The folks at Newman’s Own, the company founded by the late actor Paul Newman, recently discovered some interesting insights about the brand. The salad dressing and popcorn company found that only 12 percent of its millennial customers understood that all its profits go to charity, a practice that has been a cornerstone of the brand since inception.
“This did not surprise Jason Dorsey, a researcher at the Center for Generational Kinetics, a consulting group based in Austin that specializes in millennial marketing,” reported The New York Times. “He thinks young buyers were having a hard time connecting with the Newman’s Own story, partly because many of them are too young to be aware of the entertainer.”
It’s also well known that millennials are more attracted to a product if they believe it is produced by a company that has a social conscience. Newman’s Own has launched a campaign, built around a video series. The videos highlight the good works funded by popcorn profits. They don’t mention the products, but instead tell the story of giving guide dogs to blind veterans and building schools for girls in Kenya. Through the videos, the company is using the power of storytelling to remind customers, and to educate younger ones, about the philanthropy that is at the core of its mission.
By the way, Newman’s Own has given away 100 percent of profits, more than $485 million, since it was founded by the actor, who died in 2008.
Millennials are different, and we need to understand them. Even if they never saw Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.