Wouldn't it be great if companies could tap into the ideas of student entrepreneurs, and bring to the forefront brilliant ideas that the Millennials have in business? And then take those ideas and bring them into fruition? It sounds like a far-fetched idea, but that's exactly what Southwest Airlines did in their Recess 2016 Spring Tour.
Mix Music and Business to Attract New Entrepreneurs
Mid April (April 5 through April 18) Southwest Airlines reached out to 18 universities and colleges to find current student entrepreneurs. Southwest Airlines gave the students the opportunity to meet with the biggest investors and venture capitalists in the country to pitch their startup ideas. These entrepreneurs were then entered into a bracket style competition to compete for a cash prize of $250,000.
After each stop on the tour, the students were invited to an after party concert which featured artists such as Tory Lanez, GoldLink, and Lil Dicky. The concerts and party atmosphere of the competition's after party attracted students to consider the message that Southwest Airlines had to offer: “Your ideas are important and we want to know what you think is important to your generation.”
A Win-Win Situation for All Involved
In Southwest Airlines' Recess 2016 Spring Tour, everyone who participated was a winner. It encouraged Millennials who are naturally more attracted to innovation to team up with investors and venture capitalists, thus networking the two groups. It helped Southwest Airlines develop loyalty among the Millennials that are the most brand loyal generation to come along. Southwest Airlines fostered further loyalty with offering round-trip airline tickets as giveaways.
By introducing new companies and new brands to college students, it is likely to foster brand loyalty in those students throughout their lives. This is vitally important when considering that college students are often the business leaders of tomorrow. By introducing the college students to investors and venture capitalists, it gives the students a deeper understanding how business works and what's required to take their brilliant idea all the way to a product or service. At the very least, it gives the college students inroads into investors and venture capitalists.
Creating Loyalty through Innovation
Because the Millennials embrace technology and innovation more than previous generations, it's important for companies to position themselves as innovators. Millennials look for new technology when considering their brand loyalty. Consumers often form their brand preferences while they are young, which is why it is imperative to reach the Millennials now. Through Recess 2016 Spring Tour, Southwest Airlines has created an appealing way to reach Millennials in an unique venue.