Kansas City is ranked as one of the largest developing areas for businesses, drawing thousands of millennials to the area. With future job growth over the next ten years predicted to be at a staggering 37.3 percent according to Best Place, new businesses are popping up nearly every week offering new and exciting ways to engage their most influential consumers: millennials.
Scheels, which recently opened a new storefront in Kansas City, knew from the get go it would have to incorporate innovative new marketing strategies that include the surprise and delight elements that millennials crave in order to combat the already established market leader, Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Since the opening, Scheels has quickly revolutionized the game of Marketing to Millennials™, generating an enormous amount of hype for a category that usually would not be frequented by anyone except the avid hunter or sportsman. Not only did Scheels bring in consumers with an array of promotions, but it also took over Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter by offering plenty of interactive brand experience opportunities throughout the store like pop-up photo booths in various isles (conveniently printed with the brand’s signature) for millennial shoppers to take their much-loved selfies. During my visit to the store, I was astonished to see a life-sized Ferris wheel placed strategically at the entrance.
While not everyone has the ability to implement an amusement park ride in their location, the surprise elements a business can incorporate to get people talking about their brand is a victory for their WOM channeling. Throughout the store there were also opportunities to participate in baseball, golf, football, basketball, bowling and even shooting game simulations. A brand that can effectively engage and create an experiential memory for their consumer is perceived to be more personable than one that spends valuable monetary resources on traditional print advertisements.
Today, traditional retail brands, like Scheels, are starting to align with new schemas that utilize one of the most successful methods to engage Generation Y. The secret, hidden inside oversized iPhones and updated tablets, is social media. Social media outlets, such as Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat, are quickly becoming the go-to platform for younger millennials and give them the ability to share their brand experiences with their networks. To be competitive in the overall market, a business must first be competitive on the right social media platforms and provide opportunities for young consumers to share their brand interactions with their friends in both the physical and digital space.
Social media is on the rise with no plans of being stopped anytime soon. Studies by DMR show that on twitter, 81 percent of millennials check a microblogging site at least once a day, and out of 100 million daily Snapchatters, 77 percent are under the age of 34. With such an extensive reach, it is easy to see why any business that hopes to engage a younger audience should invest resources to create interactive social experiences that are easily shareable on digital networks. Scheels is a leader in the race toward winning the millennial audience, and as Generation Y continues to change the market, business-marketing strategy should as well.