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Las Vegas lowdown: Cautious buying and high hopes for a turnaround

Ask any exhibitor who their target market was and more often than not, they answered millennials. More and more marketing campaigns are focusing on appealling to a buying demographic that is characteristically aloof regarding luxury goods, preferring instead to spend their money on experiences for the most part. Still, companies are pouring resources into campaign strategies that rely heavily on social media channels, as they try to convey their values to this elusive category of consumers.

Barry S. Cohen, founder and co-CEO of Luminox Watch Co., said there is a serious industry-wide shift toward millennial-focused efforts and conveying the idea of a brand experience. “If we want to catch the millennials, traditional consumer print advertising is not the way to do it,” he explained. “Social media is the key. This consumer base looks at everything on their handheld.”

One way Luminox is doing that is through its Special Operations (Spec Ops) Challenge, which celebrates the long-standing relationship between the brand and the Navy SEALS. Led by a retired Navy SEAL, the event puts about 30 members of the media—including bloggers—through the paces of some of the rigorous training every candidate undergoes to become a SEAL. “When the media writes about the challenge, people can experience it and the brand,” Cohen says.

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