Millennials with Kids
Marketing to This Powerful and Surprisingly Different Generation of Parents
Authors: Jeff Fromm, Marissa Vidler
Pub Date: August 2015
Print Edition: $24.95
Print ISBN: 9780814436585
Page Count: 240
e-Book ISBN: 9780814436592
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The year is 2035. Millennials, who have since rejected the term “Millennial” as too youthful, now call themselves the “Pragmatist” generation and are in the throes of middle age. Wisdom and practicality have replaced their once carefree and adventurous ways. Their status as the most tech-savvy generation has long since been overtaken by their own offspring, who are now teenagers and young adults themselves.
When Millennials were younger, they created their own unique language, digital shorthand, and developed social networks that connected them across countries and continents, giving a global perspective to what was once a small world. As they grew up and entered the work world, their influence shifted from being participative consumers to being inventive brand designers, marketers, and ambassadors.
For many Millennials and their children, dependence on the manufacturing, food, and retail organizations that were a necessity for earlier generations is no more. Living off the grid and growing your own food are the norm, and DIY and on- demand manufacturing are commonplace thanks to the 3-D printer in almost every home. This has made a ghost town of what was once a nation with a thriving capitalist economy. Many of the tombstones memorializing former businesses are etched with the same epitaph: “Destroyed by Millennials. If only there had been a book . . .” Only the organizations that invested in learning about Millennials, especially as they matured and started families of their own, survived and thrived.
It is possible that this is an exaggeration, though we won’t know for sure for a few more decades. We do not have a crystal ball that can predict the future of organizations. (If we did, this book would cost a lot more.) What we can say with complete certainty is that the world is changing, largely led and influenced by the Millennial generation and its unprecedented impact on the tastes, attitudes, and culture of older generations. As members of this generation mature and impose their values, attitudes, and behaviors onto their own children, the organizations that don’t invest in understanding who these consumers are now and who they will be as they mature may want to begin shopping around for tombstones.
If this fabricated story about the collapse of Western civilization doesn’t convince you of the sheer power of Millennials, maybe the facts will. With more than 78 million Americans born between 1977 and 1996, Millennials make up approximately one-quarter of the U.S. population, surpassing Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) and eclipsing Generation X (1965 to 1976) three times over. The utter size of this generation is enough for most organizations to take notice, but, as they say, size isn’t everything.
The buying power of Millennials is immense and diversified. Millennials already account for an annual $1.3 trillion in consumer spending in the United States, which will only continue to grow as they mature in their careers and become more affluent. But it’s not just the money they spend; it’s the influence they wield that impacts how other generations spend their money. Millennials are the largest population in our market today—there are roughly three Millennials for every Generation Xer in the United States.
If you haven’t already read Marketing to Millennials: Reach the Largest and Most Influential Generation of Consumers Ever, by Jeff Fromm and Christie Garton (AMACOM, 2013), we highly recommend it. Really, it’s a great read. Offering a deep dive into the Millennial Mindset™—how Millennials live, think, and shop—Marketing to Millennials unveils a number of important insights about this generation that you should know before reading this book, including that Millennials:
• Are some of the earliest “digital natives”
• Are interested in participating in your marketing
• Are known as content creators and users
• Crave adventures—often “safer” adventures
• Strive for a healthy lifestyle
• Seek peer affirmation
• Are hooked on social media in much the same way that older generations are hooked on e‑mail at work
• Are not a homogeneous cohort
• Embrace authentic cause marketing and align to brands with a purpose
• Are in many ways similar to older generations
What about what’s next for Millennials, as they grow, mature, and start families? While these insights and strategies can be applied across the board to this generation, some important differences between Millennial parents and those who are not parents emerged during the research for this book. Most significant of these differences is the shift toward pragmatism. Of course, it isn’t news that young adults who become parents tend to become more grounded as their priorities shift to keeping this little person alive. This story is as old as time. So why can’t marketers look to past generations and use those strategies to target Millennials as they move to the next life phase? The answer is simple: Millennials’ defining characteristics don’t just disappear when their children are born. They are not disconnecting from their smartphones, losing compassion for causes they once cared about, or shunning adventure. Like Millennials without kids, parents are strongly defined by the generational traits that have set the Millennial population apart from everyone else. However, they are finding new ways to use technology to streamline the trials and tribulations of parenthood, refocusing their support on more local causes, and finding adventure closer to home that is inclusive of their children.
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