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3 Brand Experience Strategies to Attract Millennials Hint: Appeal to their heightened sense of adventure -- and their desire to be trendsetters.

By Christie Garton

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It should come as no surprise that millennials hold an overwhelming desire for adventure and risk. A survey from Harris Poll revealed, for instance, that from trying new foods to traveling, 78 percent of millennials would rather spend their hard-earned dollars on collecting experiences rather than things. Unsatisfied with the status quo, they seek out the new, the unique and the exciting.

Related: Marketing to Millennials? Make It Personal and Customized.

So, if millennials are opting for adventures over products, what can brands do to hold their attention? The answer is simple: Weave compelling experiences into your brand strategy. If members of this generation associates your brand with adventure and excitement, they'll be more likely to support your company with their impressive purse power.

Embrace the three strategies below to seamlessly incorporate branded experiences, in order to reach this important market.

1. Appeal to their sense of adventure.

Having a solid "event strategy" lets you appeal to millennials' need for spontaneous, unique experiences and their desire to look good in front of their peers. Branded VIP parties, exclusive sneak peeks and selective, influencer-only events are all great ways to make millennials feel like trendsetters among the crowd, and also appeal to their sense of adventure.

Taco Bell employed this strategy for the launch of its breakfast menu, giving prepaid burner phones to an exclusive group of 1,000 influencers across the nation. Those influencers were given a direct line to Taco Bell headquarters, and received secret missions to accomplish via Instagram and Twitter. The chance to be one in 1,000 and participate in something innovative and fun resulted in over 16,000 tweets about the campaign in just 10 days.

Related: 7 Clues So Millennials Will Spread Your Marketing Like Wildfire

2. Get customized.

Adventure doesn't have to take the form of international trips or flashy parties -- sometimes it's as simple as offering fun, customized surprises. Birchbox, one of the leading subscription ecommerce services, has it down to a science. Customers create a profile on the Birchbox website and answer various questions about themselves. At the start of each month the company ships a customized package full of beauty products that match the individual customer's interests. The thrill of receiving personalized, surprise deliveries is enough to captivate millennials' spontaneous nature.

3. Offer work experience.

Given millenials' often-overwhelming student debt and the competitive job market, these young people are always looking for new avenues to acquire work experience. Give them the chance to flex their talents and pad their resumes by involving them in the creation and development of your brand. Use ambassador programs, research groups and co-creating opportunities to engage millennials on a deeper level. Not only will they help you create a product more tailored to their needs, they'll appreciate the invitation to get involved and be more likely to turn into brand advocates.

Each brand experience strategy has its own advantages and disadvantages, but no matter which you choose, always stay true and authentic to your brand. Only then will you win the hearts -- and dollars -- of your most coveted customers.

Related: Why Marketing to College Millennials Pays Off

Christie Garton

Founder of 1,000 Dreams Fund

Christie Garton is an award-winning social entrepreneur, author and creator of the 1,000 Dreams Fund (, a social enterprise which empowers young women in the U.S. through scholarships and life-changing advice. Garton is the author of the best-selling college guidebook for women, U Chic: College Girls' Real Advice for Your First Year (& Beyond!) (4th Edition, Sourcebooks 2015) and co-author of Marketing to Millennials: Reach the Largest and Most Influential Generation of Consumers Ever(AMACOM 2013). Garton has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post and U.S.News & World Report. She holds a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

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