The Secret to Marketing to Millennials

Posted on: May 15, 2014

Categories: Millennial Perspective

IMG_1016It won’t be long before all of my friends and I are wearing the same brand of glasses.

Why? Because of the referral effect.

This is Caroline, Curtis’ marketing manager, and as a Millennial, I love the referral effect.

It works like this: During the holidays this winter, I had a friend from New York City over at my apartment. When I complimented her on her glasses and asked where she got them, her face lit up.

She couldn’t wait to tell to tell me about this amazing company called Warby Parker. It allowed interested buyers to order five frames to their doorstep, to spend five days trying them on, and then send them back so they could order their favorite pair online. It was easy and convenient, and she looked awesome in her new glasses.

That, on top of the fact that for every pair that’s purchased, Warby Parker gives away a pair for free, and they only cost $95 to boot (compared to designer specs, which run in the $150-400 range), was enough for me. I pulled out my smartphone and ordered my five trial frames right then and there, eager to get my Midwestern self some hip, city-girl glasses.

Since then, my friend’s parents, another friend, a coworker, and my husband have all ordered trial frames.

That is the referral effect in a nutshell. One person, in town just for the week, made Warby Parker four new fans — fans who live 640 miles away from Warby Parker’s closest store. We never saw an ad, watched a commercial, liked a Facebook post, or stepped a foot into the store.

Don’t you wish you could convert strangers into fans and customers that easily?

Although, after walking down Warby Parker’s purchase path, I’ve realized that the way they gain new customers is anything but easy.

Rather, they pour themselves into making the purchase of a Warby Parker product an amazing experience, and it is this excellence and care that they show to all of their current customers that ensures they will continue to make new ones.

For example, when I ordered my sample pairs, they came neatly packed in a branded box, with a pre-paid return shipping label included. When I ordered my glasses online, I took a picture of my prescription and uploaded it from my phone. The process of buying glasses literally couldn’t have been easier.

Warby Parker is so good, their customers and fans can’t help but talk about them. Millennials love to be the first ones to discover something amazing (marketers call them early adopters) and as soon as we do, we want to tell all our friends about it. Because whether it’s a band, a book, a brew, or a glasses company, if it’s really that good, we know we’ll look good if we talk about it and share it with our friends.

The big question in the business world today is, “How do we market to Millennials?”

Well, I have the answer: Pour everything you have into making a flawless product, follow through with an attractive, easily-navigable website and a tech-friendly purchase path, and make me feel good about it by having my purchase benefit the world.

In other words, if what you make is that good, you won’t have to market to Millennials. If it’s that good, we’ll be the only marketing team you’ll need.

I hope this post helped you to see marketing to Millennials through a new lens. If it did, share it!

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