March 2019
More Than Millennials

Jeffrey Spear - President

 
Jeff Spear

This post started out as a how-to guide for marketing to Millennials - individuals who were born after 1980 and have come into adulthood (and flexing their buying power) in the new millennium. As more and more information was uncovered, there appeared to be a lot of issues that resonate equally across multiple demographic divides.

 

Before any sweeping generalities are made, and summed up quite nicely in an article written by Joan Schneider for the Harvard Business Review, Millennials are "naturals with technology and can simultaneously use their phone to order a cup of coffee at Starbucks, Instagram a photo of their name spelled incorrectly on the coffee cup, reply to a friend via text, and talk to their co-worker about the company softball tournament." Not only is this is an amazing accomplishment, the same could not be said about more mature individuals from Gen X or Baby Boomers.

It's also important to note that the largest and most active population of consumers is aged 22 - 51. Since the youngest of this group - the Millennials - have an undeniable influence over brand sustainability, finding ways to cater to their needs is an essential part of any well-conceived marketing program.

Don't forget, packaging design is critical to brand impact and sales. While every generation of shopper is influenced by design, and according to Packaging Digest "Not only are Millennials a driving force behind a changing product mix, but their purchase decisions are prompting manufacturers to differentiate their brands with creative and unique packaging. Of course, these demands place significant challenges on brand owners as they work to stay ahead of a curve, beset by a generation attuned to instant gratification."

We must also recognize that, while undeniably important to Millennials, the internet is influencing the way everyone does business, regardless of income or age. Sure, Boomers still enjoy the experiential nature of shopping and will take the time to frequent brick and mortar stores. The undeniable truth is that, as the shopper gets younger, an increasing number of their transactions are taking place online.

When it comes to health and wellness, there's no denying we all care about our health and are actively seeking out goods and services that will make us look and feel better. In agribusiness communities, growing foods that are clean, non-GMO, and nutrient rich is a top priority. As we look down the supply chain into formulation and processing, issues including the kinds of ingredients used, where all of the raw materials come from, how the food is manufactured, and the environmental impact of these activities are all influencing purchasing decisions.

Even in the specialty food arena, where you can find decadent, luxurious and innovative incarnations of confectionery, cheese, condiments, ice cream, cooking sauces and cakes, everyone agrees that health and wellness has become a priority. According to an industry overview released by the Specialty Food Association, "In the past two years, specialty food consumers have been more likely to cite dietary or health reasons as drivers to try specialty foods." The report adds, "The market for superior foods, and functionally enhanced products will grow, even in non-traditional categories like chocolate.

From a marketing perspective, how we reach buyers must still include both traditional and new media outlets. While Millennials, and even the emerging iGeneration, are up to date on the latest social media channels and rely more on digital devices for their information than older generations, the lion's share of food purchases are still being made in brick and mortar environments where non-digital tactics still hold sway.

It goes without saying that, while certain demographics have clear priorities and preferences, properly integrated marketing campaigns are still winning the day for brands and brand owners. If your own brands are performing below expectations, or your marketing messages fail to resonate with your key audiences, Studio Spear has the resources to turn things around.


 

If the time has come to overhaul, update and re-invigorate your brand image, or you'd like to change up your marketing program, please call 904 685 2135 - ask for Jeff Spear. You can also contact Jeff via email: jeff@studiospear.com.

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