Why are brands dying to take a bite out of Millennial makers?
Halloween is now the second-highest grossing holiday, driving $6.9 billion in costume, decor and food sales. As the web’s most active demographic, millennials drive much of the spike in online activity during the holidays.
It’s a unique opportunity for brands to engage with this key demographic, as their costume-making and celebrations for their favorite holiday increasingly take place on the web.
Creation drives sharing and engagement
Millennials are eager to share information about products and services on social media, with 52 percent more likely to do so than other generations. Holidays like Halloween present opportunities to create everything from costumes and food to décor. Celebrations can potentially touch a variety of consumer-facing brands, which stand to benefit from the appetite to consume and share relevant digital content.
As digital natives, everything millennials wear, eat and create becomes part of their own personal story. Being on the cutting edge of technology with a penchant for customization, 69 percent of millennials have a strong desire to make their own products.
“Halloween is the original DIY holiday,” said Mike Warren, Instructables community manager. “A lot of people like to express themselves through costumes, and they can create anything they want — from small decorations to really elaborate costumes.”
Consider, too, the rise of 3D printing, and you have a recipe for brands — both DIY-based and those more general in nature — to align themselves with the “millennials who make.”
Joining the DIY dialogue
As Halloween approaches, creation spikes. So does sharing and social activity online, making it a prime opportunity for brands to integrate their narratives with those of millennial makers as the conversation heightens.
“I think when young people start out making stuff, what they are really doing is problem-solving on their own,” said Warren. “Going through that process is what a young maker loves to do and they love showing the results… That fuel and feeling of achievement is what drives young makers in new directions that are relevant to them.”
Jessy Ellenberger, community manager from the Instructables Design Studio (and an active Instructables member), explained, “Our community goes all out for the holiday — people make costumes out of things you would never expect, amazing cosplay with super awesome materials that you never see.”
For instance, last year, Instructables user dericrw created a set of Hollywood-worthy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costumes.
Being able to comment, favorite and follow other users builds the sense of pride Instructables creators have during creation — creating a strong feedback loop of creation, sharing, engagement and inspiration. Furthermore, the site’s “I Made It!” button connects makers with the community even more.
Reaching the most active Millennials
By finding ways to integrate a brand story into the wave of online sharing activity, brands can connect with millennial makers in a way that is authentic, capitalizing on shared sentiments and current cultural events.
“Every single Halloween so far, we have been totally blown away by the creativity and level of detail that our community comes up with,” said Warren. This year’s Instructables Halloween Hub is already overflowing with unique, never-before-seen creations from the community, from wearable LED eyelashes to customizable 3D printed jack-o-lanterns.
“People may have had no idea what they were really interested in learning. But after reading an Instructables post, [they] get inspired,” said Warren.
The maker community thrives and grows based on shared passions for the creative process and element of surprise that comes from the DIY projects. This Halloween, there’s an opportunity for brands to join the dialogue and connect with this highly creative, highly engaged demographic.