In the new Millennial-inspired Participation Economy, the old definition of brand value — the one that worked for decades — is dead.
As marketers, we knew that the sum of our core functional and emotional benefits divided by price would give us a proxy for brand value. Stronger brands had more price elasticity. However, the old definition no longer holds if you want to engage Millennials or older generations that are adopting a “Millennial Mindset.”
THE NEW DEFINITION OF BRAND VALUE
Millennials don’t just want to buy your brand, they want to be a part of it. They’re looking for ways to participate. And they want to understand why you do what you do not just what you want to sell. As a result, the brand value equation has morphed to include participative benefits. This is key for tapping into Millennial passion — and therefore, Millennials’ dollars.
In The Participation Economy, (emotional benefits + function benefits + participative benefits)/price = brand value. We’ll explore this more in a bit. First, let’s review who makes up this generation — and how they influence your other consumers, too.
MILLENNIALS & THEIR INFLUENCE
Millennials, also known as Gen Y, make up 80+ million consumers in the United States alone. They were born between 1977 and 2000 (give or take a few years, depending on your definition.) In addition to these 80 million consumers, Millennials influence a significant number of people outside their generation. They are “tastemakers” when it comes to influencing new technology adoption and major cultural trends.
Barkley joined forces on a research project with Boston Consulting Group and SMG aimed at learning more about this demographic. The result was a research study, “American Millennials: Deciphering the Enigma Generation.“ We learned some really interesting things about this generation. You can learn more by watching this video.
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