Excerpt: Marketing to Millennials

Jacket image, Marketing to Millennials by Jeff From and Christie GartonThe following is an excerpt from Chapter 6, “Design a Sense of Fun and Adventure” of Marketing to Millennials: Reach the Largest and Most Influential Generation of Consumers Ever by Jeff Fromm and Christie Garton.

Before moving on, we have to ask: Just how much of this taste for adventure is life-stage driven and how much is a true generational difference between Millennials and non-Millennials?

The adventure-seeking approach to life—the ability to be spontaneous, take risks, and live in the moment—certainly diminishes the older we get. For instance, our study found that the arrival of children, which brings increased responsibilities and financial obligations, directly impacts the Millennials’ quest for adventure via international travel. However, while interest in global travel decreased in Millennials with children, our study found their interest level remains above that of non-Millennials.

What about their always-on-the-go lifestyle? Does having children impact that? Nope. Millennial parents are keenly focused on preventing that from happening. Brands that help them maintain their focus are scoring wins with them.

Take new parents Jake and Annabelle, for example. They made the difficult decision to leave their beloved, fast-paced urban setting of Chicago for a house in the suburbs once their baby girl arrived. Refusing to be banned to the burbs, they frequently make trips into the city—often with their baby in -tow—for a taste of the adventure and excitement they left behind.

“I want to show and give my kid as much as I can by taking her out in the city and showing her things I’m interested in,” says Jake. “Certainly, we do things within reason and have to make sacrifices like going a little earlier to things. But we’ve made it clear that we want to bring our child into everything we do, make her an integral part by not leaving her behind with a babysitter like my parents did when they went on a vacation for instance. I definitely think that makes us different from Boomer parents.”

And if it takes a village to raise happy and healthy children, it also takes companies and brands that understand and cater to the special needs of this new generation of parents, Jake says.

According to this busy new father, he couldn’t live without brands such as Earth’s Best and its infant puree pouches that make it easy for him—and his baby—to stay on the go. And it doesn’t hurt that all of their products are nutritious and organic.

“Their products are built for convenience,” Jake explains. “They truly get the needs of modern day parents, and I appreciate that.”

Other brands are also tapping into on-the-go parents’ needs. Ella’s Kitchen, a baby-enthusiast brand, provides organic, all-natural ingredients in a convenient package that helps alleviate the spills and messes that typically accompany snack time. With bright colors and kid-friendly designs, Ella’s Kitchen packaging is enticing to both child and parent.

Annabelle, however, is surprised that more brands, especially restaurants—which often banish them to the back of the room—aren’t making more of an effort to cater to parents like her and Jake.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to enter through the disabled door because the stroller wouldn’t fit through the entrance,” she says. “And public bathrooms? Forget it. Many still have changing stations only in the women’s bathroom and not the men’s, so my husband can’t do it.”

The offering doesn’t have to be extravagant. Simple things like having crayons or sippy cups can make a big difference.

“For something as common as having children, you’d think that some companies would cater to us. I’m surprised that many don’t. There is a restaurant in town that offers many family-friendly features like sippy cups and crayons, which seem like thoughtless things, but I can’t tell you how special it is when we find them. I think we’ve eaten there 10 times in the past few months. Truly, there is nothing more amazing than when a brand or company makes life easier for you as a parent.”

Brands like Earth’s Best, Ella’s Kitchen, and Annabelle’s favorite local restaurant that understand and facilitate a Millennial parent’s desire to remain active and on-the-go will do well with this new generation of parents.

So when it comes to winning over Millennial consumers—nonparents and parents alike—seek ways to offer them a sense of adventure and fun through your brand experience. They will reward you with increased loyalty and will even bring friends to the party!

Excerpted from Marketing to Millennials: Reach the Largest and Most Influential Generation of Consumers Ever by Jeff Fromm and Christie Garton. Copyright © 2013 Barkley Inc. Published by AMACOM Books, a division of American Management Association, New York, NY. Used with permission. All rights reserved. http://www.amacombooks.org.

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