North Strategic navigates to millennials

A new partnership with Ten Thousand Coffees aims to help brands connect better with the sought-after demo.

Toronto’s North Strategic has teamed up with networking site Ten Thousand Coffees on a new offering that aims to provide more real-time, relevant millennial research to brands.

Through the new partnership, branded as “North Navigate,” marketers working with the agency can tap into the Ten Thousand Coffees’ network of young people to share new product ideas, gain feedback on a particular program or collaborate on new ideas. Meetings can be face-to-face or digitally and can be one-to-one or involve groups.

Ten Thousand Coffees, which launched in early 2014, currently has about 1,000 organizations engaging with the site in some way, along with a base of millennials who use the site for networking and professional development. In the past few months, it has worked with companies including Spotify, Etsy and PepsiCo.

The strategic partnership has emerged as North has seen brands constantly brainstorming about how to reach millennials, everyone’s demographic of choice these days. “Our strategy is to make [brainstorming and research] way more real and collaborative,” says Mia Pearson, co-founder of North Strategic. “Instead of watching behind glass or just guessing, why not actually sit in a room and collaborate and work together?”

Unlike traditional research groups, the partnership allows marketers to curate specific groups if needed, such as early tech adopters, sports fans or fashion lovers, she adds.

Marketers are often confined to using the same people and resources for their research and stuck in long research cycles, Dave Wilkin, Ten Thousand Coffees’ founder also notes. The idea behind Ten Thousand Coffees and its partnership with North will be to have more real-time, collaborative conversations to help shape programs and communication activities.

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