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Marketing to Millennials - US - February 2014

“Companies or brands that successfully market to Millennials are ones that recognize that there is no such thing as a ‘Millennial’—just individuals or groups of individuals who are at a similar lifestage and have lived through similar experiences. They want to be treated for who they are, rather than be lumped together and labeled.”

– Fiona O’Donnell, Senior Lifestyles & Leisure Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • Why is it important to understand Millennials?
  • How does one reach a moving target?
  • How important are emotions or making an emotional connection?

In 2014, Millennials are between the ages of 20 and 37 and account for about one quarter of the US population. By 2020, it is estimated that they will spend about $1.4 trillion annually in the US. They have been stereotyped as the “Me, Me, Me” generation yet one that is globally aware and interested in supporting causes. They have been shaped by radical changes in electronics and computers—from the iPod to Facebook—shaken by the financial crisis, and have entered the job market during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. To some, they are an enigma. Regardless, their success or failure will help determine the economic strength or weakness of the US economy for decades to come.

This report builds on findings from Mintel’s Marketing to Millennials—US, August 2012 as well as the March 2010 report of the same title. Other related reports include Marketing Financial Services to Millennials—US, August 2013 and Millennials’ Leisure Trends—US, February 2013.

This report explores Millennials’ purchase drivers and how they evaluate their personal finances, attitudes toward health and healthcare reform, and their opinions about work and careers. It also discusses how members of this generation use technology, how they select and interact with brands, and what social issues are important to them.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Abbreviations and terms
              • Abbreviations
                • Terms
                • Executive Summary

                    • Snapshot of Millennials
                        • Figure 1: US population, by generation share, 2014
                      • Income and expenditures
                        • Finances are a significant source of stress for Millennials.
                          • Figure 2: Median household income and average annual expenditures, by all versus Millennials, 2012
                        • Marketing to Millennials
                          • Figure 3: Behaviors related to companies/brands, by all and Millennials, November 2013
                        • The Millennial consumer
                          • Value and positive experience are “very important” purchase decision factors
                            • Figure 4: Top five “very important” factors to purchase decision, by all and Millennials, November 2013
                          • Many Millennials reward corporate altruism
                            • Figure 5: Share of Millennials who make an effort to buy from “good” companies, by gender and parental status, November 2013
                          • Millennials more likely than other adults to share personal information
                            • Figure 6: Type of personal information would provide, by all, Millennials, and Baby Boomers, November 2013
                          • Millennials are generally responsible with money, but some find it hard to say no
                            • Figure 7: Millennials’ personal finances—concerns and habits, November 2013
                          • Millennials are sour on voice calls, but love screens
                            • Figure 8: Millennials’ technology use, November 2013
                          • Good health and financial security are keys to success
                            • Figure 9: Top five achievements critical to success, by all and Millennials, November 2013
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                              • Why is it important to understand Millennials?
                                • The issues:
                                  • The implications:
                                    • How does one reach a moving target?
                                      • The issues:
                                        • The implications:
                                          • How important are emotions or making an emotional connection?
                                            • The issues:
                                              • The implications:
                                              • Trend Applications

                                                  • Trend: Mood to Order
                                                    • Trend: Locavore
                                                      • Mintel Futures: East Meets West
                                                      • Millennials by the Numbers

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Millennials account for nearly one quarter of the US population
                                                            • Figure 10: US population, by generation share, 2014
                                                          • Millennial population is growing
                                                            • Figure 11: US population, by generation, 2009-19
                                                        • Demographic Characteristics of Millennials

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Race/Hispanic origin
                                                              • Figure 12: Share of US population by generation, by race/Hispanic origin, 2012
                                                            • Living with parents
                                                              • Figure 13: Millennials living at home with parents, by age, gender, education, employment status, 2012
                                                            • Marital status
                                                              • Figure 14: Marital status, by age/generation, 2012
                                                            • Among Millennials, women are more likely than men to be married
                                                              • Figure 15: Marital status of Millennials, by gender, 2012
                                                            • Four in 10 households headed by Millennials contain children younger than 18
                                                              • Figure 16: Households with own children, by generation of householder, 2013
                                                            • Median household income
                                                              • Figure 17: Median household income, by age/generation of householder, 2012
                                                            • Unemployment
                                                              • Figure 18: Employment status of civilian non-institutional population by age (not seasonally adjusted), December 2013
                                                            • Educational attainment
                                                              • Figure 19: Educational attainment, by age/generation among those aged 25+, 2012
                                                          • Millennial Economy

