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Moving out means switching brands Moving out means switching brands

“Millennials are heavy users of social media and non-traditional forms of communications. They are the present and future of the marketplace. They’re forming and shaping their spending habits and beliefs about companies and brands now.” The Hartman Group this summer released a report called “The Culture of Milennials 2011” (pdf). The report is the result of in-depth qualitative and quantitative exploration into the culture of Millennials fielded April and May 2011 in the U.S. marketplace. In the report overview (the report itself is available for a small 15k in US dollars) there’s a lot (well, sufficiently) being said about the DNA and lifestyle of the Milennial, with a lot of additional information for those marketers who are working in the retail industry. One of the interesting take-aways CSNNews found was that retailers who want to market to Millennials should look to the dynamics of household structure for effective ways that influence path to purchase for their products.

“We’ve been observing for several years now the influence of the household on brand preferences,” said Laurie Demeritt, Hartman Group president to CSNNews yesterday. “We’ve maintained that while significant attention and marketing spend have shifted to shopper and retail-oriented promotions, the formation of brand preferences and choices occur primarily in the household, not in the store.”

Moving out = switching brands

Millennials begin to shift their brand preferences away from the brands they grew up with upon leaving home, the study found. Twenty percent switch almost entirely to different brands when they move out on their own. While Millennials characterize their food and beverage brands and products as more healthy, organic and natural than those of their parents, they also say they are more expensive, indicating an expectation for paying a premium for higher-quality food and beverage experiences. In the report:

“Millennials begin to shift their brand preferences away from the brands they grew up with when leaving home. Close to a third (29%) of Millennials shift back toward their parents’ brands after having children. One out of five Millennials switch almost entirely to different brands when they move out on their own.”

“These findings do not suggest that Millennials are averse to forging a relationship with a brand,” said Demeritt to CSNNews. “It means that companies and agencies should rethink and re-imagine how they market to them. One of the most effective ways to connect with Millennials, in fact, may be in not marketing directly to them. Millennials don’t want to be advertised to, they want to be advertised with.”

Source: Hartman Group, The Culture of Milennials, p.5

Other findings: Social media and food

The study also found some interesting facts about social media and the acquiring and sharing of information: “Technology is fundamental to the lives of Millennials: while some argue that technology inhibits their social interactions, we find that Millennials believe they may actually spend more time with their friends and family because they’re so technologically connected. They also perceive technology as something that’s had a negative impact: Constant preoccupation with devices; loss of privacy; loss of traditional English (e.g., texting).”

And about the culture of food: “Millennials lead the broader trend toward more meatless eating and they are more likely than older consumers to want new taste experiences. Millennials believe their food choices are healthier—but more expensive—than their parents. Their eating preferences are heavily influenced by exploration. 72% of Millennials say they enjoy cooking and/or want to learn how to cook more.”

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