yvon richardson

Yvonne Richardson is a marketing consultant and senior lecturer on Fashion Marketing and Branding at
Nottingham Trent University, with a specialisation in consumer behaviour and innovation. Her multi-disciplinary background includes more than 20 years of experience in brand marketing and planning with senior positions held within prominent blue chip international companies within the beauty and healthcare industries.

On winning brand loyalty with Generation Z…
“More than their predecessors, this younger generation desires opportunities to interact with brands and wants brands to allow them to influence their products. They are the content creation generation. Thinking about what this generation want most – they want honesty, personalisation and involvement. Giving them an opportunity to get involved via co-creation, you meet their intrinsic needs to stamp their mark on brands, make a real difference and actually customise their experience. The upside of this for brands is that you get their attention and if done well, their loyalty.”

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On the potential pitfalls of doing co-creation badly…
“I think there is a danger of co-creation being abused and brands jumping on the band-wagon. Co-creation is about letting in the right people for the right challenge. In the area of innovation for example, you need to target the right co-creators rather than taking a blanket approach. All consumers are not equal when it comes to innovation and tapping into the ideas of Mr and Mrs average may lack richness and originality. In the early stages of innovation, tapping into early adopter and innovators will be more effective in generating new and original ideas.”

On the ‘UGC bandwagon’…
“Another watch-out is brands jumping on the bandwagon and just curating user generated content (UGC) and hashtag campaigns to create buzz. Where these activities fall short is that they don’t truly satisfy millennials’ and Gen Z’s desire to actually create. This is a generation who are incredibly marketing savvy and hard to please. They want to know what’s in it for them, they want to feel special and get recognition. The message to brands here is exploit this generation at your peril!”

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On the challenges of connecting to ‘Generation Me’…
“Today’s consumers are bombarded with more commercial messages than ever and have learned to filter these messages by using ad blockers, etc. Research suggests that these digital natives don’t like being advertised to explicitly; that they don’t like the pushy and inauthentic nature of a lot of traditional advertising. From a brand perspective one of the challenges this creates therefore is how to connect with this group and cut through the clutter. Another stereotype often levied at this ‘younger generation’ is that they are ‘generation me’, fuelled by social media and the numerous opportunities it creates for self-promotion and reflection. This is a generation that has grown up used to having their voices heard. Whilst not all millennial stereotypes hold up to closer examination, this generation really did grow up being told they were special and their opinions matter.”

“Thinking about what this generation want most –
they want honesty, personalisation and involvement.”

Michael Wylie-Harris

Author Michael Wylie-Harris

Marketeer /co-creation specialist with background in advertising and branding. 10 years experience working with agencies and brands like Coca-cola, Unilever and Adidas.

More posts by Michael Wylie-Harris

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