It’s no longer enough to design a space that’s suitable, bland, and not much else.  New generations are looking for something more, and you should be, too. Marketing and design are no longer separate fields, with branding efforts dropped onto a design afterwards like sprinkles on a cake. Your brand has to be baked into the design, added at the beginning of the recipe.

That’s the key to brand activation and real engagement with millennials. Brand activation happens when you create a strong connection between a product and a consumer, but in this case, it’s between your design and the consumer. Brand activation connects you to your consumer and helps build loyalty and community around your brand.

This sounds great in theory, but how do you do that in practice—especially through a design?

Stay Authentic

Your brand’s level of authenticity can make or break your brand activation aspirations. It’s nearly impossible to fake authenticity, especially when it comes to millennials. This is a new, tech savvy generation that’s grown up in a world of online advertisements and instant fact-checking. For brand activation to happen, you have to stay authentic in your design and your branding. Consumers can tell when a design is just trying to hit all the latest buzzwords and trends. Spaces that try to be creative, but lack authenticity, can be a turnoff for millennials who are looking to make a real connection with their brands.

Create An Experience

The design itself should help to create an experience for millennials. If that experience is “bland, forgettable space with no real effect” then that’s what they will associate with your brand, if they even think about your brand at all. You certainly won’t see brand activation from millennial consumers. When you incorporate your branding into your design, you create a space that says something, that provides an experience, that engages with its users.

Design For The Customer

The top down approach to design is dead. Or at least it should be. Now is not the time to dictate how a space should look and feel, and then expect that to space to help you achieve brand activation. Impersonal, cookie-cutter designs are anathema to millennials, and it’s essential for your brand to avoid those designs at all costs. A design today has to be based around what the customer is asking for, what they want from the space. If you can do that, you’ll end up with the unique and authentic designs that drive great experiences and connect people with your brand at the same time.

At MADE, we understand what it takes to connect with millennials and bring about brand activation through design. Today’s consumers are not their parents. They’re not even their older cousins. They’re a different type of consumer with different expectations regarding the spaces they live and work in. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you reach those consumers through innovative marketing and design.