Weekly Recap - July 21, 2017

Amazon has officially started a supermarket war. With its recent purchase of Whole Foods, the online behemoth and Walmart are on a mission to take over the grocery industry—brick and mortar and online. Does your brand have a proper mission? Promote it in video to build loyalty. Your brand too can be a YouTube star with these pointers. Maybe even connect with Gen-Z.

DETAILS, Please

Amazon to buy Whole Foods for $13.4 billion. A deal that will instantly transform the company that pioneered online shopping into a merchant with physical outposts in hundreds of neighborhoods across the country.

12 truly inspiring company vision and mission statement examples. Often, the reason we stay loyal to brands is because of their values. The best brands strive to combine physical, emotional, and logical elements into one exceptional customer- and employee- experience.

7 vital elements of a successful YouTube video. YouTube is a marketer’s paradise. The statistics are mind blowing.

Move over Millennials, Gen-Z is now the largest single population segment. According to Nielsen’s new Total Audience report, Millennials and Gen-Z now comprise 48 percent of the total media audience.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

5 stats about marketing to Baby Boomers. With a median household income of $40,581, Millennials earn 20 percent less than their Boomer parents did at the same age.

How banks and credit unions can connect to Gen We.  Just because a kid has a bank account, it doesn’t mean she knows how to manage it.

THE Topic of conversation

Communicating with Visuals - Visual communication. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide, "Communicating with Visuals."

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How banks and credit unions can connect with Gen We.

How banks and credit unions can connect with Gen We

Just because a kid has a bank account, it doesn’t mean she knows how to manage it.

A recent report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) suggests that many teens aren’t financially literate. The findings, released in May 2017, are from an international student assessment which tested 15-year-olds in several countries.

On the assessment, 22 percent of teens scored below the financial-literacy "baseline level," and only 12 percent scored at the highest level, according to a story published at Bloomberg.com.  The mean financial-literacy score for U.S. teens was very close to the OECD average. The U.S. ranked seventh among the 15 participating countries and economies.

The assessment covered various financial skills, from reading invoices and recognizing a bank phishing email to deciphering a pay slip and reading stock prices recorded over time. While 56 percent of the teens studied reported having a bank account, nearly two out of three of those teens didn't have the skills to manage their account.

The dismal results spell opportunity for financial services. Give a kid a bank account, and she’ll have a safe place to keep her birthday money. Teach her to save and invest and she may reward you with a lifetime of business.

Credit unions have long sponsored personal finance programs for youth.  They lean on proven curriculum from Junior Achievement and National Endowment for Financial Services curriculum to familiarize kids with the credit, savings, budgeting and investments. Some even have student-run branches to teach bank management in addition to promoting thrift. 

And the courses work: high school seniors who take personal finance are more likely to save money, and have a budget and invest, according to a Discover survey.

Three ways for financial brands to connect with Gen We:

Get involved in the schools.

Your future customers are in high school. Help prepare them for the world—and your products and services—by volunteering in the classroom. Financial literacy is the ultimate brand fit. In addition to NEFE and Junior Achievement. Jump$tart Financial Smarts for Students has aggregated an online library rich with vetted personal finance classroom materials.

Seize teachable moments.

Many banks and credit unions have programs aimed at elementary-age children. The promotional items come quarterly, courtesy of a cutesy mascot and an opportunity to win tickets to an amusement park. While this tactic may have worked a couple decades ago, it falls flat on today’s tech-savvy generation. What’s more, these programs tend to fizzle out after third-grade.

Instead, shift your promotional budget to high school. This is the age when kids are becoming much more aware of money. They want stuff and want to do stuff—much of which comes with a price. Help them become good consumers by seizing any opportunity to counsel them. Yes, invite them to sign up for a checking account, and help them understand lending when they apply for a car loan or college loan. Credit is another teachable moment. While one-on-one conversations are far more personal, you can host youth seminars to reach a wider audience more efficiently.

Create Gen We-friendly products.

Gen We is growing up to be particularly entrepreneurial. They’re also more influential than previous generations on the family budget, according to CEB Iconoculture research. Rather than attempt to squeeze them into existing financial products and services, build a suite around them and market accordingly. Provide rewards and incentives for first-time borrowers and positive credit behaviors.

