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Marketing to Millennials - US - May 2016

The often analyzed Millennial generation spans the ages of 22-39 in 2016. This group is the largest generation, making-up a quarter of the US population, roughly 77 million people. Additionally, they are nearing their prime earning and spending years, making them a crucial audience for marketers in nearly all categories.

Although this generational group spans nearly two decades, making it hard to understand what a “typical” Millennial looks like, hallmarks of this group include their support of social change, including racial diversity in the US, and changing family dynamics; their penchant for selective spending in which they will scrimp in some areas only to splurge on others; and their reliance on technology countered by an equally compelling desire to “switch-off.”

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Who are Millennials?
          • Figure 1: Share of US population by generation, 2016 
        • Why are Millennials an important target audience?
          • The issues
            • Liberal leaning Millennials are tolerant – To a point
              • Figure 2: Millennial views on society – Family composition, index to all, February 2016
            • Millennial self-perceptions misaligned with how they feel others view them
              • Popular culture garners popular interest, but food trends are followed by fans
                • Figure 3: Millennial trends, February 2016
              • The opportunities
                • Millennials are adults, whatever that means
                  • Figure 4: Millennial views on the future, February 2016
                • Millennials are strongly anti-aging
                  • Figure 5: Millennial views on the future – Independence, by older and younger Millennials, by gender, February 2016
                • Marketers understand Millennials (if they’re older, male, White, and affluent)
                  • Figure 6: Attitudes toward trends, advertising portrayals, by key demographics,. February 2016
                • The sharing, caring Millennial
                  • Figure 7: Millennial behaviors, February 2016
                • What it means
                • The Millennial Market – What You Need to Know

                  • Millennials are a large and diverse group
                    • Millennials delay marriage and family to focus on education
                    • The Millennial Generation by the Numbers

                      • Millennials make up a quarter of the US population
                        • Figure 8: Share of US population by generation, 2016 
                      • Millennials exposed to different people and cultures
                        • Figure 9: Generations, by race and Hispanic origin, 2016
                      • Millennial generation believes in, but delays marriage
                        • Figure 10: Marital status, by age, 2015
                        • Figure 11: Median age at first marriage, by gender, 1890-2015
                      • Millennials are highly educated, and indebted
                        • Figure 12: Level of education completed, by generation, March 2016
                      • Millennials likely paired up as roommates, friends, or partners
                        • Figure 13: Single-person households as a percentage of total households by generation, 2015
                      • Entering critical earning years
                        • Figure 14: Median household income, by age of householder, in thousands, 2014
                    • Key Trends – What You Need to Know

                      • Ads can also be entertainment
                        • Millennial priorities shift the workforce
                          • Selective spending drives new product offerings
                            • Finding balance is key challenge
                            • What’s Working

                              • Advertising as entertainment draws Millennial following
                                • Figure 15: HumanKinda, October 2015
                                • Figure 16: First Day, September 2015
                                • Figure 17: Fear the Walking Dead Flight 462, October 2015-March 2016
                                • Figure 18: #missadventure season two, episode one: the perfect weekend, March 2016
                              • “Lazy” Millennials look up to productive role models
                                • Recruiting and retaining Millennial employees
                                  • Diversity and inclusion signal authenticity
                                    • Figure 19: #HowWeFamily, June 2015
                                    • Figure 20: Wells Fargo commercial: Learning Sign Language, April 2015
                                    • Figure 21: Axe – Find Your Magic, January 2016
                                  • Authentic and affordable travel
                                  • What’s Not Working

                                    • Millennials less likely to own homes, but inspired to purchase
                                      • Figure 22: Type of primary residence, by Generation, May 2015
                                    • Pay TV struggles in the face of cord cutting
                                      • Competition in streaming music puts pressure on profits
                                        • Figure 23: Spotify: Never Ending, March 2016
                                      • Anti-LGBT legislation dampens state tourism
                                      • What’s Next

                                        • Access over ownership
                                          • A holistic approach to health
                                            • Financial services target Millennials to aid in debt refinancing
                                              • The balancing act
                                                • Millennials push for supply chain transparency
                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                  • Millennials wary of others’ perceptions
                                                    • The future is bright
                                                      • The quasi-adults
                                                        • The Zen of Millennials
                                                          • Trend setters and trend followers
                                                            • Make me laugh, marketers
                                                              • Online shopping is a given
                                                              • How Millennials Perceive Themselves and Their Generation

                                                                  • Millennials’ self-perceptions at odds with how they think others see them
                                                                    • Methodology
                                                                      • Figure 24: Millennials’ perceptions of themselves, their generation, and how they think others perceive their generation – Correspondence analysis, February 2016
                                                                      • Figure 25: Millennials’ generational perceptions, February 2016
                                                                    • Older and younger Millennials share comparable self-perceptions
                                                                      • Figure 26: Millennials’ self-perceptions – Compassionate, ambitious, tech-obsessed, by older and younger Millennials, February 2016
                                                                    • Similar self-perceptions among racial groups
                                                                      • Figure 27: Millennials’ self-perceptions – Tolerant, tech-obsessed, entitled, by race, February 2016
                                                                  • Planning for the Future

