Millennials, the 50+ million consumers currently between the ages of 18 and 34, are predicted to spend $56 billion on Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) products over the next decade. Industry research shows Millennials buy differently from the Baby Boomer generation which presents both a challenge and an opportunity for manufacturers to create new and profitable relationships. To be successful, it will be necessary for manufacturers to re-think branding initiatives, consider innovative new packaging and apply targeted trade promotion activities to effectively tap into this unique demographic.
Before you come up with a strategy to win over Millennials, it’s important to understand what makes this generation tick. They crave instant gratification and want healthy choices. They were practically born with a smartphone in their hand and rely heavily on technology and social media platforms to make important buying decisions.
According to a SymphonyIRI report released in June, a number of promotional tactics appear to affect Millennial’s brand decisions more heavily than the average shopper. Boomers may breeze right by an in-store kiosk or display, but these tactics are cited as being particularly more influential to Millennials. This generation is also more likely to be swayed by shopper loyalty card discounts. Not surprising, price is a top consideration for Millennials and this generation is not as brand loyal as their parents. In fact, 51 percent of Millennials say consumer opinions found on a brand website have a greater impact on purchase decisions than recommendations from relatives and friends.
Ultimately, Millennials are influenced differently and shop differently. So what can CPG manufacturers do to capitalize on this unique generation? Here are some solid first steps as outlined in the SymphonyIRI report:
- Re-evaluate distribution strategies to ensure you hold a presence across strong and high-growth channels
- Make an emotional connection with Millennial shoppers using promotional programs that resonate with their desire to “live well for less”
- Integrate digital marketing and targeted social media efforts with traditional efforts
- Get ahead of the curve by monitoring trends among Millennial shoppers and proactively address changes in product needs
There’s no denying that Millennials will define and impact the future of the CPG industry. Manufacturers of all sizes and categories would be foolish to not start winning them over and cashing in now.