How To Convert Young Consumers Into Customers


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Nothing gets the nation talking like a nicely timed election. More specifically, the elections sparked quite a lot of controversy this past year for more reasons than one. A statistic published by Adobe and given exclusively to Adweek stated “Nearly 40 percent of likely voters between the ages of 18 and 37 reported that they hadn’t seen any political advertising leading up to the Nov. 6 midterm elections.”

Digital ad blockers aside, Gen Z and Millennials are not privy to these linear methods of advertising. Gen Z alone has a total spending power of $143 billion and on overall spending of almost $100 billion. Brands need to start examining their advertising strategy if they are want to start engaging with those generations. In this blog, Hollywood Branded examines how to convert young consumers into customers!

Template - Social Media (1)

Instagram Is The Way, The Truth, And The Light

Millennials and Gen Z’ers are leaving Facebook in droves to join the global military that is Instagram. Though this isn’t a major concern for Facebook (the social media giant is also Instagram’s legal guardian), this should be on the radar of the average marketer. Instagram now has over 1 billion users thanks to its dedicated and loyal 25-34 year old demographic. This shouldn’t be surprising considering that a large part of this demo was still in either high school or university. These are key digital scrapbooking years.

Let’s take a look at two brands that are doing Instagram quite well: Norwegian Cruise Lines and Chubbies. These brands focus on capturing the hearts and minds of their audience through engaging and shifting content.


Photo Credit: Norweigan Cruise Line 

Norwegian Cruise Line focused its efforts on honing in on user-generated content. By creating the hashtag #cruiselikeanorwegian, they invited their followers and viewers to showcase how they cruise. The campaign has garnered over 32,279 posts at the moment and continues to grow. The campaign helped to create a stronger brand presence for Norwegian while also allowing its viewers to be engaged. Creative engagement is key for Millenials and Gen Zs. Everyone wants to play in the sandbox. No one wants to watch from the sidelines while their friends explain to them how fun the sandbox is. This is the type of advertising that you DO NOT WANT.

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Chubbies, a men’s apparel line that believes boys just want to have fun, also has rather engaging Instagram tactics. They have less of an intensive business model like Norwegian, but instead employ the same social presence as a digital fraternity newsletter. Their posts are filled with memes, throwback photos of men wearing above the knee shorts, and self depreciating humor that only men wearing above the knee shorts can truly resonate with. They are the voice of their prescribed generation. Millenials and Gen Z’ers love this audacity.

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Nike Is The Sensitive New Boyfriend To Be Of 2018

In 2018, Nike exceeded expectations for its second quarter sales, validating the company’s massively controversial Collin Kaepernick ad campaign that was released during this same period. Partnering with the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback introduced a 10% jump in income to over $847 million for the apparel brand. Of course, the campaign also incited a wave of fury and boycotts from individuals that did not enjoy seeing Mr. Kaepernicks face on their clothing.

However, Nike was more than ready for this backlash. According to the Washington Post, “63 percent of those over 50 said kneeling during the national anthem is never appropriate.” The 38% that did find it appropriate were all under 30 years old - Nike’s core demographic. Nike took a risk, and it paid off massively. They trusted their core demographic to fight against any possible backlash through by empowering the digital megaphone that is social media.


Photo Credit: The New York Times

73% of Millennials and 72% of Gen Z are willing to pay more money for the products that come form socially and environmentally conscious brands. Only 51% of baby boomers share this same concern. In other words, only 51% of baby boomers actively watched Captain Planet. Sad.

More and more brands are following the scent of cause marketing, and it will only continue to increase. Keeping up appearances is important, and coming across as socially complicit is a quick way to becoming shunned. As the world demands more accountability from their peers, they also demand this same awareness from the brands that they shop from.

Sorry IQ, EQ Is The New Quotient In Town 

Sorry Einstein, but having a high IQ is no longer relevant at the lunch tables of private catholic schools across the country. Emotional quotient, or EQ, is the main focus of brands now. According to Harvard theorist Howard Gardner, EQ is the ability to understand what motivates other people and how to work cooperatively with them. Essentially, think ahead!

AI-Powered Call Tracking and Analytics powerhouse, Invoca, released their findings after conducting a survey to gauge how consumers handle stressful or complicated purchases. One in four respondents look for acute emotional intelligence from the sales person/medium that they are buying from. Young consumers want to know that they were kept in mind before making a purchase.

For brands, EQ is especially important for customer acquisition and retention.


With half of consumers ready to swipe left on a brand after a negative experience, good customer experience has the power to impact the bottom line. 

Take Delta Airlines for example. In 2018, Anytime Fitness owner David Mortensen’s scheduled flight into Minneapolis had been delayed due to heavy snow. Delta emailed David, apologized for the inconvenience, and provided him with 10,000 bonus miles. Taking it a step further, the email was signed by a real life human! Heidi Gould, GM of Customer care, knew that a personal sign off on the email would strike an especially empathetic cord within David. She was right. Naturally, David shared this story on Twitter.

In order for brands to show effective EQ, helpful customer options must be presented.  Everyone appreciates being thought of, but young adult consumers especially appreciate the forethought.

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As the years change, so do the marketing strategies. By utilizing Instagram, empathy, and a high EQ, brands and agencies alike will be better equipped to target millennials and Gen Z consumers.

While we're still speaking on content leverage, your brand can either create original content or utilize a third party. These third parties include influencers, TV shows, and even film. Our team is especially adept at creating partnerships that live through these channels, so check out some of our other agency blogs that talk about best marketing practices for product placement and brand integration partnerships:

Curious to know how to connect with influencers and negotiate a deal that could increase your brand's awareness and sales? Check out our free influencer marketing e-book!

How To Connect Your Brand With Social Influencers