These moms consume media and shop in ways remarkably different from that of any other segment. What are you doing to reach them?
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Despite what marketers may think, the way into a millennial’s wallet goes beyond employing such strategies as the use of trendy colors and Instagram-worthy photos.
Who are these millennials, anyway? The Wall Street Journal has called them “a group of people who are building major companies, altering the way we work and live and challenging long-held notions of family and society.” But the Journal also (last year) berated itself for treating them “like an alien species” by describing them with too many “snotty” remarks.
I, meanwhile, consider “millennial” the best shorthand option for referring to people born between 1981 and 1997. But let’s get a little more detailed . . .
Specifically, millennials are growing up. And they’re having kids. So, within this group is a growing subset of women with children, a.k.a.”millennial moms,” and there may be more of them than you think. Representing about 1 in every 5 mothers, and accounting for almost 90 percent of the 1.5 million new mothers counted last year, millennial moms have carved out a unique market segment 9 million strong. To put it simply, if you want to talk to a new mom, she’s very likely a millennial.
While this group is sought after by marketers, many of these women say they don’t feel understood by those marketers, and that could be a big miss for brands, given these mothers’ connectivity, spending power and influence. What’s also important here: 55 percent of millennial moms are included in all purchase decisions, compared to 39 percent for all U.S. mothers. So, for businesses, missing an opportunity to connect with millennial moms could mean missing out on a valuable share of the market.
If yours is a business that would gain by appealing to this group, here are five tips for doing that:
1. Lead with product functionality to build meaningful connections.
While nearly half of all millennial moms care that a company’s values align with their own, and will do the research necessary to find out which brands are worth their time and attention, there’s a real opportunity for those brands to build a lasting and meaningful connection with these moms.
That opportunity? Marketing physical products that demonstrate one or more of their values.
The millennial mom often arrives at a store with a specific set of buying needs, and when she can pick up a product that not only meets those functional needs but builds off social values that she can get behind — such as ethical sourcing and sustainability — she’ll be more likely to purchase, then talk about that purchase to her friends, online and off.
Some forward-thinking companies are aware of that opportunity — Target being a good example. Living up to its “Design for All” philosophy, Target expanded its in-house Cat & Jack clothing line to include items with sensory-processing sensitivities: What that involved was heat-transferred tags and flat seams for kids bothered by itchy tags and seams that irritate their skin.
The line was also marketed to parents looking for a low-cost option. So, the clothing company’s announcement was met with appreciation by moms (and dads), grateful that the clothing would help alleviate their daily struggles to get their children dressed. The line’s sensory-processing features also increased an affinity for the master brand across the board.
The message here is that while there’s a time and a place for the brand storytelling so ballyhooed today, “storytelling” means much more to our millennial mom when the physical product involved is…