For more on marketing to Gen We, check out 5 things you need to know about Gen We.

Weekly Recap - June 23, 2017

Got an AJA Cion HD camera? We don’t either, but thankfully you can use an iPhone to shoot high quality web content. How’s your Instagram? If you’re looking for more followers, you’ve come to the right place. There’s a new trend in the digital world, and it’s all about CMOs. Finally, cupcakes. They have untold marketing power.

DETAILS, Please

How to make an iPhone video: a step-by-step guide. You might know that video is important, but you’re still asking the big question: how?

How to increase your Instagram followers & sales. Are you tired of posting Instagram updates to the same 100 or 500 followers? Perhaps your sales from Instagram are stagnant.

6 digital trends business owners need to be paying attention to right now. Digital marketing evolves every day, forcing all leaders to keep up of fall behind.

The greatest marketing growth hack of all time. It’s official: cupcakes are better than iPads. And they can help ramp up customer engagement.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

5 tips to boost video performance. You don’t need to do research to know that videos are going viral. Here are five tips to get clicks and make your video content shine.

Wendy’s gets real. Twitter goes wild. And sales? Sass is subjective. We know authenticity connects, but how straight fire must our posts be to win the hearts of our consumers?

THE Topic of conversation

Communicating with Visuals - Visual communication. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide, "Communicating with Visuals."

SHARING is CARING

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Wendy's gets real. Twitter goes wild. And sales?

Sass is subjective. We know authenticity connects, but how straight fire must our posts be to win the hearts of our consumers? Do we write with a loud voice at the risk of upsetting our audience? And at the end of the day, does it even matter? Can sass increase profits?

Exhibit A: Wendy’s bites back.

Wendy’s has a history of playful confrontation (Where’s the beef?). More recently, the fast-food brand used its Twitter account to respond to an unruly customer in early 2017. Their response went viral.

Wendy’s identifies its Twitter voice as a “challenger with charm,” keeping a cool head while not shying away from honesty. When they broke away from the formal PR strategy, consumers ate it up. Instead of friendly jabs at the competition, this brand is taking jabs at consumers.

The outcome

After the first tweet, the fire burned for the next few days as consumers wanted to talk to this new, sassy Wendy.

Image result for wendy's sassy tweets

However, the streak ran for less than a week before Wendy’s Twitter returned to status quo. In this spike, 95 percent of activity came from replying to users. People wanted to interact with a brand, and that’s a beautiful thing.

This isn’t the first audacious act toward consumers. People seem to prefer the humanized voice of Wendy’s, and other brands that dish out ‘real talk.’ Screenshots of customer/brand exchanges could end up on everyone’s Twitter feed, or blogs like ours.

Salt is in the air, but how are the sales? Terrible, actually.

The full report details an almost $100 million drop in Wendy’s revenue from 2016. While this has less to do with tweets and more with fewer company-owned resturants, it proves that cheeky personas aren’t able to save a business. The company has been going through a rough patch as other resturants, like Taco Bell and Subway, take the lead in sales.

What’s next

Why didn’t this work? Well, it’s hard to see a real difference if you only change your strategy for a few days. Over time, the continued sass could lead to a buildup in sales, or maybe none at all. We wouldn’t know, since this tactic is so new for Wendys. Is it even possible on Twitter, where trends come and go so fast no one would be interested in an attitude for that long? Could be.

By April, the company had switched up tactics again. The tag #nuggsforcarter went viral after a young teen went on a mission to get 18 million retweets to win free nuggets for a year.

Like before, this could be a game chagner. Perhaps that is the ultimate creative strategy of Wendy’s: listening. In these instances, they have shifted to pushing for dialogue, rather than pushing messages. How will it reflect in the net quarter? Time will tell.

As of now, things seem to be business as usual for the company. If you want some snide comments from Wendy’s, you’re about six months too late. Yet that doesn’t mean they stopped the sly jokes altogether.

So, what’s this mean for your business? A bit of attitude may not drive up profits, but it may ramp up your brand engagement. If you’re considering adding some spice to your social, go for it. Keep it light and have some fun. You might just grab your two days of fame.

How to find a rainbow at the end of a troll storm.

"That's 2017."

This from my 14-year-old daughter, Sofia, in response to my confusion over trolls who litter the Money Diaries website.

