How Bookstagrammers Are Working With Brands To Reach Young Consumers

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Bookstagrammers are inspiring their followers, and the publishing industry is teaming up with these niche influencers to win over young readers...

Remember when everyone was predicting that print would die out? That turned out to be nothing but a scary bedtime story. The NPD Group recently reported that sales of print books rose 2% for the first half of 2018, adding on to the 1.9% growth they reported last year (which was a 10.8% surge from 2013). Meanwhile, ebook sales are slumping. They dropped 4.8% for the first six months of this year, according to the American Publishers Association, putting them well on their way to dropping the same 10% in sales they did last year. Audiobooks, however, have seen a steady incline of listeners: The Pew Research Center found that the number of 18-29-year-olds who listen to audiobooks has risen from 16% in 2016 to 23% in 2017. But listening to books is still a niche activity when compared to print. Ypulse data shows that 56% of 13-35-year-olds enjoy reading books, 38% read books in their free time for pleasure, and 23% of 13-36-year-olds spend money on books in a normal month. Just take it from one 26-year-old female: “Books inspire [an] experience that can't be replicated by anything digital.”

But despite reading being one of Millennials’ and Gen Z’s biggest offline hobbies, traditional bookstores are struggling to find ways to market to young demos, as indie retailers and Amazon take more market share. Barnes & Noble’s woes are weighing heavily on the industry. The bookstore’s plan for bouncing back with new, revamped locations with surprisingly expensive in-store restaurants reportedly aren’t working. One chairman called the bottom lines of the experiential marketing move “awful.”

How Bookstagrammers Are Working With Brands To Reach Young Consumers_Main_Millennial ResearchWhat the book industry should be doing is looking to Instagram,…

 
 

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Quote of the Day: “Time I could be sleeping is time I spend on social media. It's now part of my waking up and going to sleep routine and, for those reasons, I'm feeling done with social media."—Male, 24, CA

MasterCard created an audio-only logo for Generation Voice Activated. The finance brand has debuted a sound they’ll play when people check out using their MasterCard. YPulse data shows that 29% of 18-36-year-olds own a smart speaker device, and that number is only expected to grow along with the use of other audio-activated devices. MasterCard wants to make their brand memorable without visual cues to tap into the $40 billion in revenue voice shopping is expected to generate by 2022. (Fast Company)

Brands are acting uncannily human on Twitter—is it working? Many brands (mainly the food and beverage kind) are “behav[ing] like real people with idiosyncratic personalities” on social media to connect with young consumers. This allows them to “stand out it in a crowded marketplace," explains one marketing professor. And Twitter users are engaging: from Sunny D to Steak-umm, brands are going viral for nihilist, and even depressing, first-person posts. (Vice)

Millennials are buying more greeting cards this Valentine’s Day. The National Retail Federation estimates the industry made as much as $933 million yesterday, compared to $894 million last year. Experts say that Millennials are behind the boost as they buy more expensive, albeit fewer, cards that often have personalized flourishes and functions (like audio). They’re also opting for IRL cards over e-cards because, as one enthusiast explains, "I like giving cards because you can hold it, unlike a text or email.” (NPR)

Brands went beyond romantic messaging for Valentine’s Day this year. Some catered to Millennials’ Treat Yo’Self mentality with collaborations like Tinder and Homesick’s “Single, Not Sorry” candle, while others celebrated Galentine’s Day. Target stocked themed decorations for those hosting girls-only get-togethers and Kay Jewelers set aside a site category for Galentine’s Day gifts. Finally, the NRF estimates that pet owners spent $886 million on their furry friends on Valentine’s Day, and retailers like PetSmart advertised accordingly. (ContentStandard)

More college grads are taking on retail jobs as stores up the ante for new hires. Yes, the trend is fueled by student debt and other financial factors, but also because stores that focus on experience expect more than ever from their customer service reps. Workers at Sweaty Betty, Everlane, and Warby Parker are reportedly trained with workshops, tests, and homework. But while, as one expert explains, “Customers are also coming in with much higher expectations of what level of service they’re going to receive,” retail wages aren’t keeping pace. (Refinery29)

Quote of the Day: “The best thing about social media is to connect with people across geographical boundaries and cultures. I love interacting with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”—Female, 22, PA

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