Millennial Migration: What Will Happen to Branded and Curated Content?

Millennial Migration: What Will Happen to Branded and Curated Content?

As I sat at my undergraduate graduation this past weekend, I saw hundreds of my peers taking photos, Instagramming, Snapchatting, and posting photos to other social media sites. A quick glance through my various social media timelines confirmed my suspicion. Their actions were not simply to capture memories but to share a change in their social status with the digital world.

For Millennials, the act of posting photos to social media is a chance for instant gratification. Quantified by likes and comments, memories have evolved far from the old shoebox in which my parents used to store 4×6 photo prints. With so much thought devoted to the caption and composition of each photo uploaded to social media, it is easy to understand why little thought is given to the future of said content.

Similar to the migration of downloaded music to streaming (this reference definitely labels me as a Millennial because I said “downloaded music”, and not CD’s), social media usage trends are bound to change with the demands of future generations. What will happen to all of the memories that my peers deposited on Facebook? Will they be lost forever when platform use declines? Will an entrepreneur charge to migrate and reformat digital content?

While I do not have immediate answers to the questions I posed above, I do foresee a major challenge for brands that invest heavily in their digital brand across the most popular social media platforms. Simply posting branded content and investing heavily in digital brand management is not enough as culture rapidly advances into an uncertain digital abyss. Millennials are known for varying heavily in preferences depending on the day and social climate.

Gen Y’s behavior is driven by an innate desire to stay in the know and on top of current trends. Shouldn’t brands and digital content producers do the same? It is important for brands to choose their digital investments wisely in the coming years as what is popular today may not be in six months.

It would be a shame for thousands of dollars of branded and curated digital content housed on social media platforms to be lost because of a brand’s inability to keep up with consumer trends and preferences. I’d suggest that brands and individuals refrain from investing all of their money and memories so heavily into just one or two social media platforms. It’s hard to tell a consistent story when the content that contributed greatly to the company’s advertising economies of scale is inaccessible or rarely viewed on an extinct platform.

For all of you social media and brand managers out there, heed this message: monitor your consumers’ media consumption habits and platforms, and be prepared to migrate curated and branded content from platform to platform. Afterall, it’s called brand management, not brand sit back and watch!

Garrett Meccariello is an aspiring brand strategist and researcher based out of NYC. In his free time he can be found building the next great brand, exploring the city, and eating a lot of cured meat and cheese.

Photo Credit

Millennial Minute: The Degradation of United’s Brand in 11 Memes

Millennial Minute: The Degradation of United’s Brand in 11 Memes

I had originally planned on writing an in depth piece covering the latest United Airlines fiasco, but it occurred to me that this situation calls for a visual representation of the degradation of their legacy airline brand. United is a hallmark example of a brand that has yet to understand millennial consumers. If this was observation was not evident when they banned two female teenage passengers from wearing leggings aboard a plane (on an award ticket), it has to be now.

I will not delve into the politics and practices of the airline, but will briefly touch upon their response to the latest explosive situation. Rather than getting ahead of the “internet” (referring to the trolls and meme lords) and issuing an authentic apology, the brand defended their gate agent’s decision and refused to budge on their corporate stance. In the short time following the incident, thousands of likes, shares, and comments were traded on social media platforms that placed the brand in an unflattering light. As if the brand hadn’t already faced issues with attracting millennial fliers, they managed to turn thousands of them into enemies overnight. Individuals who may have been considered passive or non-rejectors of the brand have been exposed to this brand-damaging content every time they scroll through their social media feeds. This exposure builds to create subconscious brand biases that ultimately influence consumer-buying behavior.

“Give the Internet a meme, and they’ll laugh for a day. Teach the Internet to utilize an open source template for creating and sharing memes, and they’ll laugh for a week.”

Take a look at the top memes below:

Garrett Meccariello is an aspiring brand strategist and researcher based out of NYC. In his free time he can be found building the next great brand, exploring the city, and eating a lot of cured meat and cheese.

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At The Peak of Marketing Automation, A Thank You Note Won My Business

At The Peak of Marketing Automation, A Thank You Note Won My Business

As I a college student, I can often be described as the two dreaded “b’s”: busy and broke.

