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Consumer Insights

Food promotions that really deliver

December 7 2016 / admin

We explore the world of food promotions in this week’s episode of Branding Bites! Stay tuned as Shawn and Kacha share strategies for creating successful stunts, ads, and unexpected extras. Click play for their answers to questions including: What types of promotions drive the most sales for QSR, fast casual, eatertainment, and casual dining brands? […]


Restaurant apps, biscuit theaters, and Airbnb

November 28 2016 / admin

In this week’s episode of Branding Bites, Shawn and Kacha dive into the world of restaurant apps to discuss which restaurants are delivering a great app experience. And as always, they share their thoughts on everything of note in food, beverage, and branding this week! Click play for their answers to questions including: When is […]


Branded videos and virtual reality

November 16 2016 / admin

There is a lot of focus on branded video content in the food marketing space right now. Take Chipotle’s School of Guac, Cap’n Crunch’s Earliest Show, and Jack in the Box’s Cravings Hotline for example. In this week’s episode of Branding Bites, Shawn and Kacha discuss branded video content and its role in the food […]


Photogenic food and resurrecting Chipotle's brand

November 8 2016 / admin

In this week’s episode of Branding Bites, Kacha and Shawn got together to share their thoughts on the exciting world of food, beverage, and branding. Check out the video for their answers to questions including: How can restaurants, bars, and breweries make their products more photogenic on Instagram? (at 0:15) How should Chipotle move past […]


Millennial slang dictionary: November 2016 updates

November 6 2016 / Drew Patrick

We created this millennial slang dictionary to help marketers decode words and phrases trending on social media. And since these trends change constantly, this entry is regularly updated with additions, deletions, and new examples. November 2016’s new additions are highlighted and include: curve, GOAT, receipts, feels bad man, and smol. This month, we’ve also retired “fomo”, […]


Building a cult brand and redesigning Taco Bell

October 31 2016 / admin

In this episode of Branding Bites, our strategy director, Kacha Azema, and our design director, Shawn McConnell, got together to talk about what’s happening in restaurant marketing this week. Tune in for their responses to questions including: How successful were Frontier Lager’s recent #findflavour Instagram ads? (at 0:13) How can a restaurant achieve cult status […]

Consumer Insights

On McDonald's, Gilmore Girls & more

October 18 2016 / admin

In this episode of Branding Bites, our strategy director, Kacha Azema, and our design director, Shawn McConnell, sat down to share their insights on what’s happening in restaurant marketing this week. Tune in to see Kacha and Shawn answer topical questions including: Is McDonald’s goal of 5,000 pieces of content realistic for the rest of […]

Consumer Insights

Millennials + Food: A love affair

August 22 2016 / admin

Millennials’ obsession with food is no mystery. You can see it on any and every social media channel, with photos tagged #foodporn and #onthetable and #nomnomnom. You can sense it in the rise of the term “foodie” (a term with which half of millennials identify1), and the barrage of new restaurants cropping up in your […]


Celebrating a centennial by keeping in step with the times

August 8 2016 / Shawn McConnell

Last year the National Parks System attracted 305,000,000 people. That’s more visitors than Disney theme parks, the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NASCAR combined. And this year is looking even better. You have to admit – for a government agency to pull these kind of numbers, it’s pretty impressive. How does a 100-year-old organization maintain its […]


How to win the Labatt Games & other brand activations

August 2 2016 / admin

Just a few days ago, I was crowned a winner of the Labatt Undomesticated Games. If you know anything about the event, you probably want to hear my team’s strategies for dominating the oversized slingshot. But that’s a secret I’ll never tell. Instead I want to share my thoughts on the event as a millennial […]


3 tips for creating brand experiences millennials love

July 25 2016 / admin

Marketing leaders have an incredibly complicated task in trying to optimize their marketing spend while achieving the best return for their brand. While plenty will debate the merits of spending in the traditional vs. digital spaces, it’s the experiential world that may be most deserving of your investment – especially if you want to stay […]

