According to popular belief (and many old studies), millennials are not particularly brand loyal, with theories ranging from low attention spans to price-sensitivity due to lower income levels as being the cause. However, according to a new study just released by the National Retail Federation, all that begins to change once millennials become parents themselves and start shopping for their own families.
According to the NRF study, once they’re won over to a brand, half (49%) of millennial parents (those in their late 20s and 30s) will remain loyal to that brand despite less expensive options, vs only 30% of other age group parents. 52% remain loyal even when there are more convenient options (vs 35% of other parents), and 64% say they shop brands they’re loyal to before looking at competitors, vs 54% for the other age groups.
What brands stand for matters to millennials, too. While less than a quarter (23%) of other age groups care about a brands social and/or political values, 44% of millennial parents will only shop brands whose views they agree with. And they will find out your views, because they want to get to know you – and your ingredients, too.
Three-quarters of all millennial parents (75+%) use their mobile devices to research products and check prices, vs 58% of other parents. And after purchase, almost as many (71%) post product reviews, process returns or chat online with customer service, vs only 43% of parents in other age groups.
And millennial parents are better educated shoppers in more ways than one. 40% have graduate degrees, more than twice that of the other age groups (19%). Seven out of ten (69%) millennial parents earn over the national median income of $59,000 a year, compared to 53% of other parents.
So how can CPG food brands attract and retain these millennials?
- Be authentic. This generation can spot phonies, and they will call you out.
- Speak to them in their own voice, on their own level. And be sincere.
- Sell, sell, sell doesn’t work with millennials. They want to decide to buy your brand—not be sold to.
- Take up a cause. Millennials love to champion causes and the brands that support them.
- Build trust. This can take time, especially if you’re unknown to them.
- LISTEN. Millennials want to be part of a dialogue, not a monologue.
- Respond! With millennials, instant responses are expected. If you don’t get back to them for days, forget it.
- Build relationships. It’s much more important to millennials than previous generations.
- Make sure the mobile experience with your brand is EXCEPTIONAL. This may sound a bit “techy,” but there’s no quicker way to lose a millennial than to have your web platform not perform on their mobile device.
- And last, but certainly not least… deliver what you promise.
Why are millennial parents so important to food and beverage marketers? With half of all parents now being millennials, and millennials poised to overtake boomers as America’s largest generation, the rules for marketing to the family shopper have changed forever. If reaching this new, game-changing audience is not part of your current marketing strategy, you’re probably already falling behind.
You just haven’t noticed it yet.