The great outdoors, involving activities that are open and broad and yet ironically is portrayed as being exclusive. It is exclusive for those who can afford the special gear, the right clothing and often this translates into white, middle to upper class. With a growing multicultural population, and that segment representing a significant part of Millennials, who hold a high value for experiences, how do we help them feel that they too can be part of great outdoors experiences and are more than welcome? This client needed to determine the right message to attract this multicultural population into their stores and develop the right product offerings so they too can be included.
Talking to Millennials is definitely a start. They are more than willing to voice their opinions and have a strong desire to be heard. We conducted several focus groups to make sure we heard what they had to say. But that wasn’t enough. Why not explore their opinions in the one venue that has started this conversation? Outdoor camping. We took Hispanics, Caucasians and African-Americans to a camping site. We explored their reactions, the stereotypes and barriers surrounding these groups in relation to camping and formed a realistic picture of what can make this sport inclusive.
Allowing multicultural Millennials to truly “experience” this activity, provided visual insights that were incorporated into Marketing campaigns. These campaigns now had “real” images, expressions and moments that connected these Millennials with this no longer exclusive activity. Furthermore, it helped create messages that resonated with this audience, showing sincerity in the approach rather than patronizing or pandering.