So much of our marketing culture has been based around the psychology of the Baby Boomers, a generation who valued security as they graduated into the consumer market. Today, the Millennial generation is setting up a whole new consumer model and companies that want to succeed in the marketplace must be prepared to adapt.
“While baby boomers, not surprisingly, outspend Millennials by a wide margin, Millennials already represent $1.3 trillion in consumer spending,” says Dionne Searcey, chief economist for Mesirow Financial, in a recent New York Times article addressing the matter.
Witnessing the financial slump that their parents encountered, the one that sent them off to higher education and left them with loads of student loan debt – the Millennials have redefined happiness and purpose outside the realm of home mortgages and marriage certificates. And with so many choices arising on a daily basis, the urgency to make major life decisions in their mid-twenties simply does not exist. Instead, the Millennial Generation responds to a market that celebrates independent productivity.
A focus on sustainability, advanced technology, and holistic quality mean more to the Millennial Generation than a king-size mattress and white-picket fence.
With a money-conscious mindset, many young adults seek deals and discounts for everyday purchases. However, they will splurge on higher-priced items at stores like Whole Foods or make occasional impulse purchases online if it’s an item they really like.
“While baby boomers have long exhibited consistent brand loyalty, 20-somethings “trade up and trade down,” said Jeff Fromm, who runs FutureCast, a Millennial trends consulting company, and wrote a book about marketing to Millennials.
In essence, with a lack of brand loyalty and unpredictable spending behavior, Millennials are flipping the typical consumer model upside down. While marketing to a generation that does not like to be marketed to, may present itself as an unachievable fete, it is possible. By investing in research to gain a deeper understanding of your Millennial consumer, marketers can position themselves to succeed in this challenging yet exciting, new consumer model. Are you ready to adapt?