Report examines Millennial life stage marketing
Marketers and brand managers faced with the challenge of marketing to Millennials should look to the dynamics of household structure for effective ways that influence path to purchase for their products, according to the 'Culture of Millennials 2011' report from the Hartman Group.
The company found that Millennials are linked as consumers to complex household and family structures, whether by breadth of life stages they represent (ages 16 to 30), living with their parents as young adults, or on their own with or without children, all of which influence changes in brand preferences in foods, beverages, and other consumer packaged goods categories.
"We've been observing for several years now the influence of the household on brand preferences," explained Hartman Group president, Laurie Demeritt. "We've maintained that while significant attention and marketing spend have shifted to shopper and retail-oriented promotions, the formation of brand preferences and choices occur primarily in the household, not in the store."
Upon leaving home, Millennials begin to shift their brand preferences away from the brands they grew up with. One out of five (20%) switch almost entirely to different brands when they move out on their own. While Millennials characterise their food and beverage brands and products as "more healthy, organic and natural" than those of their parents, they also say they are more expensive, indicating an expectation of paying a premium for higher quality foods and beverages.
"These findings do not suggest that Millennials are averse to forging a relationship with a brand," said Demeritt. "But it does mean that brands and marketing agencies should rethink and reimagine how they market to them. One of the most effective ways to connect with Millennials, in fact, may be to not market directly to them. Millennials don't want to be 'advertised to' - they want to be 'advertised with'."
It is interesting that some of the most popular advertising campaigns with Millennials have almost nothing to do with the product itself; instead they are about fun, whimsy and most importantly entertainment.
The full report has been made available for purchase directly from the Hartman Group's web site - click here.