Developing a Learning Culture

Why We Should Teach Millennials The Same Way We Market To Them

In just a few years, Dollar Shave Club (a mail-order subscription service for razors) went from being a basement startup to being worth $615 million. The brand boasts 2.6 million followers on Facebook, and its original low-brow viral video explaining the service has enjoyed over 22 million views.

The secret to Dollar Shave Club’s success? It’s the support that the brand gets from millennials, because it’s messaging is short and engaging. In fact, the company’s dubious slogan, “Our blades are f**king great” was a direct hit for men ages 18 to 35: exactly what Dollar Shave Club wanted. By marketing directly to millennials, DSC has effectively steamrolled the men’s shaving industry–and their competition.

So what does this all have to do with how you train employees and build the next round of leaders? Consider the ramifications of a microlearning campaign as funny, smart, and pithy as DSC’s efforts. No, you don’t necessarily have to resort to in-your-face slogans, but the truth is that there’s a lot to be gained by observing the way that companies market to millennials. After all, if it works for selling razors, it’ll probably work for millennial leadership training.

What a Millennial Wants

There are thousands of articles dissecting millennial makeup and what they really want from their employees, so we already know enough to understand that millennials interact with technology differently than Gen X or Y. Millennials want it all, and they want it now. When you consider the fact that they’ve never really had to wait for technology or information, the idea of fast, short, and accessible eLearning makes more sense. What’s more, millennials are used to being entertained nearly every moment of the day, so high-impact visuals, humor, and excellent storytelling are a must.

What made the Dollar Shave Club video so appealing to millennials was a one-two punch of humor and brevity. In 1 minute and 30 seconds, the brand was able to hit home its mission statement in an entertaining and disruptive way. The commercial also touched on paint points to which millennials could relate, such as budget and quality.

Microlearning and Micromarketing

Now, apply that train of thought to eLearning. If millennials are going out of their way to watch marketing materials that are funny, quick, and relatable, it makes sense to pattern your training after those three qualities. Using animation, characters, and stories all wrapped in an entertaining and pithy package, your millennials employees will be more likely to not only participate, but participate on their own time.

Microlearning is one of the best delivery methods for the information-hungry and perpetually short on time millennial. Marketing giants have learned to capitalize on those very characteristics and play to millennial sensibilities by keeping commercials, how-to videos, and informational 60-second spots. By creating eLearning that is just as entertaining and just as compact as the best stuff on the Web, you have a better chance of younger employees sitting up and taking notice.

Hey, the same irreverent strategy that catapulted Dollar Shave Club to stardom could be the secret to your training success.