"With all this marketing, especially through social media now, I can barely keep up with all of these apps," Stratten said. "I do feel obligated, though, to use them, because that is where all of the business is these days. Particularly with millennials."

A brand is what you think it is, not what the company thinks it is.

Scott Stratten, speaker at the LABI Annual Meeting on February 12, shared how to engage better with customers through social media and viral marketing. Stratten was named one of the top five social media power influencers by Forbes.com, inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame in 2018, and focuses on values like trust, authenticity, relationships, and service.

When you think of the Ritz-Carlton, most people will think of the words "luxurious" or "expensive." However, the view of a brand can change from a story, even if it is not your story.

A story Stratten shares about someone else’s experience with the Ritz tells how a child left his stuffed giraffe at the hotel on Amelia Island in Florida. The hotel went out of the way to overnight the giraffe back to the child, with photos of the extended stay it experienced. This included photos of the giraffe receiving spa treatments, making new friends, and hanging out by the pool.

Stratten says this is the perfect example of word-of-mouth marketing. The Ritz doesn't pay a dime for that. Every email, phone call, and off-the-clock encounter we have still creates a brand for companies.

"With all this marketing, especially through social media now, I can barely keep up with all of these apps," Stratten said. "I do feel obligated, though, to use them, because that is where all of the business is these days. Particularly with millennials."

We get set in our ways, and that's another thing Stratten brings up. Many of us simply judge someone based on the year that is on their license, and that is age discrimination. It's a problem. Many business owners are so set in their ways that they are opposed to change. Millennials, however, have grown up with disruption. Disruption is change without the chance to stop it.

"People from the disruptive generation are assets," Stratten said. "They create competition. When you don't think your company can be disruptive, that is the day that it does get disrupted. If you take these disruptive natures, though, and combine them with the wisdom of the older generation, we can create something innovative."

To Stratten, it is important that we have each other's backs in the industries. Especially when it comes to the younger generation, many believe there are less people who have their back. It's an endearing quality, though, and Stratten says it should be incorporated into the workplace more.

"Disruption is changing things, and we will have to unlearn things, or change our old ways, because of disruption in order to move forward."

Follow Darian on Twitter @dariangshark.