Lessons on Millennial Marketing from Coachella


Forbes recently dubbed millennials the “experience-oriented generation.” The article makes reference to a recent study of millennial behavior and found that brands setting their sights on millennials should be focused on maximizing the experience factor at their live events.

According to the Experience Economy study conducted by Eventbrite, 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 offline and on their social networks.

This past weekend’s Coachella Music & Arts Festival provides useful insights into how brands can heighten the experience for the critical 18-34 year old consumer. A notoriously skeptical bunch, millennials tend to avoid direct contact with brands. They’re looking for authentic interactions that are part of the subtext of a larger experience like Coachella.

So how are brands at Coachella doing it right? Smart marketers are rolling out activations that support the overall festival experience. The Wall Street Journal reports, “Festivalgoers are ready to spend, and not just the hundreds of dollars most multiday festival passes cost. About eight in 10 attendees purchased something in preparation for the event.” Millennial favorite H&M launched an entire Coachella-themed clothing line featuring floppy hats and fringe galore in the weeks prior to the event. Beverage makers took advantage of the extreme Palm Desert heat to get their brands in front of thirsty consumers.

Sephora is the official beauty sponsor of the 2015 Coachella festival. A company spokesperson recently said, “Coachella is now a fashion statement.” This year Sephora treated festivalgoers to beauty bars where attendees could learn tips for achieving that Coachella bohemian look while sampling Sephora products. Celebrity photographers then took glamorous photos to keep as souvenirs and share with friends. Sephora also encouraged social sharing with offers of a free full-sized product sample to attendees willing to post a photo with the hashtag #sephoracoachella on their social networks.

The common theme for marketers is to live the event experience with the millennial consumer, not talk at them. Because they won’t be listening.

Posted by Paula You | Request as a Speaker

Passionate about life, big ideas, fashion, food & 4-legged kids. Fascinated by social media & self-expression. Kickin' it daily as Chief Experience Officer @sparksmarketing