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Reaching Millennials: Translate your brand for a new generation

Posted on Categories BrandonomicsTags

Growing you brand into the future means reaching Millennials, but how do you reach the upcoming generation and still maintain your historical brand value? Jack Whalen, Manager Brand Value at Phillips 66, shares how they translated their brand for a new generation.

Robin: Hello and welcome to this edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I am Robin Tooms, VP of Strategy at Savage Brands and my guest again is Jack Whalen, Manager Brand Value at Phillips 66. So Jack, I’m very glad that you’re back on Brandonomics.

Jack: Well thanks, Robin. It’s good to be back again.

Robin: Thank you. I appreciate you talking to me about some of the marketing strategies around the brand. Something you’ve mentioned to me is that you’re targeting Millennials this year as well, and I wanted to learn more about why that’s important for the growth of the company.

Jack: We’ve continued to do some consumer segmentation work, and obviously the Millennials are a big part of the growth of the future. So when we look at how we can continue to add value to our customers, we need to remain relevant with the segments of the population that continue to grow. And one of the challenges that we’ve had associated with Millennials is really, how do we retain that essence of our company? We are a very proud company; we’ve been around for over 80 years, and we want to keep that. But we need to figure out different communication strategies that make those values appeal to the Millennial population as we move forward.

Robin: Well great, well give us an example of one, then.

Jack: You know one of the things that we did with our group: we – as you would expect – have volume driving promotions from time to time, and we have one in particular that we run in the summer time called Tank 5. Tank 5 used to be a game card promotion. So you, as a consumer, would get a game card, you would go home, you would log into a website, you would enter some numbers, and it would tell you if you’d won or not. And what we did last year, shortly after we had launched our social platform for the first time into the marketplace, is we converted that game card to a text and win. So the consumer then, right while they were standing at the service station, once they got the card, could text that code. And if they won, the card instantly became worth value at the service station right then so they could redeem the value of what they won on the spot versus having to go home and wait for a redemption coupon in the mail.

Robin: Millennials, I’m sure, love that.

Jack: Yeah, they’re not the most patient of segments, having two of them running around at home myself. But really, it’s something that’s a little bit different, but it’s fun and exciting, and it really helped us jumpstart the promotion a little bit more than we had been able to in the past.

Robin: Well, I can see how that would be incredibly important for that audience. I appreciate you for sharing that. This has been another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.


Phillips 66, created through the repositioning of ConocoPhillips, is one of the world’s largest independent downstream companies. The company operates three segment-leading businesses: refining & marketing, midstream and chemicals. The team of more than 13,500 employees are providing energy and improving lives daily.

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