How Samsung is Walking with Millennials

Posted by: Jeff Fromm

Creating power and donating it has never been so easy thanks to Samsung’s new “What If I Can” campaign, which gives new meaning to the term, power walking. I got to see it in action last week while attending the Africa Retail Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Launched March 7, the “What If I Can campaign” is part of Samsung’s mission to use innovation and technology to overcome region-specific problems and converts the real and virtual steps taken by participants into power for under-served communities.

How it works

Participants download the ‘What If I Can’ app to track their daily steps using the built-in pedometer. The app is linked to a walkway in Sandton City, which is paved with high-tech tiles that harvest the kinetic energy generated by people walking on them. The technology 10287337633_9ddd77e5d7_zenables the positioning of a leaderboard at the Sandton City installation to track how many steps crossed the tiles and what the cash value of the steps are in terms of the Samsung campaign.

Through May, participants across the country will track their steps. Samsung will then match the cash value of the steps with the goal of providing power to low-income areas that have no access to electricity.

Walking with millennials

While Samsung’s new campaign is a win for South African communities, it’s also a win for the company, which is always striving to connect with millennials. Millennials are overwhelmingly more likely to spend their money with companies that stand for more than their bottom lines.

According to Nielsen’s “Global Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility,” 43 percent of global consumers said they are willing to spend more for a product or service that supports a cause. Businesses are finally responding. According to the 2012 IEG Sponsorship report, cause-marketing programs in North America alone totaled $1.7 billion.

Millennials also like to share things with their friends via social media that they believe to be unique or meaningful, so a brand that creates something special enough to get consumers to willingly spend time with it and share it with their friends is beating their competitors.

I have no doubt that Samsung’s new campaign is unique enough to earn millennial love and attention.

Photo Credit via Flickr: Stanley Young

About Jeff Fromm

Although not a Millennial as defined by his age, Jeff Fromm is the Millennial Marketing Guy. Jeff is President of FutureCast, a marketing consultancy that specializes in Millennial trends, and is a contributing writer at...See Jeff's full bio.