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Median income in 2012 lower than it was in 2007
                                                                • Figure 20: Median household income in 2012 dollars, by all and Millennials, 2007-12
                                                              • Millennials have little money to spare or save
                                                                • Figure 21: Median household income and average annual expenditures, by age/generation of householder, 2012
                                                              • Expenditures are increasing
                                                                • Figure 22: Percent change in average annual expenditures for leading categories, 2007 versus 2012
                                                              • How Millennials spend their money
                                                                • Figure 23: Average annual expenditures and characteristics, by all and <25s, and 25-34s, 2012
                                                            • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                • Case Foundation/The Millennial Impact Project
                                                                  • Doorsteps.com (acquired by Move, Inc.)
                                                                    • Simple
                                                                      • Figure 24: Simple mobile banking service introduction video
                                                                    • Retail Me Not (retailmenot.com)
                                                                    • Marketing Strategies

                                                                      • Overview
                                                                        • Make online and mobile marketing count
                                                                          • Figure 25: Behaviors related to companies/brands, by all and Millennials, November 2013
                                                                        • Brick-and-mortar retailers still matter
                                                                          • Marketers try to find the sweet spot
                                                                            • Scandal
                                                                              • Honda Civic “Best Yourself”
                                                                                • Figure 26: Honda Civic “Best Yourself” Video, August 2013
                                                                              • Macy’s
                                                                              • Factors Influencing Purchase Decisions

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Millennials seek value and positive purchase experiences
                                                                                    • Figure 27: Importance of select factors to Millennials' purchase decisions, November 2013
                                                                                  • Compared to all adults, Millennials are considerably more influenced by most factors
                                                                                    • Figure 28: Factors “very important” to purchase decision, by all and Millennials, November 2013
                                                                                  • Millennial women are influenced by many factors
                                                                                      • Figure 29: Factors “very important” to Millennials’ purchase decision, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                    • Go daddies
                                                                                      • Figure 30: Factors “very important” to Millennials’ purchase decision, by gender and parental status, November 2013
                                                                                  • Attitudes toward Corporate Altruism

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Millennials more likely to buy from altruistic companies
                                                                                        • Figure 31: Attitudes toward corporate altruism, by all, Millennials, and Baby Boomers, November 2013
                                                                                      • High-earning Millennials support “good” companies
                                                                                        • Figure 32: Millennials’ attitude toward corporate altruism, by gender and household income, November 2013
                                                                                      • Most Millennial dads go out of their way to buy from “good” companies
                                                                                        • Figure 33: Millennials’ attitude toward corporate altruism, by gender and parental status, November 2013
                                                                                    • Sharing of Personal Information

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Millennials likely to share habits, preferences, age, and email address…
                                                                                          • … but more protective of mobile phone number and social media profile
                                                                                            • Figure 34: Type of personal information Millennials would/would not be willing to share, November 2013
                                                                                          • Compared to other adults, Millennials are open with their personal data
                                                                                            • Figure 35: Type of personal information would provide, by all, Millennials, and Baby Boomers, November 2013
                                                                                          • Incentives are moderately effective for obtaining personal information
                                                                                            • Figure 36: Incentives that would prompt Millennials to share personal information, November 2013
                                                                                        • Personal Finance and Spending Habits

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Millennials more likely to adhere to a strict budget
                                                                                              • Figure 37: Personal finances—concerns and habits, by all and Millennials, November 2013
                                                                                            • Millennial women are most concerned about finances
                                                                                              • Figure 38: Millennials’ personal finances—concerns and habits, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                            • Older Millennials are beginning to contemplate (and worry about) the future
                                                                                              • Figure 39: Millennials’ personal finances—concerns and habits, by age, November 2013
                                                                                            • One in 10 Millennials often spend beyond their means
                                                                                              • Figure 40: Frequency of overspending, by all and Millennials, November 2013
                                                                                            • Reasons for overspending are far ranging
                                                                                              • Figure 41: Reasons for overspending, by all and Millennials, November 2013
                                                                                            • Need versus want
                                                                                              • Figure 42: Reasons Millennials overspend, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                          • Attitudes toward Personal Health and Health Reform

