What Do Millennials Want From Brands?

In the hyper-connected world of social networks, online content consumption and smart devices which define the Millennial lifestyle, brands are finding it tough to forge a connection through conventional methods and channels. Consequently, Millennials are being blamed for killing yogurt, fashion, cheese, hotels and what not. Are they simply stopping consumption or are they being prudent with their purchase?

Millennials prefer brands which connect with their value system. Direct to consumer brands seems to resonate their values and communication with that of the Millennials.

Diversity Friends Connection Global Communication ConceptSource: www.novoed.com

Values Triggering Millennials Purchase Decisions:

Quality : Millennials focus on quality over quantity that extends to include the quality of the process that manufactured the product. Softbank-backed Brandless lays huge emphasis on details of the product — whether it’s organic, gluten-free, fair trade etc. By going straight to the customer while saving cost on distribution and branding, with high quality output, Brandless’ products are almost 40% less than comparable products

Innovative Design : Design aesthetics are important to the Millennial and no one has done it better than the US-based company, Away, which claims its suitcases to be “first-class luggage at a coach price”. From the design perspective it has everything a modern traveler needs — an ejectable battery (which can charge your phone and other devices), a three-digit lock, a laundry bag and charger converters so the ejectable battery can be used across the world. Suitcase, which was long considered a utility based product, became one which Millennials loved showing off. It became an extension of their travel style, unique and one of a kind.

Transparency: One of the favourite direct to consumer beauty brands of Millennials is Glossier which take their customers as their stakeholders. They built a sense of authenticity and belonging in a beauty industry which is fixated on glamour, striking a chord with the Millennials. With limited, but relevant SKUs. Glossier designs products by putting the customer needs first and then involving its loyal customer base to almost co-create the product. For e.g. customers shared how the routine of face washing involved two steps: first removing makeup and then using a face wash. Glossier came up with a one of a kind dual face wash which became an instant hit with the customers as it solved a real problem, effectively.

Eco-friendly and Natural : A popular US-based brand which has hit the sweet spot with the Millennial audience is The Honest Company, founded in 2011, by the Hollywood actress, Jessica Alba. It offers organic, environmentally safe, natural products for moms and their babies. Millennials prefer natural/organics products and are concerned about impact of production on the environment.

How can brands connect with the Millennials?

Invest in Authentic Content : Millennials want to feel that the content a brand is posting on social media is made for them, it’s organic. They appreciate honesty and transparent campaigns with them almost always win. To that effect, brands should focus on minimalist, clean visuals which reinforce the ideas of honesty, value and straightforwardness while being witty and direct.

Collaborate with Consumers : Millennials like having a say in how a product is created, almost becoming co-product creators. A good example of this is the marketing strategy of the makeup brand Glossier which creates content addressing beauty issues of the customers and showcases real people — beauty store owners, ballerinas, entrepreneurs and their experience with Glossier’s products on their blog, Into the Gloss — a smart strategy to use UGC which endorses the company’s products themselves.

Influencers are Important : Millennials are more likely to buy a product, from an influencer they trust and recommends.

“Millennials are 44% more likely to trust experts, who happen to be strangers, than advertisements and 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites.”¹

Globally, millennials account for 27% of the world’s 7.4 billion population and there are 440 million in India. They constitute the largest demographic in the country which along with owners of high disposable incomes, make a force to reckon with. Hence, it is in the interest of brands themselves, to focus on this highly engaged and loyal audience. Product market-fit and pricing will play integral role in scaling new direct to consumer brands in India along with Millennial values.

By Abhijeet

Exiting your startup? Liquidation Preference will determine how much money you get

Simply put, it is the preference towards exit pickings for each class of shareholders in a company in the event of a strategic exit or sale for the shareholders. The Liquidation Preference clause and the waterfall it ensconces is a watershed provision in all term sheets and investment documents that usually decides who walks away grinning to the bank or otherwise.

Since a company chiefly bears exit returns to its shareholders and investors either through an IPO (which is when all private contractual agreements governing classes of securities fall away) or pre IPO sale of business, it is imperative for an investor to pre determine what component or percentage of the sale proceeds it will be entitled to when the cash is counted.

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Harish Bahl, Founder & CEO of Smile talks about the four risks that any investor tries to mitigate when they look for investing in a startup business.

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There are a few basic mistakes that entrepreneurs can avoid – while the nature of mistakes may differ depending on the type of startup.

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Working for a Startup? Things that startup professionals will immediately connect with..

Ankur Nigam, Group Director – Finance and M&A, Smile in a candid chat on startup culture and the working environment that the setup offers.

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For decades, young professionals have looked at their parents, grandparents and others in the family do mundane, routine, 9am-6pm jobs, which were then a norm. However, today’s generation is different. Everyone wants to make a difference, and that difference goes beyond the realms of money making business to gaining exposure and experience that their job offers. Established organizations undoubtedly provide continuity, security, travel options and average to above average compensation among other motivational benefits — satisfying as it sounds these are often coupled with ennui.

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The Role Of Location In Omni-Channel Retailing: A real Game-Changer For Retailers In 2016

The last decade has been a watershed for global retailers; with the adoption of new age digital evolution successfully transforming shopping behaviors of buyers globally. As a matter of fact, the digital maturity of consumers has pressed the accelerator rings of retailers to reinvent buying experiences of the two worlds, one being the dynamic online multi-screen domain and other being the traditional offline space.

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I recently read an article describing India’s unprecedented e-commerce growth as a “primed-up athlete finally hitting his full stride.” And indeed, digital augmentation has revolutionised the nation’s e-commerce ecosystem by unlocking India’s potential on various fronts, making it one of the most preferred destinations for global retailers. But is India sitting on the cusp of an e-commerce bubble or will the growth multiply?

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Does your startup need a lawyer?

In one word? Yes

Having seen a few ventures ground upwards, I can vouch for statutory compliances and requirements not featuring into the top five agendas of startup managements. Typically, Indian startups somehow have a tendency to push anything they perceive to not be of immediate importance to the back burner. By contrast, their peers in the west see the larger picture and realise the need for a solid foundation on which to build a business. Think of it as building a house, where the legal eagle you hire is your foundation and what you build from the surface level upwards is your business.

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