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As Millennials Reach Adulthood, Marketers Line Up to Pitch the Next Generation of Grown Ups

Marketing to Women: Addressing Women and Women's Sensibilities, September 2008 | Go to article overview

As Millennials Reach Adulthood, Marketers Line Up to Pitch the Next Generation of Grown Ups


Back-to-school shopping surveys are nothing unusual this time of year. But look closely at this season's crop and you'll notice something new: the Millennial moms.

June Cleaver, they ain't. Frank About Women, a consulting firm focusing on female consumers, gave Millennial moms special attention in its latest survey on back-to-school retail trends. Millennial moms are most likely to be "mission shoppers" (practical, focused, in a hurry) or "social shoppers" (likes to talk and socialize with friends and family while she shops). "Live today, worry tomorrow. This is the shopping mantra by which today's Millennial mom spends her hard earned money," the report says.

Back-to-school is just the tip of the iceberg. The generation alternately known as Generation Y, the Millennials and the Echo Boom is aging out of its original demographic boundaries. While long targeted by marketers for teen and youth products, as its oldest members are now pushing 30, this group is drawing the attention of marketers who tend to target grown-ups.

Who is marketing to the Millennial woman?

Financial Services. To sell its credit card, JP Morgan Chase tapped into social networking--a virtual space in which women outnumber men. A study by Rapleaf finds even on social networking sites where men and women are in roughly equal numbers, women spend more time on the site and put more effort into acquiring social network contacts. JP Morgan Chase responded by creating a Facebook page for its credit card. It boasts nearly 8,000 virtual friends.

High End Jewelry. The latest statistics from industry group Diamond Promotion Service (DPS) finds women are no longer waiting until their engagements to own their first diamond. Indeed, 81% of diamond jewelry purchased by women under 30 is non-bridal, says DPS. Retailers are revamping their websites and adding e-commerce options to meet the trend. Many jewelry stores are also adding information to their websites that explains how their diamonds are sourced and what steps the store has taken to ensure its diamonds are "conflict-free" or acquired by socially responsible methods. Young women care about social issues and will choose their retailers accordingly, says Anne Valentzas, VP of Marketing for the DPS.

Parenting Products. Babycenter.com, a site for new moms, added social networking capabilities this year to attract the next generation of mommies. In addition to bringing moms together, it promises to "provide brands with a place to communicate with their audience in a familiar and trusted environment.

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As Millennials Reach Adulthood, Marketers Line Up to Pitch the Next Generation of Grown Ups
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