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Health concerns of Millennials are no different than that of all adults
                                                                                                • Figure 43: Personal health concerns, by all and Millennials, November 2013
                                                                                              • Millennials more likely to go it alone
                                                                                                • Millennials are more tolerant of unhealthy habits in others
                                                                                                  • Millennials, like most adults, are unmoved by the ACA
                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Attitudes about personal health and healthcare reform, by all and Millennials, November 2013
                                                                                                • Technology Use and Opinions

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • About half of Millennials use their smartphone to go online daily
                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Technology use, by all and Millennials, November 2013
                                                                                                    • Women are more likely to use multiple screens, stream and use their smartphone daily
                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Millennials’ technology use, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                                    • Younger Millennials more likely than Older Millennials to stream/use multiple screens
                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Millennials’ technology use and opinions, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                    • Three in 10 Millennials would rather give up broadcast TV than their mobile phone
                                                                                                      • Few Millennials prefer to phone home
                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Technology use and opinions, by all and Millennials, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Millennial men less likely to give up broadcast television
                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Millennials’ technology use and opinions, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Mobile marketing making headway with Millennials
                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Technology use and opinions, by all and Millennials, November 2013
                                                                                                      • Higher-income Millennial women most likely to leverage online/mobile retail channel
                                                                                                        • Figure 51: Millennials’ technology use and opinions, by gender and household income, November 2013
                                                                                                    • Most Important Social Issues

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Education, poverty, public safety most important issues to Millennials
                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Most important social issues, by all and Millennials, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Age and gender impact top social issues
                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Social issues most important to Millennials, by gender and age, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Millennials who make caused-based purchases include the environment among their top three social issues
                                                                                                            • Figure 54: Social issues most important to Millennials, among those who buy from companies that support causes, November 2013
                                                                                                        • Opinions about Work and Career

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Health benefits, job security, and passion about their job lead the way
                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Millennials’ opinions about work and career, by all adults and Millennials, November 2013
                                                                                                            • Health benefits remain a priority even with the ACA
                                                                                                              • Figure 56: Good health benefits should be a priority—agree/disagree, by Millennials, November 2013
                                                                                                            • Millennials desire job security but also want to feel passionate about their jobs
                                                                                                              • Figure 57: Millennials’ opinions about passion for work and job security, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                                            • Contingent workforce sees the world a bit differently
                                                                                                              • Figure 58: Millennials’ opinions about work and career, by employment status, November 2013
                                                                                                          • Achievements Critical to Success