With all of the demands placed on us students from both their educational and financial responsibilities, it is sometimes hard to justify spending little, if any money on enhancing our style and standard of living. Having taken a trip to Europe recently, I was reminded that life is worth enjoying, whether it is drinking a handcrafted cocktail, having a nice shave in the comfort of your own home, or showing up to the party looking as dapper as possible.

When I saw an ad on social media for Bespoke Post, I was immediately drawn by their approach of monthly-curated box shipments that enhance one aspect of a man’s daily style or routine one month at a time. To top it off, they are one of the only companies in the space that allow you to skip that month’s selection if you don’t think it fits your personality, or to choose another package that better fits your needs, all for $45.

A few of Bespoke Post’s Monthly Box Selections

Whoa. Did the hungry college student who enjoys selecting the chicken over beef flavored ramen noodle packets just say that he was drawn to a monthly box subscription totaling over $500 annually? You betchya.

Was it the persistent social media remarketing, the nurture emails, or the easily identifiable content that reassured me that I made the right decision in enhancing my style? No, quite frankly it was none of that. Rather, it was a long forgotten marketing communication tool that stopped me from canceling my membership: a handwritten thank you note.


Today, over 79% of top-performing company websites use some sort of marketing automation software to capture customer data, and nurture potential buyers into customers. While Bespoke Post employs these tools in their arsenal, they also align their communication channels seamlessly with their brand using the very underappreciated thank you note.

This handwritten note arrived in my mailbox shortly after my first monthly box subscription arrived, and immediately brought back the nostalgia of my grandfather following up his tri-annual visits with a handwritten thank you note.

The class and eloquence that Bespoke Post portrays in their brand’s product offering is represented across their delight phase of the buyer purchase cycle, and seamlessly integrated into their customer communications program. They could have easily chosen to follow up my box receipt with a stock thank you email; instead their handwritten thank you note sealed the metaphorical deal in justifying my monthly box subscription.


It is easy for digital marketers to assume that sending a follow up email is “enough” after a sale, but when you curate high class products and accessories, is there any other way to better deliver your brand promise and message to the customer?

Marketers: take note. Bespoke Post is a prime example of a company that expertly integrated their USP and brand promise into their marketing communication mix. This ensures customer retention (for me at least) via an extension of their style into their post conversion communication strategy.

Garrett Meccariello is an aspiring brand manager based out of NYC. In his free time he can be found building the next great brand, exploring the city, and eating a lot of cured meat and cheese.

Disclaimer: I was not paid nor compensated for this blog post.

Loyalty Program Devaluation Lessens Brand Loyalty

Loyalty Program Devaluation Lessens Brand Loyalty

As a marketer obsessed with brands, it is easy to understand why I fell in love with loyalty programs at such a young age. I remember the first time my mother introduced me to Starbucks, a worldwide purveyor of coffee and pioneer of the growing American coffee shop culture. My mother, a self proclaimed coffee junkie, refuses to “Get her fix” from anywhere besides the green mermaid. In early 2008, her coffee addiction awarded her a Starbucks Gold Card, a significant milestone given to the most loyal of customers. Back in 2008, I wasn’t aware of this significance for loyal customers who spent well over Starbucks’ expected customer life amount in a matter of months. When paying with her brand new gold card, I was amazed that a huge company, with thousands of locations, would recognize my mother for being such a loyal customer.loyalty_infographic1As of late, it seems that the Starbucks Gold Tier rewards program has lost its way. Pre-April 12th 2016, earning “Gold” status required 30 visits within one calendar year, regardless of dollar amount spent. The new Starbucks rewards program modeled the one utilized by Dunkin Donuts. Rather than include their own loyalty model with the new offering, Starbucks wiped away the frequency rewards in favor of the dollar-spent model. Essentially, anyone who spends $62.50 or more will instantly be awarded the perks of Gold status regardless of how long you’ve been a loyal customer.screen-shot-2016-03-07-at-8-20-46-pm