Launched in 2016, Money Diaries is a website featuring more than 100 diaries from women who chronicle their spending over a week's time. The writers give an intimate look inside their lives as they share daily choices to work their budgets. Women, mostly Millennial women, are addicted to the site for its authenticity and transparency.

Others love it just to hate it.

Like "Heroic Eye," who wrote this in response to "A Week in New York on a $53,000 Salary:"

"These are not meals. Also, she literally drinks alcohol 6 out of the 7 days she recorded info for this series. There's a hella lot of coffee with not a lot on her stomach (so she can feel awake). And most of the nights she listed, she doesn't get home until 12:30-2:30am (even though the majority of her mornings begin between 7-8am)."

"Fresh Heart" had this to say about the same diary after another reader defended the author.

"Hey — you put it out there in a PUBLIC article, you will get judged. It's not like we're breaking into her apartment and judging her. She wrote it up and published it online for all to read, so shut up. That's asking for judgment."

Blame it on the anonymity of the internet or the juiced up political environment. Whatever the prompt, trolls are inescapable. Even puppies aren't immune. Sofia showed me a YouTube post where a girl proudly introduced her new ball of canine cuddliness. Someone actually accused her of being a cat-hater.

Even puppies aren't safe from trolls.

If puppy posts aren't safe from scrutiny, neither is your brand. If you're on social media or you host a blog, chances are, you've already met a few trolls.

Campbell's sparked a troll frenzy after featuring a real-life gay couple and their toddler son in an ad. A woman named Jessica from the ultra-conservative group "One Million Moms" sparked the feud, posting on Campbell's Facebook page: "I'm so sick of this homosexual agenda, you sell soup… Please take your ad down or you will not have a company anymore!"

Campbell's responded with a statement supporting families of "different configurations, cultures, races and life choices."

Things got really interesting when someone set up a fake Facebook Page "Campbell For Help" to troll the troller. "My word, Jessica. That's quite a leap. While we at Campbell's Kitchen take pride in being empathetic, we are finding it hard to empathize with your vantage point. Would you just prefer we send you some of our classic tomato soup? It's real soup-er?"

Four tactics to tackle trolls.

You can't count on a white knight troll to save your brand from such attacks. So, if you've not already established a plan to manage negative posts, get to it. Your plan should include at least four basic tactics—watch, ignore, engage and employ.

  1. Watch. Take a deep breath and see if any fans come to your defense. There's nothing better than a loyal fan fighting for your honor.

  2. Ignore it. Sometimes the best course of action is to do nothing at all. This is especially true when the troll's comments are especially outlandish. Your followers know the difference between a rant and a true injustice. You're a big brand. You can take a few hits without damaging your reputation. For courage, visit the social media channels of airlines, hospital systems and utility companies. Pacific Gas & Electric didn't engage with the conversation below, however tempting.

  3. Engage with it. When people feel wronged today, they're more likely to post on social media than pick up the phone. If you're in the business of serving customers, your Facebook page is most importantly an extension of your customer service team. Customers expect swift and thoughtful action.

    When your brand is in the wrong, own up to it and use the opportunity to deepen your customer relationships. Kroger gets it. The community managers there are prompt and courteous. The proof is in the posts. Once the team responds, most conversations are wrapped up in a tidy bow. Here's just one of hundreds of recent exchanges:

  4. Learn from it. In addition to vanity metrics—likes, shares, follows—brands should be using social media to manage customer satisfaction and referrals. Your social following is a living, consuming focus group. Use their input to discover flaws and realize opportunities. Find the rainbow at the end of a troll storm. Cue Target.

    When the superstore announced plans to scrub stores of extraneous gender-based signage—boys' toys, girls' bedding, etc.—the trolls marched all over Target's Facebook Page, fuming about political correctness and threatening boycott.

    Target followed up months later with another controversial move, welcoming customers to use the bathroom and fitting room in accordance with their gender identities.The bold move was likely advanced, in part, by the enormous support the retailer received on social after the earlier gender-neutral signage brouhaha. The waters had been tested. They were ready to go full inclusion, knowing full well that it would ignite a vigorous social media debate.

Got a troll nipping at your brand? Use it to the best of your brand's ability. Need help managing your social media channels? These apps are a good start.

Money Diaries is the Millennial woman's Bridget Jones.