Consumer Insights

Millennials + Travel

July 21 2016 / Drew Patrick

Millennials do things differently than other generations. And travel is at the top of that list. How do millennials decide on a destination? How do they book a trip? What do they do once they’ve arrived? And how can brands take advantage? If you’ve ever wondered how a millennial vacations, this is the infographic for […]


TL;DR and other reminders to keep your copy in check

July 12 2016 / admin

As a writer and a millennial – and one who specializes in millennial-focused copywriting, no less – I am painfully aware of the challenges faced by brands writing for this audience. We hate advertising1, use fast-moving language steeped in internet and pop-culture allusions, and –­ due to infamous amounts of screen time – are constantly […]

Consumer Insights

What cruise lines can do to woo millennials

July 5 2016 / admin

Cruises have a reputation for attracting “the newly wed and the nearly dead” – not exactly the millennial sweet spot. But with current audiences (ahem) aging out, this $39.6 billion1 industry has its eye on the 18- to 34-year-old set. Currently, millennials make up just 7 percent2 of the cruise industry’s 24 million passengers, but that stat masks a […]


To podcast, or not to podcast

June 28 2016 / admin

If you want to reach millennials, there’s a pretty compelling argument that podcasts are a place you want your brand to be. Thirty-five percent of millennials listen to at least one podcast a week,1 and 63 percent have bought something they heard advertised on a podcast.2 With these kind of stats, the question shouldn’t be whether […]


The Taco Bell effect: QSRs’ digital opportunities with millennials

June 21 2016 / admin

It’s no surprise that millennials, the “foodie generation”1 that loves to share experiences, is big on hashtagging, tweeting, and ‘gramming their meals.2 But did you know that 83 percent of millennials connect with brands on social media and 62 percent say such engagement will make them loyal customers?3 When you look at all the data, it’s easy to […]

Consumer Insights

Get on the millennial bucket list without Harry or Hans

June 14 2016 / admin

Let’s face it: There’s undeniable appeal in flying a broom in a Quidditch match and knocking back a cold Butterbeer. And there’s no doubt many of us would endure long lines to experience Hans Solo-type g-forces while we pilot the Millennium Falcon through space and battle a swarm of TIE fighters. These are the types […]

Consumer Insights

Millennials + YouTube: rethinking the definition of “advertising”

June 7 2016 / admin

Content on YouTube: funny cat videos, SNL clips, crazy humans doing OMG stunts. Advertising on YouTube: annoying pre-roll ads we can’t wait to skip.Or, if you’re a millennial, sometimes content and advertising are the same thing. YouTube is certainly killing it with millennials as an entertainment channel, reaching more 18- to 34-year-olds than any cable […]


The celebrity spokesperson is dead…or is it?

May 31 2016 / admin

If you believe what you hear, the celebrity spokesperson is dead. Talk is rampant in blogs and at conferences that the savvy millennial consumer doesn’t respond to paid endorsement. They say that customers want to hear from other customers, that UGC is the silver bullet. And while peer-to-peer marketing is certainly effective, the days of […]

Consumer Insights

Tesla’s Model 3 – A millennial game changer

May 23 2016 / Drew Patrick

On March 31st, Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the Model 3, and in an instant, he changed the world as we know it. That night, he transformed the automotive industry, disrupted the traditional sales experience, and challenged perceptions about the millennial consumer. It was a pretty good day for the first affordable, 200-mile electric car. […]


Creating magical moments at every consumer touchpoint

May 17 2016 / Shawn McConnell

Let’s say you’ve got a billion-dollar brand that produces magic at every turn. Your innovative approach is second to none, and people of all ages tremble with excitement at the mere mention of your name. But somehow you’re not seeing the kind of results you want to see. Maybe there aren’t enough products flying off […]


Nothing compares 2 Prince – in music or marketing

May 3 2016 / admin

Last Thursday, while at lunch, my phone blew up. Texts and emails and media alerts all pinged at the same time as a friend and colleague rested his hand on my shoulder. That was the moment I found out that my idol was gone and the world had lost an amazing creative soul. Everyone who […]


