Winter will be around for another few months, and outdoor enthusiasts – workers, hikers, campers, hunters – will be looking for both warmth and comfort in their outerwear. Brands have an opportunity to shine with that demographic at this time of year.
Today’s consumer wants products that offer smart function, performance and style. Not satisfied to only follow the latest Instagram clothing trend, younger generations are less focused on quantity than quality. Single apparel pieces that can get them through multiple seasons in various life experience settings are the trend for today’s consumer.
Enter the corporate marketing initiatives. Companies that invest in increasing brand awareness and improving customer loyalty have become increasingly aware of the the need to respond to not only the style choices of Millennials and GenX’ers, but also to their generation’s emphasis on not consuming more goods than needed.
A rugged, but comfortable work jacket; a stylishly classic quilted vest; or even a custom knit beanie in a subtle color are all excellent choices for adding your corporate brand to an item that will be worn for years to come. Men and women. The young and not-so-young. By targeting your customer base with cleverly decorated, quality apparel items, your company will offer comfort to an audience that will repay you with brand loyalty.
Vintage-inspired merchandise appeals to every age group. The Baby Boomers used the original and are happy for a newer version; Gen X, the crossroads generation that grew up before the internet, love a remake of anything nostalgic; and Millennials, the tech-savvy crowd that ushered in social media, find relief in all things that remind them it’s ok to slow down a bit.
Vintage items that represent an era that is associated with simpler times and a slower pace of life are part of a trend that includes renewed interest in board games, slow cooking from fresh ingredients and crafting hobbies. Although the merchandise is created with design influence from the past, today’s versions are updated with better materials, and often include features that will allow for all the tech items today’s audience can’t live without.
Travel bags, coolers, desk calendars, glassware and throw blankets are just a few of the many products designed with the simplicity and style of a bygone era. The design is considered “cool” in the same way a classic sports car makes us feel when we see it on the road. Not flashy, just classy. And when your company logo is applied, the brand identity is viewed in the same favorable light as that classic sports car.
Consider a vintage-inspired product next time you are looking for a unique giveaway or executive gift. It will stand out in the crowd of otherwise unsurprising branded items.
According to data cited by the Wall Street Journal, golf participation rates among the 18-to-34 crowd (defined as the millennials) were down 13% in 2013 from 2009, while rates for active sports like running jumped 29%. In 2013 alone, some 400,000 people gave up the sport in the U.S., according to the National Golf Foundation. But now, we have youthful champions like Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. Their high profile wins have brought welcome attention to a game that desperately needs a way to connect with the millennials populating and influencing corporate culture.
Millennials, also known as GenY, were born into a new era of technology and founded the social media movement. How a company – golf market agents or any other company – markets to a demographic that thrives in this fast-paced, ever-changing technological fray is an ongoing uncertainty in the business world. In order to draw them into a game that requires 4+ hours of time, expensive gear and and an income that can allow for greens fees that can easily exceed $40 for 18 holes, companies must incorporate tools that support and enhance their tech experience. (I must add here that the snowsports industry, another expensive, time-consuming pastime, is facing the same challenges with millennials).
What marketing tools would drive excitement for a game struggling to stay relevant while increasing brand visibility for your firm? Read on for a few ideas on how to integrate golf, social media and the millennials.
- Selfie Snapper: Wireless bluetooth remote for snapping pictures on a smartphone. Great for post-round pics of the foursome.
- Silicone Phone Backstrap: Holds credit cards, license, cash on the back of a phone, giving the recipient a useful reminder of the giver every time he texts, tweets or talks.
- GPS Rangefinder: Handheld or on the wrist, a touchscreen, bluetooth-enabled tool for saving strokes will appeal to those players who don’t have time to walk off the yardage.
- Microfiber Cell Phone Bag Pouch: Holds the phone – cleans the phone. Taking care of the millennial golfers most prized tool will be appreciated well after the last hole.
The game of golf is here to stay, but the new generation of golfers will expect to experience it in different ways. Give them something in their gift bag they can relate to besides that sleeve of balls. They will reward you with appreciation for your foresight and your brand.