                                                                      • Millennials are optimistic, despite uncertain preparation for the future
                                                                        • Figure 28: Planning for the future, February 2016
                                                                      • Reliance on parents doesn’t negate adulthood
                                                                        • Figure 29: Planning for the future – Independence, by older and younger Millennials, by gender, February 2016
                                                                      • White Millennials more confident in their adult status
                                                                        • Figure 30: Planning for the future – Independence, by race, February 2016
                                                                      • Men fight the battle against aging
                                                                        • Figure 31: Planning for the future – Aging, by gender, February 2016
                                                                      • Hispanics want to prepare for the future
                                                                        • Figure 32: Planning for the future – Preparation, by Hispanic origin, February 2016
                                                                    • How Millennials View Society

                                                                        • Millennials prove more accepting of changing norms
                                                                          • Diversity is desired, but feelings are mixed on incoming refugees
                                                                            • Figure 33: Millennials’ views on society – All issues, index to all, February 2016
                                                                          • Parents understand delaying marriage and family
                                                                            • Figure 34: Millennials’ views on society – Family composition, by parent status, February 2016
                                                                          • Some social change supported less by younger Millennials
                                                                            • Figure 35: Millennial views on society – Social issues (good), by younger and older Millennials, February 2016
                                                                        • Keeping up with Trends

                                                                            • Not tech-obsessed, but tech oriented
                                                                              • Figure 36: Keeping up with trends, February 2016
                                                                            • Lower-income Millennials less concerned with trends – Regardless of cost
                                                                              • Figure 37: Keeping up with trends – Technology, travel, social media, diet, by household income, February 2016
                                                                            • Parents are on-trend
                                                                              • Figure 38: Keeping up with select trends, by parental status, February 2016
                                                                          • Millennial Behaviors

                                                                              • Online behaviors are natural for this generation
                                                                                  • Figure 39: Millennials’ behaviors, February 2016
                                                                                • The boomerang effect
                                                                                  • Figure 40: Behaviors – Living at home as an adult, by generation, February 2016
                                                                                • Hispanics open to using nontraditional services
                                                                                  • Figure 41: Millennial behaviors – Use of alternate services, by Hispanic origin, February 2016
                                                                              • Millennial Marketing Preferences

                                                                                  • Humor is the leading preference in advertising
                                                                                    • Figure 42: Marketing preferences, indexed to all, February 2016
                                                                                  • Women looking for emotional ads, men looking for energy and suspense
                                                                                      • Figure 43: Marketing preferences – Select items, by gender, February 2016
                                                                                    • Younger Millennials want to enjoy an ad and sing along
                                                                                      • Figure 44: Marketing preferences – New music and entertainment, by younger and older Millennials, February 2016
                                                                                    • Black Millennials looking for a reflection of diversity
                                                                                      • Figure 45: Marketing preferences – Includes diversity, by race and Hispanic origin, February 2016
                                                                                    • Higher-income brackets looking for aspirational ads
                                                                                      • Figure 46: Marketing preferences – Shows perfection, by household income, February 2016
                                                                                  • Attitudes toward Shopping, Trends, and Advertising

                                                                                      • Online reviews are critical
                                                                                        • Figure 47: Attitudes toward shopping, index to all, February 2016
                                                                                      • Millennials identify a need to disconnect from devices
                                                                                        • Figure 48: Attitudes toward trends, index to all, February 2016
                                                                                      • Millennials, Millennials, Millennials
                                                                                        • Figure 49: Attitudes toward advertising, index to all, February 2016
                                                                                      • Affluent Millennials identify more with ads
                                                                                        • Figure 50: Attitudes toward advertising portrayals, by key demographics, February 2016
                                                                                    • How Lottery Winnings Would Be Spent

                                                                                        • Millennials’ top desire is dream vacation
                                                                                            • Figure 51: How lottery winnings would be spent, February 2016
                                                                                          • Although everyone wants a vacation, Blacks are more likely to desire education
                                                                                            • Figure 52: How lottery winnings would be spent, by race, February 2016
                                                                                          • Affluent Millennials see the value of pampering
                                                                                            • Figure 53: How lottery winnings would be spent, by household income, February 2016
                                                                                        • Willingness to Purchase Online

                                                                                            • Fit doesn’t appear to be a barrier to Millennials shopping online for apparel
                                                                                                • Figure 54: Willingness to purchase online, February 2016
                                                                                              • Niche online categories driven by those with high household income
                                                                                                • Figure 55: Willingness to purchase online – Select items, by household income, February 2016
                                                                                              • Hispanic audience key for household purchases online
                                                                                                • Figure 56: Willingness to purchase online – Select items, by Hispanic origin, February 2016
                                                                                            • Millennials’ Perceptions of Quality

                                                                                                • Majority agree that quality equals durability
                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Perceptions of quality, index to all, February 2016
                                                                                                • Older Millennials believe in the quality of local
                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Perceptions of quality – Select items, by older and younger Millennials, February 2016
                                                                                                • Craftsmanship stands out to non-White Millennials
                                                                                                  • Figure 59: Perceptions of quality, by race, February 2016
                                                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                • Data sources
                                                                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                    • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                                      • Generations
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Market

                                                                                                          • Figure 60: Population by generation, 2011-21
                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Generations, by race and Hispanic origin, 2016
                                                                                                          • Figure 62: Marital status, by age, 2015
                                                                                                          • Figure 63: Median age at first marriage, by gender, 2005-15
                                                                                                          • Figure 64: Median household income, by age of householder, 2014

                                                                                                      Companies Covered

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                                                                                                      Marketing to Millennials - US - May 2016

                                                                                                      £3,174.67 (Excl.Tax)