Marketers from fast food to cars are struggling to understand an important demographic – 59 million young adults, according to a published report. Other observers believe there are 80 million Millennials, but in a slightly narrower age group.
Either way, companies are obsessed with targeting Millennials for good reasons.
1. To create opportunities for immediate sales in a large demographic
2. Attracting customers – when they’re young and starting families –for a shot at their lifetime repeat business
3. Centers of influence – they’re persuasive with their younger relatives, and their older family members who don’t understand technology
In this digital age, innovative Millennials have a new philosophy. They know this is an era in which they can get rich easier with ideas compared to their parents or grandparents. Why? Traditional obstacles to success are gone. That includes accessing capital.
Technologies for Millennials have become commercially viable more quickly in the 21st century compared to the experiences of baby boomers in past decades.
Savvy real estate salespeople know that Millennials want their own homes, but with certain caveats –houses that can be customized to fit their lifestyles. (See Tips for Real Estate Marketing Success – to Mature, Millennial Buyers).
“McDonald’s Has a Millennial Problem,” according to Maureen Morrison in her article at Adage.com. Adage is a must-read for marketing professionals.
She explained that the fast food giant is aware that it fails to “it doesn’t even rank among the demographic’s top 10 restaurant chains.” That’s why the hamburger chain is worried about its image and introduced its menu item called, “McWrap.”
The McWrap is McDonald’s answer to Subway – a chain that McDonald’s ostensibly fears more than any other. McDonald’s thinks a bigger menu with options to customize a meal will cannibalize sales from Subway. (Remember the Millennials’ real-estate preferences?)
“Millennials are indeed going to burger chains, but they are going less often,” wrote Ms. Morrison. “The hamburger category, which includes McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King, still receives 29 percent of all Millennials’ quick-service visits…”
She also writes that since 2007, hamburger chains are 16 percent less popular with Millennials.
“The means of reaching Millennials might be higher-quality products and lots of choice,” explained Ms. Morrison.
She also indicated Millennials are concerned about social responsibility and healthy lifestyles.
“Gatorade outperforms with people under 24, with 57 percent grabbing the sports drink at least once a month,” added Ms. Morrison.
For the restaurant sector in targeted Millennials, she gave five recommendations:
- Fresh and organic food
- Variety and customizable products
- Social change
- Products with sustainability in environmental farming practices
- Social-savvy brands
In their purchases of new cars, there are new trends in Millennials’ preferences:
- Japanese vehicles aren’t as popular
- Detroit cars are increasingly favored
- Two South Korean cars, Hyundai and Kia, are appealing
The trends are evident in data published by two research firms: R.L. Polk and Edmunds.com.
In 2012, Millennials bought 36.8 percent of new vehicles from Detroit manufacturers – Chrysler, Ford and General Motors. That’s a higher percentage than before.
Since 2008, Honda, Nissan and Toyota sales to illennials dropped from 50.6 percent to 42.9 percent. Detroit’s improved, fuel-efficient small cars are part of the reasons. (Does quality and fuel-efficient ring a bell?)
The other reason for the sales decreases in Japanese cars – young car buyers have also been drawn to Hyundai and Kia. Ten percent of young buyers switched to the South Korean brands.
One factor: Both Hyundai and Kia have been extending credit to millennials who are just getting started in their careers.
In conclusion, it’s important to learn how to profit from these emerging human behaviors. Use these insights into Millennials to help you to change with the times and to generate new sales.
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