Money Diaries is the Millennial woman's Bridget Jones.

I wonder what’s in her wallet?

That’s the gist “Money Diaries” at Refinery29, a New York-based website that publishes the daily personal financial decisions of Millennial women. Think Bridget Jones Diaries for the gal who cares more about stretching a dollar than a donut.

For those unfamiliar with the fictional Bridget Jones, she measured a day’s success based on the amount of calories, alcohol and cigarettes she consumed. She’d chronicle her intake painstakingly—and defensively—like this account marked January 1:

“129 lbs. (but post-Christmas), alcohol units 14 (but effectively covers 2 days as 4 hours of party was on New Year's Day), cigarettes 22, calories 5424.”

Money Diaries features a seven-day snapshot of mostly Millennial women as they work assorted budgets in mostly high-end cities. The site presently features a recent grad who struggles to live on a $50,000 ($2,430/month) in New York City. A sample entry:

“I stop in CVS to pick up toothbrushes, toothpaste, and my birth control. Unfortunately, my health insurance doesn't cover my particular birth control, so I have to pay out-of-pocket every month. It's getting expensive, so I make a mental note to call my gynecologist this week to talk about other options. (Hello, IUD!) $84.13.”

Launched in 2016, Money Diaries hosts more than 100 diaries of women with various income levels and lifestyles—salaried, interns, students, travelers, mothers and brides-to-be. Followers live vicariously through the protagonists’ money decisions (Starbucks or free work coffee?). Some readers even weigh in, posting to The Conversation. Like this one from “Peaceful Phone:”

“I admire your decisions to pay off your student loans so quickly! I'm too nervous to give up the money I saved while living at home. It's nice to have a cushion for those unexpected expenses, but these student loans are brutal.”

Money has long been a sensitive, even taboo topic. The popularity of Money Diaries suggests that today’s Millennial women are ready, if not eager, to talk candidly about personal finance. This spells opportunity for banks and credit unions to build trust and confidence with this desirable cohort.

Not sure where to begin? First, get better acquainted with the Millennial woman. Get to know her preferences, values and key purchasing motivators. This blog is a good place to start.

Blog Category: 

Marketing Statement - Second Quarter 2017

Want to build your Millennial market share? Stop thinking like a Boomer. Sure they may get a little monthly stipend from mom and dad, but that in no way implies that they bank like their parents. They're using utility bill history to apply for loans and lurking in financial fiction for advice and inspiration. And just when you thought you’d figured out their fave social platform they get all post shy and feed sensitive. When all else fails, invest in blogs. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Millennials find clever ways to finance life. No score, no savings, no sweat. Plucky Millennials will find a way to finance that purchase and invest in themselves—with a little help from mom and dad.

5 fast facts about Millennials' financial habits. Bonus for Millennial singles. They also double as pickup lines. So, what’s your credit score? Shop here often? Tell me your latest Story and I’ll tell you mine.

Forget Bridget Jones. Millennial women prefer to know how you spend your money than your calories. Fans of "Money Diaries" at Refinery29, a New York-based website, pore over the routine financial minutiae of strangers' lives like your grandma working a Sudoku.

African Americans and banks: It's complicated. There are many reasons African Americans are more likely to be unbanked or underbanked. Here are three ways credit unions and banks can start making important inroads.

QUICK study

Hold that post. Social media users are scaling back. Blame it on the election. Or one too many tags. Some have comment remorse. All of this and more is giving users pause to reflect before sharing. What’s it mean for your brand?

Facebook and Google are losing the war against ad-blockers. Today, 11 percent of users have ad-blocking software. Male Millennial techies are partly responsible for the surge, but not totally. Is your target audience blocking your bits? How to win them back.

Is your banking investing in blogs? Content is kind of like that compounding interest your member service reps preach to young savers about. Get started or get better with 8 things every blogger must know.

SHARPEN the saw

Show then tell. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide, "Communicating with Visuals."

START a conversation

Share the Marketing Statement. Tell two friends. And so on.

5 fast facts about Millennials' financial habits.

5 fast facts about Millennials' financial habits.

