New Research on Millennial Women and Trust

Millennial women research from 22squared   hWhen it comes to winning the business of Millennial women, the most important thing you can do is to win, or more accurately, earn their trust.

How do you do that?

“The Trust Dynamics of Millennial Women” is a research study recently conducted by ad agency 22squared.

Key findings emerged around what matters most to Millennial women.  Top issues included brand’s character, transparency and validation from other people like them.  Female Millennial consumers value validation more than any other generation (41% of Millennials versus 28% of Baby Boomers).

The Trust Dynamics of Millennial Women” study found that there are six factors that play a critical role in defining trust with the Millennial woman:

  • Confirmation of one’s expectations by another source through validation
  • Accountability by putting appropriate measures in place if promises are not met
  • Follow-through on expectations based on what a person or company has promised to deliver
  • Fair and ethical treatment of consumers and competitors alike based on strong character
  • The real experience of products through authenticity
  • Transparency, where business practices are fully disclosed and readily available

I talked with Brandon Murphy, EVP, Chief Strategy Officer of 22squared.  He shared some further thoughts on the survey.

“A key finding was the importance of validation coming from someone like them,” said Murphy.

I’ve found this in my own research as well.  Millennial women care less about what “experts” have to say and more about what someone like them has to say about a product or service.

Brandon Murphy also pointed out an interesting point about how Millennial women feel about how brands treat competitors.    “Millennial women feel like brands are  trying to hide something if they trash their competition. Red flags go up.  Transparency is a huge issue.  These consumers believe in the ethical treatment of everyone.”

I asked Brandon for suggestions on how brands can use these insights to better connect with Millennial women.

“Take cues from brands doing well in the sharing economy – Uber, Airbnb.  They use  technology and communities to connect people with people.”

He also commented on the importance of having a micro influencer strategy.

“With all the social sharing going on, brands can’t create enough content on their own.  You have to  enable and enlist influencers that reflect the target market and who create content on behalf of the brand.”

He gave an example of a 22squared client, Southeast Toyota that focused on launching the new Toyota Corolla  You can see the Toyota campaign highlights here.

22squared used a micro influencer campaign.  The campaign lived on Tumblr.  They partnered with YouTube influencers to create a virtual reality arcade experience called Corollacade.   They partnered directly with social media influencers in their geographic footprint to create authentic content and conversations.    22squared also put paid media behind the content sponsoring access to Starbucks wifi by watching a Corolla video.     The result?  17 million unique digital impressions and a 9% lift in year-over-year sales.

I also asked Brandon Murphy about cause marketing since the study pointed to the importance of transparency, authenticity and ethical treatment as keys to earning trust.

“The secret to cause marketing is that brands believe in what they’re doing.  It has to tie in with their core mission and why they are in business.”

An example of this is 22squared’s work with American Standard Toilet and their “Flush For Good” campaign.   For every Champion toilet sold American Standard would donate a sanitary toilet pan to a country in need through a partnership with The Gates Foundation.  Better sanitation literally saves lives in these countries.   The result of this campaign?  62% increase in sales and the donation of 500,000 sanitary toilet pans.

My final question was what can brands do to keep from making mistakes?  We all have seen way too many marketing to women efforts fail.

“Don’t over test in safe environments.  Don’t put women in a room in the mall where they look at a computer screen.  Also, involve Millennial women throughout the process. Show them the work early. Have them work on it with you.   Test in digital and social environments to a limited group before putting the content out to larger group,” advised Brandon Murphy.

Find out more in the full report “The Trust Dynamics of Millennial Women” by ad agency 22squared.

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