US Marketing to Millennials Consumer Report 2024
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Millennials, those born between 1980 and 1996, number an estimated 77 million in the US. These “Digital Pioneers” have matured through significant technological and communication changes that have in turn…

US Marketing to Millennials Consumer Report 2024

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

Stay ahead of the curve and secure future growth for your business with Mintel’s Marketing to Millennials Consumer Report. The report provides a data-led understanding of Millennials as a consumer and opportunities to effectively market to them in the US.

Topics Analyzed

  • Overview of US Millennials, the events that shaped them, their racial and ethnic makeup, and the current economic context.
  • Financial outlook of Millennials, in the context of their unique perspective and lifestyle differences from older generations.
  • Their relationship with social media and tech, differences by demographics, and their implications.
  • Millennials’ discretionary spending, leisure time, and life priorities.
  • The conflicts between Millennials’ self-perception and how they are perceived by others, and the marketing implications.
  • Millennials’ top stressors and concerns over the next six months.
  • Examples and analysis of advertising campaigns featuring themes and issues important to Millennial cohorts.

Marketing to Millennials: Consumer Overview

Millennials, those born between 1980 and 1996, number an estimated 77 million in the US. These “Digital Pioneers” have matured through significant technological and communication changes that have in turn shifted cultural and societal norms. Their maturity through this period of rapid change sets them apart from older cohorts and equip them to adapt to accelerated shifts.

Millennials have been at the forefront of the shift towards multiculturalism and the acceptance of LGBTQ+ rights, values that continue to hold importance for them. This generation has faced two major economic downturns, affecting both the oldest and youngest Millennials during their formative years. As a result, they tend to be financially cautious when starting families, with 34% of non-parents stating they plan to wait until achieving financial stability before doing so.

As they enter middle age and their peak child-raising and earning years, Millennials face significant challenges. Higher costs of living, increased interest rates and the looming influence of AI introduce uncertainties about the future. Addressing the needs of this racially, culturally, and financially diverse cohort will require innovative solutions.

Meet the Expert

Hiro joined Mintel in 2024. He draws from more than a decade of experience in marketing, R&D, regulatory and market research in CPG and specialty chemical industries. Hiro has an MBA in Marketing & MS in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois.

As the US’s largest, middle demographic, Millennials span a vast landscape of lifestyles, yet share key experiences that season this diversity with adaptability.

Hiro Takemasa, Mintel analyst
Hiro Takemasa
Senior Consumer Lifestyles Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary

    • What you need to know
    • What consumers want and why
    • Market predictions
    • Challenges
    • Opportunities
  2. Market Dynamics

    • Market context
    • Rapid technological change and cultural diversification define Millennials
    • Headline inflation has eased, yet high pockets remain
    • Graph 1: headline CPI and shelter CPI, 2022-24
    • Monthly savings in the US remain below pre-pandemic levels
    • Graph 2: average personal savings rate, 2018-24
    • Millennials by the numbers
    • Millennials are the largest generational cohort and entering their peak spending years
    • Graph 3: population distribution, by generation, 2018-28
    • While interest shifts to Gen Z, Millennials’ influence drives market activity
    • