Back to Top

Breaking Into the Tech Clique with Millennials

Everyone knows millennials LOVE tech, right? So how do businesses build a brand and reputation that millennials will embrace as much as, or more than, Google, Netflix or Apple?

In a recent study, YouGov BrandIndex listed three non-tech brands (Johnson & Johnson, Disney, and Nike) among the top 10 “Brands Millennials Want To Work At.” (Pssst… All three were ahead of Apple on the list!)

After 30+ years of working together (17+ of those years as AOR for talent attraction) with one of those three non-techs, the BNO team has some thoughts on the how Johnson & Johnson defied the odds and landed in the top-10 ranks of Google, Nike, and Disney.

Focus Groups Show and Marketplace Actions Confirm…

Millennials want to work for companies that offer impact… human impact. Compare Johnson & Johnson, Nike, and Disney to their closest rivals and you’ll see a common thread… powerful and engaging examples of human impact. The stories they tell, about product, brand experiences, and career go beyond strong emotional connections… they demonstrate how building powerful human experiences, outstanding individual performance, and vital quality-of-life impact draws people closer.

The tech brands may own the intellectual space, but these three “Non-Techs” are gaining ground on showing millennial candidates that they have the power to change the world in areas they care about most deeply.

Walking the Walk…

Sure, talk will attract. But today’s employer brands need to do far more than attract candidates to a job application. The Corporate Executive Board (CEB) advises that to stand apart today, companies need to present employer brands that Attract, Inform, and Qualify prospective candidates. That means, before a single sentence of conversation transpires, a candidate has to discovery your value proposition, understand how you stand apart, and know if they’re the kind of person who can succeed in your culture.

Take a close look… “Be Vital” (Johnson & Johnson), “Imagine the Possibilities” (Disney), and the “Nike Spirit” (um, Nike) do just that.

These are brands that touch the “full employment value chain,” from “what I care about most deeply” to “how I can work with colleagues to change the world.” It’s about being seen for the individual value you bring, the way you drive your career forward, and being part of a company’s global impact.

Show Your Tech… Even if You’re a Non-Tech

Nike, Johnson & Johnson, and Disney each do an amazing job of integrating new technology into their non-tech business models. Evidence of this includes…

  • Nike’s move into the iWatch platform with its Nike+ Fuel personal performance app
  • The Animas Vibe waterproof insulin pump that’s leading a new generation of diabetes management devices and quickly moving Johnson & Johnson toward the first artificial pancreas
  • Disney Parks’ MagicBand cutting-edge payment system and personal concierge service
Nike+ Fuel iOS app
animas VIBE pump
Animas Vibe waterproof insulin pump
Disney-MagicBand-terminal 02
Disney Parks’ MagicBand wearable


Tech integration has earned these Non-Techs huge points with millennial candidates. And by attracting tech-hungry emerging talent, they each create a virtuous cycle that helps them deliver technology faster.

Congrats to our friends and business partners at Johnson & Johnson who help all generations of talent connect with meaningful careers and world-changing possibilities.

Want to know more about the secret sauce for top-performing employer brands. Let’s talk about the talent you’d like to attract, inform, and qualify. We know we can have a differentiated impact on your employees and candidates.