With Millennials, It’s Personal

Millennials’ demand for personalization is woven into the fabric of the generation, and the impact is felt by manufacturers and retailers.  As consumers, they are opting for niche, specialized products over generic big brands. As shoppers, many have abandoned mass retail channels and move towards smaller, more focused ones.

Understanding this generation requires a pivot from mass insights to scalable, personalized insight. Putting this strategy to practice, a recent Maru/Matchbox Community study reveals some crucial insights for any organization trying to meet – and exceed – the new demands of Millennials…

Brands Need to Measure the Impact of a Globalized Generation

2016 Census figures reveal that 43% of the Gen-Y population is “non-white” (21% Hispanic; 13% African American). Specialized brands and retail channels have been most effective at meeting the changing demands fueled by the changing US demographics. According to a recent BCG/IRI market analysis, $18 billion in sales have eroded from large cap to small cap producers since 2011. This trend is certain to continue unless enterprise CPG and retailers can understand and adapt to a changing generation with new demands. For example, our research shows that overall 41% of Millennials say they love ethnic food.

Millennials Put Their Money Where Their Heart is

Our recent study also reveals that one-in-two Millennials claim to be “a lot more likely” to shop at a brand or company that supports issues that are important to them (vs. 22% of Boomers and 30% of Gen X). As a marketer, it’s important to understand the issues that are important to Millennials:

Social IssuesThe Issue is “Very Important”
Human Rights60%
Poverty54%
Healthcare54%
Worker’s Rights51%
Racial Inequality51%
Global Warming51%
Gender Equality50%

The wide array of social issues that Millennials consider to be “very important” is seemingly just as diverse as their taste buds, so failing to understand the unique personas that exist within this audience is a dangerous proposition.

Some large brands are now adopting production processes to meet these social demands – e.g. Hershey’s moving to a GMO free product line. Our research shows that it is critical to effectively communicate these changes as 27% of Millennials claim to look “very closely” for production considerations such as organic, sustainable and fair trade and 39% look “very closely” for nutritional content.

This generation knows how to research, and are constantly seeking products to satisfy their specialized taste – allowing new, equally specialized retail channels to thrive.

Personalizing Research: Constantly Listening, Constantly Learning

A convergence of technological advances, evolving social norms, and demographic changes have engendered a generation capable of satisfying their unending need for personalization.

Companies that develop a capability to scale personalized insights will have an advantage in meeting demands for personalization. Many large brands have misused their scale and continued to invest in traditional brand tracking and copy testing programs rather than adopting new methods that allow for deeper connection with millennial consumers.

Insight platforms that bring together the best in technology and community empower brands to engage directly with their consumers to iterate and co-create better products and marketing activations, faster.

Learn more about Millennials

Maru/Matchbox conducted an original research study, in partnership with Vision Critical, on the Millennial lifestyle. This comprehensive report, The Everything Guide to Millennials, offers never-before-seen data on the attitudes, behaviors and aspirations of this elusive generation.

Download The Everything Guide to Millennials