Marketers from fast food to cars struggle 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:

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).

Fast Food

“McDonald’s Has a Millennial Problem,” according to Maureen Morrison in her article at 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:

  1. Fresh and organic food
  2. Variety and customizable products
  3. Social change
  4. Products with sustainability in environmental farming practices
  5. Social-savvy brands

In their purchases of new cars:

  • 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

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 Millennials 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.

From the Coach’s Corner, related articles:

Checklist for Branding, Selling Your Biz as Green — Consumers love environmentally sensitive businesses. You might think it’s a slam dunk for businesses to market themselves as green. Well, yes and no. There are precautions to take. They include educating your audience on your eco practices.

SEO vs. Blogging: Which Is Best for Your Marketing Budget? — To blog, or not to blog – that is the question. With apologies for paraphrasing the famous opening line in William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, it seems apropos in debating the merits of blogging vis-à-vis hiring search-engine optimization (SEO) experts.

5 Action Steps to Get Top Results From Your Marketing Plan — Why do seemingly great marketing plans fail to yield the desired results? Well, one reason: Such plans don’t turn the ideas into reality because they’re not action-oriented. What counts is the scheduled specific footwork, and then tracking the results. There’s a second reason, quality of execution. Here’s how.

What are the Secrets for Success in Advertising? Creating 5 Perceptions — Authoritative evidence links advertising quality and execution to making the cash register ring, and it shows creative counts more than the media plan.

Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.