‘Millennials’, an overheard and buzz-worthy term in the world of today’s brands. They make up one of the most crucial consumer profiles that brands are reconfiguring their marketing strategies to target. Millennials are not consuming based on advertising campaigns, they need brands to give them a platform to speak up and reveal who they truly are. In other words, being a bid-budget advertiser doesn’t necessarily mean being a favorite. The Berries interviewed Dalia Samir, Marketing Director of Henkel Egypt, to give her insight on how brands can reach the hearts and minds of millennials.

BB: With all this talk about how millennials are impacting the scene, do you believe it’s an overrated variable or are millennials really changing the brand strategy ball game?

Dalia Samir

DS: For sure Millennials are changing the brand strategy ball game. In Emerging markets specifically in our region millennials represent around 40% of total population. If brands won’t cater for those, then definitely in the near future, they would lose a substantial part of the business. More concretely, communication is now skewed towards digital & social Media that is the only medium growing in terms of reach.

Some brands now are only going digital to cater for those always on the go population. Content-wise is no more the classical one but rather the more controversial, edgy sometimes and can be metaphoric. Unless content is creative and stimulates brains, it doesn’t live for long. A clear example is Henkel’s General campaign

BB: Millennials are an outgoing and high-spirited generation, they do not spend a lot of their time doing household chores and are unaware or ambivalent to household care products. How are millennials disrupting the mass market consumer household care industry?

DS: When talking about household care products there are 2 things:

  • Product feature and hence the usage
  • Purchase incident

For the usage, the fastest growing now are the modern and convenient applications of the classical products. Ex, Liquid cleaners vs. powders is outgrowing the market. Household products it’s the ones that have easier application, i.e going directly for instant usage rather than cocktailing or dilution.

For the purchase incident, E-commerce for a fast purchase is an evolving retail channel. Shopping online is no more limited to appliances & fashion but for the FMCGs products as well.

BB: Millennials are all about personalization. Unlike older generations, Millennials prefer the small and local rather than the mass. Henkel laundry and home care products are all about the mass market. How are brands that cater to the mass market consumers able to stay relevant?

DS: Millennials are benefit-oriented rather than brand-oriented and they are value hunters when it comes to low involvement products such as the FMCs and namely household brands. Hence, communicating a clear benefit behind each offering is key for Henkel Laundry and Homecare. We do stay competitive on shelf vs. the landscape we operate in, we do offer as Henkel wide range of products in each category ranging from classical segments up to highly modern ones.

Henkel builds an entertaining experience in all grounds and in-store which would make consumers feel that Henkel’s brands are beyond being functional products

An example of going beyond the functional experience, we made Persil Gel consumer live an amazing experience in the headquarters in Germany.

BB: Big brands and traditional advertising are no longer the connection drivers. Being aligned with the values that are important to millennials is crucial to create the emotional bond between them and brands. How are the mass market consumer brands able to tighten the emotional bond with millennials?

DS: Exactly, classical advertising is no more the name of the game even with brands with high equities. It all starts with understanding the emotional drivers of the millennials and integrating these in the communication.

First, reach them through the right medium; hence, social media nd digital. Smart phone applications are also key. Messages must be credible. So, you must be up to all the benefits the brand communicates.

Get Behind a real engagement idea. To shock and awe millennials in the best way possible, challenge your brand to develop breakthrough ideas that are distinctly unique and earn engagement. Don’t be afraid to take chances. This may require some intestinal fortitude, but the potential rewards make it a worthy endeavor. Move them!

Keep the voice of the brand always up. Remember we live in a cluttered life and Millennials are always exposed. If you are not on their top of mind, they will forget.