or its marketing strategy.

Sports brands are big fans of co-creation. Behemoths like Nike and Adidas are known to source ideas from millennials. Their products are launched with viral content approaches that bring sports fans and athletes together. Recently, Apple's popular 'Shot on iPhone' campaign sourced photos from iPhone users and printed them on billboards across the world's major cities.

Co-creation is a major reason why crowd-funding products and businesses are so popular. The lean start-up methodology, where customer value is the number one priority, closely involves customers in the product creation and improvement process. Involving the audience throughout businesses creates trust and loyalty.

To engage with millennials, they must feel involved and see their inputs acknowledged. Brands cannot simply rely upon 'Developing an innovative product behind closed doors and launching it as the next big thing." Instead, involving millennials in the development process will create brand loyalty and peer to peer recommendations to drive your brand.

The Love Generator - Creating 'Brand Love'

At Moving Walls, we bet big on co-creation. And we want others to see the good in it too. The Love Generator challenge gave millennials an ideal platform to market the brands around them. They were guided by mentors from the advertising industry and some of their ideas were even run as real campaigns.

Millennials are willing...and digitally able. They only require a platform to influence how brands market to them. It is a win-win situation that just keeps giving back: Brands get innovative product and marketing ideas that will resonate with their audience. Millennials get a platform to interact with brands. And crucially, these co-creation campaigns will allow brands to handpick the best of potential future employees.

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