There is a reason we call people of older generations traditional. We can attest that not everyone conforms to the changes of the world; our tendencies are based in the time period we were raised. In a sense, we are all ‘laggards’, and it isn’t until the community grows as a whole, that we recognize the differences in lifestyles and perspectives.
Traditional advertisements are still effective for traditional audiences, but it appears that today’s millennials have been conditioned to be numb to it, calling for a new way to be reached. After all, we live in a technologically driven age. With the progression and the emergence of the Internet, it has become impossible for this group of people to trust anything other than themselves. We have become indifferent to others with the self-preservation of ourselves.
Now, the task of many businesses and organizations is to find the best ways to speak to this new audience. Storytelling and experiences are part of it, but it is the values of an organization that are going to allow organizations to find their golden ticket.
Distrust has lead younger audiences to need something different, something more. If there is no trust or relationship with a brand or organization, there are 10 other ones that sell the same product. It needs to be more than a shoe or a t-shirt.
In a 2011 Washington Post article, social business strategist Olivia Khalili said, “People do look for meaning in a different way in the things they buy now; they want to feel like, ‘my products can do more than just be a product.’”
The Holstee Manifesto was one of the first organizations to create something so dramatically different that it demanded to be noticed. Holstee was a clothing brand in Brooklyn defined by a “15-sentence message comprising brief commandments such as:
- Do what you love and do it often.
- If you don’t like your job, quit.
- Travel often.
- Getting lost will help you find yourself.
With this message, the organization propelled forward, holding these values at the core of what they produce. Scott Rick, a professor of marketing at University of Michigan, likens the manifesto to the “Just Do It” slogan popularized by Nike. The difference, Rick said, is that Holstee explained what the “it” is. “‘Just do it’ got people buying shoes, leaving bad marriages, asking people to prom,” Rick said. “This company seems to be very credible and genuine, so it’s a familiar message but from a more sincere source.”
When describing athletic organizations like Nike, Under Armor, and Lululemon in a 2016 Business Insider article by Schlossberg, “Fromm writes on a Forbes contributor post that it’s because all three brands sell more than just apparel; they sell communities and ideologies, too.”
These values and these messages are what builds relationships between organizations and audiences. It is what every organization needs to do to build trust with its audiences and engage them.
By: Kerry Sheehan-Delany, Creative Content Producer