Yik Yak holds potential for the right marketers

April 26 2016 / admin

When Lewis & Clark ventured into the American west, the leaders of their day believed they would find opportunity in a wild and untamed continent. Today, marketers are exploring a different kind of uncharted territory, looking to apps like Yik Yak for the opportunity to connect with the millennial audience. The brave among us may […]

Consumer Insights

Millennials' Buying Behavior

April 14 2016 / admin

Millennials, or young adults ages 18 to 34, have been (not-so-kindly) dubbed the “Enigma Generation” by older generations mystified by their behavior. This is especially true when it comes to buying behavior, so we’re tackling the topic with some facts on where, how, and why millennials shop. All in all, the infographic below reveals a […]

Consumer Insights

Connecting with millennials through nostalgia

April 5 2016 / Shawn McConnell

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the 1980s are back. Full House, Ghostbusters, My Little Pony—it’s like we’re all on a collective trip down memory lane. We pine for a time that was happier, brighter, simpler, better. And for the late Gen X and early Gen Yers, the 1980s are the sweet spot. As […]

Consumer Insights

Millennials' love-hate relationship with Walmart

March 28 2016 / admin

This may surprise you: “Two-thirds of Americans between the ages of 20 and 35 have shopped at Walmart in the last month.” That’s according to Walmart Chief Merchant, Stephen Bratspies. On an investor phone call just two weeks ago, Bratspies also explained that millennials are more likely to shop at Walmart than Americans of any […]

Consumer Insights

Elon Musk and the satellite stadium

March 24 2016 / admin

I don’t own a sports team, but if I did, I’d be very focused on attracting millennials. As the largest and most powerful consumer group of our time, it stands to reason that they would be an important target audience for teams, franchises, and ticket sellers. But millennials just aren’t that interested in attending traditional […]

Consumer Insights

A small shift makes a big impact with millennial women

March 16 2016 / admin

Millennial women grew up hearing that they could do anything they set their mind to. They weren’t told that their place was in the kitchen, or that they could never be in charge. While Gen Xers, Baby Boomers, and members of the Silent Generation waited decades to see a woman on the Presidential ballot, more […]

Consumer Insights

The art of the Donald: How Trump is winning the millennial vote

March 10 2016 / Drew Patrick

This is the second of a two-part look at the unconventional candidates who’ve taken this year’s election by storm. Each has won a big portion of the much-coveted millennial vote, and – while miles apart ideologically – employ strategies that have been surprisingly effective with millennials. When you picture the crowd supporting Donald Trump, young people […]

Consumer Insights

Lessons from Bernie Sanders: How to talk to millennials

March 8 2016 / admin

This is the first of a two-part look at the unconventional candidates who’ve taken this year’s election by storm. Each has won a big portion of the much-coveted millennial vote, and – while miles apart ideologically – employ strategies that have been surprisingly effective with millennials. Despite Hillary Clinton’s victories on Super Tuesday and Saturday, Bernie […]

Consumer Insights

Upcoming Webinar: Millennials + Sports

March 7 2016 / admin

Millennials are the largest generation in the US and the least interested in attending professional sporting events. So, what will get millennials to the game? Find out in our upcoming webinar Millennials + Sports: Getting millennials to the game Thursday, April 7 1 PM ET / 10 AM PT In this webinar, we’ll share new research findings […]

Consumer Insights

Marketing to millennial dads

March 1 2016 / admin

Have you ever frantically looked for your car keys only to find them in your pocket? Or spent 30 minutes searching for glasses that were perched on your head the whole time? Just like your “lost” glasses, we’ve found that America’s 14.3 million millennial dads1 are hidden in plain sight. They’re right next to those millennial […]

Consumer Insights

Millennials & Soccer: When MLS went social

February 23 2016 / admin

In the arena of sports marketing, is there anything larger than the NFL’s annual Super Bowl? For the event’s 50th anniversary a few weeks ago, the NFL reported 112 million viewers worldwide and a $5 million price tag for a 30-second advertisement.1,2 Professional football must be the benchmark of the sports world, right? Actually, it’s soccer. […]


The making of a cult brand

February 16 2016 / Shawn McConnell

Nestled deep in the idyllic Belgian countryside of West Flanders lies one of the most sought-after brands in the world. A brand whose product demand far outstrips the supply, and one whose marketing budget has hovered steadily around $0 for the last 175 years. Despite the remote location and total lack of advertising, this company […]

Consumer Insights

Millennial Spotlight: Who is Tavi Gevinson?