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Truism: good health, financial security are critical for a successful life
                                                                                                                • Figure 59: Achievements critical to success, by all and Millennials, November 2013
                                                                                                              • Younger Millennials place less importance on marriage and family
                                                                                                                • Figure 60: Achievements critical to Millennials’ success, by gender and age, November 2013
                                                                                                              • Being a mother changes things dramatically for Millennial women
                                                                                                                • Figure 61: Achievements critical to Millennials’ success, by gender and parental status, November 2013
                                                                                                            • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Value is very important, but so is feeling good
                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Factors “very important” to Millennials’ purchase decision, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                • About half of White Millennials have cut spending
                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: Millennials’ personal finances—concerns and habits, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Black and Hispanic Millennials are less judgmental about unhealthy behaviors
                                                                                                                  • Figure 64: Millennials’ attitudes about personal health and healthcare reform, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Opinions about the ACA are consistent across racial groups
                                                                                                                  • Figure 65: Millennials’ attitudes about personal health and healthcare reform, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Current health concerns not differentiated based on race/Hispanic origin
                                                                                                                  • Figure 66: Millennials’ personal health concerns, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Black Millennials less dependent on technology
                                                                                                                  • Figure 67: Millennials’ technology use and opinions, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Most important social issues vary based on race
                                                                                                                  • Figure 68: Social issues most important to Millennials, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Health benefits, advancement, and passion for work are priorities
                                                                                                                  • Figure 69: Millennials’ opinions about work and career, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Financial security and good health critical to success
                                                                                                                  • Figure 70: Achievements critical to Millennials’ success, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                • Factors influencing purchase decisions
                                                                                                                  • Figure 71: Factors “very important” to Millennials’ purchase decision, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 72: Factors “very important” to Millennials’ purchase decision, by employment status, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 73: Factors “very important” to Millennials’ purchase decision, by gender and household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Attitudes toward corporate altruism
                                                                                                                  • Figure 74: Millennials’ attitudes toward corporate altruism, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 75: Millennials’ attitudes toward corporate altruism, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 76: Millennials’ attitudes toward corporate altruism, by employment status, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 77: Millennials’ attitudes toward corporate altruism, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Attitudes toward company business practices
                                                                                                                  • Figure 78: Millennials’ attitudes toward company business practices, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 79: Millennials’ attitudes toward company business practices, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 80: Millennials’ attitudes toward company business practices, by employment status, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 81: Millennials’ attitudes toward company business practices, by gender and household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 82: Millennials’ attitudes toward company business practices, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Sharing of personal information
                                                                                                                  • Figure 83: Type of personal information Millennials would be willing to share, by those who are positive to personalized advertising, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Personal finances – concerns and habits
                                                                                                                  • Figure 84: Millennials’ personal finances—concerns and habits, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 85: Millennials’ personal finances—concerns and habits, by employment status, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 86: Millennials’ personal finances—concerns and habits, by gender and household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 87: Millennials’ personal finances—concerns and habits, by gender and parental status, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 88: Millennials’ personal finances—concerns and habits, by those who stick to a strict budget, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Frequency of overspending
                                                                                                                  • Figure 89: Millennials’ frequency of overspending, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 90: Millennials’ frequency of overspending, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 91: Millennials’ frequency of overspending, by employment status, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 92: Millennials’ frequency of overspending, by gender and household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 93: Millennials’ frequency of overspending, by gender and parental status, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 94: Millennials’ frequency of overspending, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Attitudes about personal health and healthcare reform
                                                                                                                  • Figure 95: Millennials’ attitudes about personal health and healthcare reform, by employment status, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 96: Millennials’ attitudes about personal health and healthcare reform, by gender and parental status, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 97: Millennials’ attitudes about personal health and healthcare reform, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 98: Millennials’ attitudes about personal health and healthcare reform, by employment status, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 99: Attitudes about personal health and healthcare reform, by all and Millennials, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 100: Millennials’ attitudes about personal health and healthcare reform, by those who think they are healthier than most others their age, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Personal health concerns
                                                                                                                  • Figure 101: Millennials’ personal health concerns, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 102: Millennials’ personal health concerns, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 103: Millennials’ personal health concerns, by employment status, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 104: Millennials’ personal health concerns, by gender and household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 105: Millennials’ personal health concerns, by gender and parental status, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Technology use and opinions
                                                                                                                  • Figure 106: Technology use, by all and Millennials, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 107: Millennials’ technology use and opinions, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 108: Millennials’ technology use and opinions, by employment, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 109: Millennials’ technology use and opinions, by gender and household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 110: Millennials’ technology use and opinions, by gender and parental status, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 111: Millennials’ technology use and opinions, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 112: Millennials’ technology use and opinions, by employment status, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 113: Millennials’ technology use and opinions, by gender and household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 114: Millennials’ technology use and opinions, by gender and parental status, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 115: Millennials’ technology use and opinions, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 116: Millennials’ technology use and opinions, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 117: Millennials’ technology use and opinions, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 118: Millennials’ technology use and opinions, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 119: Millennials’ technology use and opinions, by employment status, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 120: Millennials’ technology use and opinions, by gender and parental status, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Most important social issues
                                                                                                                  • Figure 121: Social issues most important to Millennials, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 122: Social issues most important to Millennials, by employment status, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 123: Social issues most important to Millennials, by gender and household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 124: Social issues most important to Millennials, by gender and parental status, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Opinions about work and career
                                                                                                                  • Figure 125: Millennials’ opinions about work and career, by level of agree/disagree, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 126: Millennials’ opinions about work and career, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 127: Millennials’ opinions about work and career, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 128: Millennials’ opinions about work and career, by gender and household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 129: Millennials’ opinions about work and career, by gender and parental status, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Achievements critical to success
                                                                                                                  • Figure 130: Achievements critical to Millennials’ success, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 131: Achievements critical to Millennials’ success, by age, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 132: Achievements critical to Millennials’ success, by household income, November 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 133: Achievements critical to Millennials’ success, by employment status, November 2013
                                                                                                                • Behaviors related to companies/brands
                                                                                                                  • Figure 134: Millennials’ behaviors related to companies/brands, by gender, November 2013
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                Marketing to Millennials - US - February 2014

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