With a median household income of $40,581, Millennials earn 20 percent less than their boomer parents did at the same age. Student debt is higher, home ownership is lower and spending habits are incredibly unique. Gone are the days of “stuff” and in are the days of experiences and saving, saving, saving. Confused about this cohort? Here are five fast facts about Millennial’s financial habits:

  1. Millennials are avid online shoppers. While this isn’t new, what they’re shopping for is. Millennials are now purchasing their necessities online vs. in-store to cut down on additional spending. Millennials are ordering toilet paper, toothpaste and other everyday items from sites like Amazon. “It’s no wonder we’re spending less at brick and mortar stores when it’s so much easier to buy just what we need when we purchase online.”
  2. They spend less on “stuff” and more on experiences. According to CEB Iconoculture research, this audience’s key differentiating values include adventure, expertise, creativity and ambition. Millennials are very interested in new experiences and building their life stories. Social platforms like Snapchat, Instagram and even Facebook have adapted this value system with their Stories feature and capabilities. Millennials and users alike are encouraged to share their stories and experiences. Who doesn’t want to try an escape room? Fowling? Goat yoga? Millennials live for experiences that they can add to their repertoire.
  3. Millennials save and invest more than boomers. While Millennials are perceived and portrayed as careless, they are actually more careful about how they invest and save their assets. According to Principal Financial Group, 51 percent of Millennials save or invest their money, while only 47 percent of Boomers do the same.
  4. Credit scores matter. According to a recent report, Millennials say credit scores matter…even when they are dating. While some dating apps claim they will match you based on credit scores (okay, that might be going a bit far), Millennials do care about the financial habits and standing of their potential significant other.
  5. Millennials are digital. While some still like writing good old fashioned checks, most will opt to pay or repay friends digitally. Whether they’re splitting restaurant tabs, sharing Lyft rides or paying for other services, Millennials are transferring funds with the tap or swipe of a finger.

Need more on financial marketing insights, sign up for our quarterly Marketing Statement.

Weekly Recap - March 31, 2017

Storytime. Facebook has officially joined the “story” telling bandwagon. It was only a matter of time. The platform joins the ranks of Snapchat and Instagram (its child company). Why? Because 91-100 percent of content published in 2015 contained visuals. And visual based platforms are stepping up their game. Like Pinterest’s new app-installs. Take a look.

DETAILS, please

More ways to share with the Facebook camera. Making it fast, fun and easy for people to share creative photos and videos, Facebook is introducing a version of “stories” for consumers to share.

How visuals will impact marketing in 2017, according to new data. There's a reason most children's books are filled with pictures.

Pinterest is now offering app-install ads to all marketers. One brand is already doubling its spend on the platform.

Meanwhile back at the RANCH

African Americans and banks: It's complicated. African American consumers are focused on achievement and growth—especially when it comes to personal finances. So why are they less likely to have bank accounts?

Sephora makes it beautifully easy to get customer service on social media. At all hours, people of all ages take to social media, the modern-day way to get customer service, with any issue they may have.

THE Topic of conversation

Visual communication. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide "Communicating with Visuals."

SHARING is CARING

Like what you see? Share the Brogan Recap.

Sephora makes it beautifully easy to get customer service on social media.

Sephora makes it beautifully easy to get customer service on social media.

Most people see a social media notification and feel excitement. Someone double tapped their selfie. Or commented on their livestream. Or tagged them in the most topical meme.

But, there are some people who see a social media notification and feel worry. Maybe a little panic. Perhaps even a little dread.

Who exactly are these people? Meet the social media managers of the world. For people in this position, reading online complaints can be an everyday occurrence. And the bigger the brand they work with, the more complaints there can be.

At all hours, people of all ages take to social media, the modern-day way to get customer service, with any issue they may have. And while it’s usually the most convenient method, it’s not always the most efficient.

There’s the reply. Then, there’s usually the need for more information. The forwarding of that information to the appropriate person. The resolving of the issue. And finally, returning back to the social media platform to give the user an update.

Ultimately, it’s a multi-step process that can take multiple hours (or multiple days, depending on how speedy your internal team is).

Surely there’s a way to simplify it, right?

Right.

Enter Sephora—the billion-dollar beauty company. To streamline their customer service on social media, they partnered with CashStar to deliver virtual gift cards, almost instantaneously.

Let’s say a customer tweets about her eye shadow palette breaking apart in transit. Instead of replying to collect all the information that’s needed, then issuing a refund or re-sending the product, Sephora can now tweet her a virtual gift card. Within minutes, she has the means to replace her product at no cost, with almost no wait.

