Marketing to Millennials: The New Motherlode:#2
With the spending power of Millennials set to overtake Boomers by 2016 we decided to take an ongoing look at what makes this group tick. Following on from last week's first instalment we look at some values Millennials share with Boomers as well as what Millennial Dads are doing that is different to their parents.

The "Ah-ha" moment for me was when I read somewhere that Millennials were more likely to order wine than their Gen X predecessors (who were generally more cocktail-oriented) because they were adopting their Boomer parents' drinking tastes. So I started to scratch the surface a little to find out why - and discovered a whole new raft of similarities.

But first, the why...

Seems all us Boomer parents (yes, I've got one of the "M" people, too) have done a really good job of bringing up our kids as our friends. And they've thanked us by adopting our value sets. At least, that's my thinking.

Nicole Granese and Danielle Johnson in their article "The Boomer-Millennial Connection" have a slightly different take on the "why" -

"When comparing Boomers and Millennials, we see the life experiences of both generations have been shaped by similar historic events and technology revolutions.

But the bottom line is that with similar values, sometimes the same messaging can hit the mark with both groups and with more than 150 million US consumers between the two generations, that's a message with significant potential.

Three of the shared values Granese and Johnson see are:

Functional Fun

Ford Fiesta, Kia Soul and Fiat 500 were all designed to appeal to Millennials - but almost half of the purchasers are Boomers. "All of these brands have been able to achieve cross-generational appeal by promoting a fun driving experience, maneuverability, and eco-friendly benefits, which support the active personal lifestyles both generations aspire to."


While we Boomers grew up wanting to prove we were different to our parents. Millennials grew up with us telling them they could do and be whatever they wanted. And they took that thought in both hands and are running with it!

Pepsi Refresh asked for submissions for ideas to make a positive impact on the world, with a chance to receive funding to bring the idea to life. This innovative, disarmingly altruistic and idealistic promotion achieved substantial "initiative penetration" among both groups, by concentrating on "the power of one" to make a difference.

Experiences Over Possessions

With the disillusionment in the temporary nature of physical "things" brought on by the GFC creating a shared desire for personal "richness" both groups are eschewing big-ticket items in favour of experiences.

Norwegian Cruise Lines have brought Boomers and Millennials together with unstructured activities and the concept of a "pub crawl" through the ship's bars - a 180 degree shift from the concept of "Quoits on the forward deck at 2pm"!

Two related areas, culinary and entertainment, also rate highly, partly one assumes driven by life stages and TV cooking shows.  From an engaging content marketing perspective, this should be of great interest to anyone involved in marketing in the 80's and 90's surrounded, as we were, by Faith Popcorn's doctrine on "Cocooning" (later refined to become John Walker-Smith's/Yankelovich's "Hiving"). 

So, it seems "The Home" is definitely back in the frame, coming as it does in a time when many Millennials are not leaving home until much later in life, making supporting, authentic visual content that involves friends and families all-important and relevant once more.

Of course,they caution against a "one-size fits both approach" that is simplistic or stereotypical. However, "brand marketers may be able to utilize value-based messaging that creates that magical halo effect, appealing to both Boomers and Millennials."

To read their complete article, click here

As a contrast, in "Millennial Dads are Doers, not Doofuses" Babette Gilmore points to the differences between Millennial Dads and their (usually) Boomer Dads. In particular she points to:

Household Partnership

Modern Dads are playing a significantly more active role in the home, from the supermarket to child care. As a pointer they are spending 2.1 hours in stores each week compared to 2.5 hours for women, so the chasm that once was has closed dramatically.

Deeper Level of Involvement With The Kids.

Not to say Millennial Dads love their kids more than Boomer Dads. But time in front of the TV together has been replaced with a more "active involvement" which may incorporate teaching something new or even volunteering (something Millennials have been stronger on than at any time since the late 70s - Toolbox Ed).

Dad-To-Dad Bonding

The Mom-osphere is being replicated at the other end of the gene pool with Daddy Bloggers and dad-to-dad blogs. 

Gilmore observes "the dude blogosphere is gaining ground faster than the kids are growing, changing the way both men and women view fatherhood."

To read the complete article, click here

With Millennials' spending to overtake the combined spending of all other demographics by 2030, this sector is well and truly the New Motherlode - or should that be Dadlode! We look forward to keeping you abreast of developments as they appear.

In the meantime, I'll keep the key to the cellar well and truly hidden!

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