February 9 2016 / admin

Tavi Gevinson has been called the Queen of Millennials and the future of journalism.1,2 At just 19, she has posed for the groundbreaking Pirelli Calendar, published four books, taken the fashion world by storm, and solidified her creative chops as editor-in-chief of Rookie Magazine. These endeavors ­– combined with some very key personality traits – […]


Marketing lessons from Netflix’s Making a Murderer

February 1 2016 / admin

Unless you live under a rock…in the middle of nowhere…you’ve probably heard about (if not binge-watched) the hit Netflix series Making a Murderer. The 10-part documentary follows the story of Steven Avery, a man from Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, who was wrongly imprisoned 18 years for a sexual assault he didn’t commit. Soon after his release, […]

Consumer Insights

Imgur: The social media platform killing it with millennial men

January 19 2016 / admin

You know that voiceover in epic movie trailers? The deep, reverberating voice that begins: “In a world…” “In a world…of 150 million active monthly users.1 Where people engage with posts 10x more than on Facebook.2 Where the community is positive, funny, and even…nice.3 Where users spend 3-10 hours per week4 consuming content in average blocks […]


Rethinking ROI and content marketing

January 11 2016 / admin

As consumer behaviors change and evolve so do those of brands and marketers. No longer do we live in a world of one-way promotional messaging, but one where consumers have the power to interact, change, and mold a brand. In our 60-second guide to millennials, we note that 62% of millennials are more likely to […]


Holiday hangover? 5 lessons to legitimize your binge-watching

January 5 2016 / Shawn McConnell

Welcome back from another holiday break. What better way to kick off the new year than by legitimizing your holiday binge-watching? Let’s take a closer look at a few classic films and see how you can use some of the most memorable scenes to your advantage. Home Alone “This is my house. I have to […]

Consumer Insights

Finding the truth about millennial marketing

December 14 2015 / admin

We all need a little bit of straight talk from time to time. You know, one of those fierce conversations that avoids the correctness and politeness of most exchanges, and cuts directly to the core issue. I’m not talking about an inflammatory Donald Trump headline-grabbing rant. I mean an honest, direct, and thoughtful conversation that […]


How to craft your mobile strategy

December 8 2015 / admin

There’s one source of unquestioned authority on anything related to internet search: Google. So it’s worth paying attention when Google CEO Sundar Pichai drops some new insight, as he did in their last quarterly earnings call just over a month ago. Pichai announced that for the first time ever, there are more mobile searches than […]


Why you should alienate your other audiences

November 30 2015 / admin

One of the most common questions we hear about connecting with millennials is how to do it without alienating other audiences. We say: alienate them. You can’t target any audience when you aren’t focused. Trying to connect with millennials while catering to other audiences is like playing darts while wearing a blindfold. You might hit […]


When big brands and personal brands collide

November 17 2015 / admin

The personal brand. It’s important to millennials, but what does it matter to corporate brands, and the people tasked with promoting them? As millennials are building their personal brands, they’re using products and companies to convey something about themselves. Tapping into this phenomenon could be an extremely successful and authentic approach to native advertising, but […]


Your best shot for getting shared

November 9 2015 / admin

We’ve all been there. A client or team member mentions making a viral video and we all slouch down and cringe. Not because the idea of making great video content is scary, but because the goal of creating something that will go viral is a risky one that is out of our control. What we […]

Consumer Insights

Be like Nike: How Nike is winning millennials

November 3 2015 / admin

As millennials have become America’s largest consumer group, everything about marketing has changed. The only thing that has remained constant is the success of Nike. Year after year, Nike ranks as a favorite brand among millennials.1 Like its customers, Nike’s marketing strategy has evolved. If you’re a marketer clinging to the principles of yesterday, you […]