Another benefit? Sephora only pays for the gift cards that are actually redeemed—which means they’re not absorbing the cost of a gift card that goes unused. And since Millennials seem to have a hard time hanging on to them, it could certainly save some dollars. In fact, according to CEB Iconoculture, nearly 40 percent of Millennials have lost a gift card before they had a chance to use it, compared with 25 percent of consumers overall.

So, could virtual gift cards be the way to go? To make things right for unhappy customers, and even to surprise and delight the most loyal?

CashStar, Sephora’s virtual gifting partner, shows there’s been a 51 percent redemption rate for digital gift cards within the first month of activation. (These ones seem a little easier to keep track of!) Compare this to a 33 percent redemption rate for plastic gift cards, and we think we’ve got our answer.

To stay up to date with all the advertising news you need, be sure to subscribe to our Weekly Recap.

African Americans and banks: It's complicated.

African Americans and banks: It's complicated.

Unbanked.

It’s how financial institutions refer to consumers who have no checking or savings account. Those who have an account and interact with payday lenders and other alternative financial services are called “underbanked.”

There’s lots of research connecting unbanked and underbanked to poverty. In other words, consumers with stronger financial institution relationships are generally more financially secure. This because they have access to affordable credit, savings products and resources.

At least a quarter of American households are unbanked or underbanked, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. And nearly half of African American households are unbanked or underbanked.

Why the disparity? According to CEB Iconoculture research, the primary factors are access, assets and attitudes.

Access, assets and attitudes.

Bank branches are generally less convenient to African American consumers (MagnifyMoney Research on Bank Branch Presentation, February 2016). There are 40.6 bank branches for every 100,000 people who live in majority white counties in the U.S., compared to 32 branches located in majority African American counties.

Then there’s the issue of wealth. African American families on average have less household income with which to work. A study released this year by Demos found that African American two-parent families have half the wealth of white single parents. Specifically,

  • The median two-parent black family had $16,000 in wealth.
  • The median single-parent white family had $35,800 in wealth (two-parent white families had $161,300).

These factors and more prompt African American consumers to be more likely to manage their personal finances with little or no outside help, according to CEB Iconoculture research. When asked why they prefer a DIY approach, African American respondents were more likely to point to the following reasons than the total survey audience:

  • My finances are simple (41 percent of African American respondents agreed versus 34 percent of all respondents.)
  • I don’t have much money to manage (35 percent of African American respondents versus 25 percent of all respondents.)
  • I can’t afford personal financial services (24 percent of African American respondents versus 19 percent of all respondents

Three ways banks and credit unions can help the unbanked and underbanked.

How can banks and credit unions connect to the underserved market? Flip the challenges and follow consumer values.

  1. Promote mobile banking. Mobile banking can help underserved consumers gain more access to financial services, according to an FDIC study. In addition to added convenience, mobile banking can give consumers greater control over finances. Alerts and tracking tools make it easier to avoid fees and track finances. First banks and credit unions must convince consumers that it’s safe to open an account online, which has thus far proven challenging.
     
  2. Become a trusted advisor. Trust is the foundation of every healthy relationship and imperative when money is involved. When it comes to financial services, African Americans consumers have practical expectations, according to CEB Iconoculture research. They are: do a good job managing my money, provide transparency, security and stick to the products and services that I need. Finally, demonstrate success.
     
  3. Accentuate the positive. The values most positively differentiated for African Americans compared to all U.S. consumers can provide important insights. They are belief, individuality, ambition and growth—ostensibly individual achievement and growth. African American Millennials tend to be more optimistic than their peers, according to a study by Richards/Lema and the University of Texas, Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations.

Sign up for the free Brogan Marketing Statement for quarterly news and insights about financial services marketing.

Millennials find clever ways to finance life.

Millennials find clever ways to finance life.

Young, cash-strapped Millennials are leaning on their parents for help today. Still they’re not letting old-fashioned barriers like credit scores stand in the way of big purchases. Meanwhile, their affluent counterparts are using robo-advisers to build their next eggs.

Millennials aren’t the first generation to tap the Bank of ‘Rents. But they’re particularly sensitive about the handouts, according to CEB Iconoculture research.

