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Conair courts millennials with new approaches to displays, messaging


Millennials present challenges to marketers. They use multiple devices, sometimes simultaneously, making them harder to reach than individuals in other demographic groups. They engage with social media to a higher degree than any other demographic group. This audience wants to be heard; social listening, as well as conversational marketing, can provide insights for product functionality and messaging.

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These are among conclusions Conair has drawn as it continues to undertake initiatives aimed at addressing the New General Market and its needs. Paulette Heller, VP marketing, noted that the in-store experience, too, is important to millennial New General Market customers, because they are very visual and like to interact with products, as well as with their mobile device, while shopping to search for information, reviews or coupon offers. With this in mind, Conair has just launched its Virtual Hairstyle Makeover Tool in conjunction with ModiFace. The tool allows consumers to engage with the brand while shopping, seeing how they look with different hairstyles, as well as experimenting with and customizing their own looks. They can then purchase the appropriate styling tool to replicate the look or looks they have created at home.

“Most of these consumers are shopping and using their phones, so we have to figure out how to bridge that gap between digital and physical space,” Heller said. “We really try to engage the customer from a visual standpoint and to have consistency between what they see online and what they see in the store.”

Toward the same end, the company is leveraging touch-and-feel displays where all customers can pick up and “play” with its selection of styling tools. “For our category of product, displays of this kind play a key role in the purchase decision, and they can impact sales significantly,” Heller observed. These visual and tactile displays are also effective because customers like to hold the product and feel the weight of the tool, Heller observed.

But while achieving a look remains of major importance to millennials, they clearly have a more holistic approach to beauty, according to Heller. Maintaining healthy hair, Conair has discovered, is as much of a concern to consumers in the New General Market as finding the right hairstyle. In keeping with this trend, the company followed up the initial launch of its 3Q Brushless Motor Hairdryer with a change in its messaging. The new messaging highlighted the benefits of fast drying with lower temperatures to protect hair from heat damage, leveraging such features as up to 70% more air pressure, as well as ionic technology for enhanced shine and up to 75% less frizz compared with hair dryers with natural ionization. The revised messaging helped to increase sales for the 3Q hairdryer, Heller said.

Because the 3Q ranks among higher-priced options in the hair dryer category, Conair goes the extra mile to support its value proposition with a high volume of online education. Using influencers on YouTube and Instagram, as well as online reviews, lends credibility to the performance and benefits of the product, especially with the New General Market audience, Heller said.

She added that over time, Conair has discovered that certain products will “over-index” with millennials based on ethnicity, hair type and climate. “We have been working with retailers to customize assortments, and to provide the right product to the consumer who is most likely to purchase it,” Heller concluded.

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