In the tutorial time yesterday we began looking at aspects of the second assignment using tools of service design thinking. We looked at trying to identify traits of the millennials and then how you in turn  you would in creating your experience need to cater to these traits. I also suggested that many companies were also undertaking similar exercises. The article below by Leah Swartz published in Forbes Magazine turned up in my email this morning. The article is generated out of  this report.

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Millennial Food, Wine And Beer Festivalgoers Want To Share A Brand Experience

Millennials, those 80 million young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 living in the United States today, are an experience-oriented generation. Unlike previous generations, millennials are much more likely to spend their hard earned dollars on “non-tangible” goods. According to the Experience Economy study conducted by Eventbrite, the global ticketing and events marketplace, more than three in four millennials would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event instead of buying a product or service. Not only are these young adults more invested in experiences, but they also expect to be able to share those moments with their peers in both their digital and social networks. As spring approaches and summer is right around the corner, many millennials are opting for the live festival experiences that feature wine, beer and food (really, what more do you need?) Eventbrite, which saw a 47 percent increase in food and beverage events from 2013-2014, surveyed 5,000 millennial festivalgoers in this category and found that 80 percent have attended at least three or more food, wine or beer events in the past 12 months. This brings us to the question: What is it about the live festival atmosphere that is so inviting for millennials? Beyond anything that is physically being offered or shown at the festival, it is the sense of community that draws in the millennial crowd. As the most accepting generation to date, millennials embrace these types of environments and connect with brands that enhance the experience. Three lessons for brands aiming to connect with millennials at live festivals Live your story, don’t tell it At a festival, millennials are not invested in brand names; they are in it for the experience. Brands that enhance that experience in an “unbranded” way are able to live in the moment with millennials. Eventbrite found that 59 percent of survey respondents agree that food, wine, and beer festivals give them another way to experience the life that they’re looking for; ultimately, living that life with the brand. For example, during the 2013 annual New York Wine and Food Fest, Glad got creative when it came to brand activation. The waste management company invited festival participants to take the #saveitsunday pledge to eliminate food waste by coloring in pieces of a mural plastered on a wall at the event. Embrace the authenticity of the event Millennials value authentic messages and do not trust brands that try and keep information a secret. Live festivals are typically an open-air venue, which creates the extremely inviting and inclusive community that millennials value. Overwhelmingly, millennials are slow to trust big brand marketing unless they are reassured by an open and transparent approach. For brands marketing at food and beverage festivals, this could mean allowing festivalgoers to get a peak of what goes on behind the logo. According to the Eventbrite survey, 55 percent of millennials attended a beer festival specifically to meet the people behind the brewery and 42 percent of millennials that attended a food festival said that same thing about meeting the chefs, restaurateurs or producers of their favorite brands. Be social on and offline It is no secret that millennials are the most social generation to date. However, the phrase “social” in today’s market is often synonymous with online social platforms. While it is true that millennials are the most active users of social media, they do not rely solely on their digital networks to connect with brands. Live festivals create an environment where millennials are able to connect with each other and brands in a way that fluidly bridges the digital and physical space. For example, nearly all food, wine and beer festivals utilize a hashtag and encourage participants to post pictures of their experience throughout the day. Eventbrite found that more than half of all millennials who attended a live food, beer or wine festival in the last year were likely to post pictures online of their favorite moments. The key for brands is to do something with that engagement rather than let it simply remain stagnant online. Millennials are quickly becoming our nation’s most powerful consumers. As the weather gets warmer and more young adults are looking for outdoor experiences, you can guarantee that they will be headed towards live festival events. The key for marketers looking to connect with millennials in this space will be to create an authentic experience that aligns with the millennial communal mindset. For more information regarding the Eventbrite study and additional millennial insights about food, wine and beer festivals, read the full study review here

Leah Swartz, Content Specialist at FutureCast, contributed to this post Disclaimer: I use Eventbrite for work and have consulted with them. We were not compensated to conduct this research study.

Maybe this is unkind but….. 😂

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