Forty percent of young 20-somethings living away from home after school receive an average $3,000 annually from their parents, per a study reported in the New York Times. Those who live in the city get almost $1,000 more a year in support than those who live in rural areas.

Parental support varies by career pursuits. For example, right-side brainers tend to be more needy than left siders, according to the research. Of those who regularly receive financial assistance:

  • 53 percent work in the arts and design world
  • 37 percent work in healthcare
  • 30 percent work in blue-collar jobs
  • 29 percent work in personal services

No credit? No problem.

When Millennials do need credit, they’re not letting a little thing like credit score get in the way.

A pilot program launched by Fair Isaac, the company behind FICO, lets consumers with no credit history use utility bill payment history instead. SoFi and Float are also rewriting lending rules, enabling young adults to apply for emergency loans and mortgages without the benefit of credit history.

Float bases its lending decisions on bank transactions for the two past years. This lets credit newbies get into the game and saves Float the expense of pulling FICO data.

Millennials build nest eggs with algorithms.

Millennials are investing differently too, thanks to plucky internet startups and trusty algorithms.

For as little as a few bucks a month, online companies like Stash and WiseBanyan enable investors to start building their nest eggs.

Stash invites users to learn how to invest in themselves by selecting companies that complement their lifestyle and aspirations. They even have examples of investors who might look like you—the activist, the techie, the globetrotter and the trendsetter. Each persona includes a tidy sample portfolio.

$1 buys investors a seat at the table at WiseBanyan, where basic accounts are free and clients upgrade to fee-for-service only when necessary. Like Stash, the content is very accessible and easily digestible. It’s investing for the every man.

Millennials will find a way.

Whether scraping together enough money to pay the rent or planning retirement, Millennials will find a way. For brands to connect, they have to first understand the financial challenges Millennials are wrestling with. Younger Millennials (22-29 in 2017) are in the midst of quarter-life, reflecting on student loan debt, career choices, relationships and zip codes. Older Millennials (30-39 in 2017) are confronting marriage, parenthood and homeownership. Some have even flipped the script with their parents, providing them financial assistance.

Now, get plucky—Millennial style. Don’t expect them to be shoe-horned into traditional products and services. They’ll look elsewhere. Think convenience, flexibility and practicality. And if it can be accessed via smartphone, all the better. Stymied? Go to the source for inspiration. Host a brainstorming session with Millennial staffers or customers. Start by asking them what financial issues keep them up at night and advance to solutions.

Interested in more on the financial marketing front? Subscribe to our free quarterly newsletter, Marketing Statement.

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Client Hurrahs

  • Brogan & Partners has worked on a wide variety of health issues for us over the years. They have not only consistently provided innovative ideas and award winning campaigns, but they continue to help us work towards our overall goal of improving the health of Michigan residents.  Their creativity, expertise, and enthusiasm makes them an invaluable partner in our... More

  • Hiring Brogan & Partners to help Michigan Women’s Foundation create the brand and messaging around the campaign to raise millions of dollars to solve the backlog of untested rape kits in Detroit was a slam dunk!  With a well-deserved reputation for getting to the heart of complex and highly-charged issues with clear, action-driven communications, the Brogan team... More

  • A well-oiled machine operates at full performance, fluid and unyielding. At Frankenmuth Insurance we have often referred to Brogan & Partners as a well-oiled machine. Our experience with Brogan has been very strong and successful from the start. We view our partners at Brogan as an extension of our own staff. They are readily available to us at any time and deliver... More

  • When launching a startup, resources are very constrained and a startup has to pick its partners very carefully and with deliberation. There were many services that we have had to forego in the early stages of our company, Memloom. One crucial need, however, was identifying and aligning with a strong marketing partner who could help us with our brand, positioning and... More

  • We have been working with the Brogan team for the past 18 months. The Brogan team has truly been our marketing partner. They guided us through development our brand and messaging. They lead our our website redesign and deployment. And they provide excellent counsel on business development and market entry strategies. More

  • From the very first meeting we had with Brogan & Partners, it was clear that they had done their research on PREZIO Health, our competitors and the industry.  It has been  a very positive experience working with the Brogan & Partners team to re-design all of our service and product sheets as well as the total re-design of our website.  Their creativity is top-... More

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