Under the old rewards program, anyone who made 30 purchases in a calendar year was awarded gold status. This devaluation caused a large uproar from current gold members who threatened to frequent Dunkin Donuts in favor of a brand that maintains their rewards status quo. With some critics of the program saying Starbuck’s previous rewards program was overvalued since the start, this devaluation, essentially returning it to an industry standard valuation, wasn’t much of a change. While the program now rewards customers for dollars spent, there is a lingering feeling of distrust between the ex elite and the coffee giant.images-1.pngTaking advantage of the strife felt by Starbucks gold members, Dunkin Donuts fired right back. Dunkin sought to capitalize on its own successful loyalty program to capture disgruntled customer’s business through clever social media campaigns. It worked.images.pngThe rise of loyalty programs has become both a blessing and a curse. Often, those customers in the higher echelons of loyalty programs feel a larger sense of entitlement. This feeling of entitlement, speaking in terms of bringing a rewards program valuation back to industry standards from an inflated high, offended long time clients who enjoyed their exclusive-elite status. In a time when one person’s dollar is worth the same as the next, it is up to large brands to create loyalty programs for their frequent visitors and generate demand for their products. With customer acquisition costs skyrocketing, companies such as Starbucks can’t afford to lose market share simply because the company overvalued its rewards program and only now decided to make such a drastic devaluation. A devaluation intended to increase brand engagement and reach can backfire on those who supported the initial rewards program, propelling them to choose to frequent competitors who have listened to the call of the consumer. The importance of creating and retaining a higher-level loyalty program for members that will be sustainable throughout the growth of the business is becoming more and more important in today’s customer centric world.images.jpeg

Garrett Meccariello is an aspiring brand manager based out of NYC. In his free time he can be found building the next great brand, exploring the city, and eating a lot of cured meat and cheese.


Elevator Pitches Are Dead. Here’s why:

Elevator Pitches Are Dead. Here’s why:

The last time I stepped onto an elevator in a corporate office, I wasn’t asked to explain my life, my accomplishments or my aspirations in under sixty seconds by an executive as we rode up to our respective floors. Instead, we both stepped into the car and immediately withdrew our phones from our pockets, beginning the ritual of self- isolation by checking email, social media notifications, and Yelping for the hottest dinner spot that night. Striking up a conversation with the person standing next to you has become a thing of the past. We now choose to avoid communication with others in favor of falling into the fallacy of a digital comfort zone that exists inside of our cell phones.


It is time for millennials to modernize their skill set. Prospective hires must adapt to changing market trends and capitalize on the digital real estate that encompasses every possible touch point that a hiring team will have with your online personal brand. You are more likely to have to describe yourself in under 156 characters rather than a 60 second pitch.

Today, striking up a conversation with those around you seems like it belongs in the graveyard of social interaction. So how can millennial job seekers convey their personal brand in this current state? Chances are, before you step into that elevator delivering you to your first job interview, an HR staffer has already conducted a basic Google search to ensure that the accolades on your resume are valid and that you do not exhibit poor personal brand management on social media platforms. When Google searches are conducted, their search algorithms pull up websites whose content matches the keywords used by the searcher. Google, like every other search engine, primarily relies on the webpage’s Meta description to match the relevant content with the original keywords used by the searcher. The meta-description is comprised of 156 characters that are embedded strategically in the websites HTML code, invisible on the website page yet highly important when ranking in a search engine query. Websites without purposely placed Meta descriptions extract the first 156 characters of text on the webpage.

An example of a properly formatted meta description.

Gone are the days of a 60 second elevator pitch. We now live in a world of character limitations and web presence that have become the deciding factor in whether future leaders are hired by today’s companies.

The charge to millennial job seekers is this: challenge yourself further to be able to describe your life in the form of a tweet, not just in a Meta description format. This 140-character limitation forces you to think creatively. If asked by an employer to describe yourself, providing concise creative tweets about yourself as an example demonstrates your knowledge of current social media trends. If seeking employment in a marketing or brand management role, you will be able to demonstrate best practices in SEO/SEM and social media strategy right on the top of your resume or personal website. This is another way to differentiate yourself from the competition.

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Prominently display your Me in a Tweet on your profile.

Differentiate yourself from everyone else. Don’t be afraid to be different when developing and showcasing your own personal brand. Check back weekly for more brand management tips and insights here.

Garrett Meccariello is an aspiring brand manager based out of NYC. In his free time he can be found building the next great brand, exploring the city, and eating a lot of cured meat and cheese.