Why Agile Brands Win With Millennials

Christine Birkner
Marketing News Weekly
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Key Takeaways

​WHAT​Landor's Global Agile Brand Study measured more than 50,000 global brands to find which brands are succeeding by staying agile.

SO WHAT: Millennials want brands to stay true to who they are but adapt to the times, according to the study.

NOW WHAT: Marketers should let go of the "consistency handcuffs" to evolve with the rapidly changing marketplace.

Nov. 18, 2015

To succeed today, brands must strike a delicate balance: honor their core tenets while evolving to stay fresh and relevant. Millennials, in particular, want brands to be true to who they are, but to also adapt with the times. So says Landor’s Global Agile Brand Study, which measured more than 50,000 global brands in 51 countries to find out which brands are succeeding by striking that balance. The top 10 brands on the list were Samsung, Android, Wikipedia, Google, Dyson, Apple, YouTube, Microsoft, Ikea and Disney.

Like the brands on the list, today’s marketers must learn to adapt to changes in the marketplace while keeping their core philosophies in mind, says Thomas Ordahl, chief strategy officer at Landor. “Brands used to be permanent things that you were constructing, that were stable. Now, as we move to a more tumultuous marketplace, brands can’t stand still anymore. They have to continually evolve, but the underlying truth that brands must stand for something is clear, and remains true.

According to the study, millennials are looking for long-term relationships with brands, and they support brands that make a personal connection with consumers. Millennials also want brands to embrace change but respect their heritage, the study found. “The brands that are continuing to adapt and change with the times are winning loyalty with millennials,” says Suzanne Hernandez, executive director of research and analytics at Landor.

Source: Landor Global Agile Brand Study​

A more competitive marketplace means that, to win with millennials, and all consumers, today’s marketers should let go of the “consistency handcuffs,” Ordahl says. “Sometimes consistency happens at the expense of relevance. You need to be willing to be inconsistent. To be adaptive, you need to give lower-level people in the organization more power to make decisions so they can respond in the moment. Everyone is facing unexpected competitors and radically shifting demographics and market expectations. It’s changed the playbook for how we manage brands.”

Author Bio:

Christine Birkner
Christine Birkner is the features editor for the AMA. E-mail her at cbirkner@ama.org and follow her on Twitter @ChristineBirkne.
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