P&G strategy head: branding must be 'meaningful' for millennials

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

P&G strategy head: branding must be 'meaningful' for millennials

Related tags Brand management

Procter & Gamble’s head of strategy and innovation says brands need to have a meaningful identity in order to court younger consumers, noting that in today’s marketplace, “it’s about ideals, not just ideas.”

Speaking at the recent Mumbrella360 conference in Australia, JP Kuehlwein suggested the most successful brands today create a core set of values and a central purpose around which to hang their marketing efforts.

Millennials are saying it’s no longer about what you own or have,”​ the industry expert said. “You want to not only buy something, you want to buy into something. You want consumption to have meaning and to make sense.”

Flipping it around

Traditionally, consumer goods companies have plugged their products through product-led marketing drives; Kuehlwein reckons that the trend has now been turned on its head, and brands need to lead with message rather than product.

“People don’t want to just accumulate stuff at home. They want to create meaning; meaning for themselves, their lifestyle and what they mean to others,”​ he explained. “I’m not saying the product has to be the best, but it has to deliver on the promise.”

In building a meaningful brand, it’s essential that consumers feel the company is being authentic, the strategy chief advised, in order to present brand with which they can identify.


Authenticity is increasingly the buzzword of the moment among beauty brands looking to tap into this rising consumer demand for meaningful branding.

Up against the dominance of authentic, low-budget ‘vloggers’ in the battle for video views on YouTube, for example, beauty brands are increasingly attempting​ to tap into this rising culture of informal intimacy and unpolished engagement when it comes to beauty marketing.

YouTube remains dominated by beauty video bloggers (known as vloggers): they control 97% of conversations around beauty on the site, according to Pixability, with branded content generating just 3% of views.

However, with renewed focus from brands, trends on the video platform are now beginning to shift: “Views of brand-produced beauty content on YouTube grew 35% faster than views of overall beauty content on YouTube from January 2014 to April 2015,” ​the firm’s most recent report revealed.

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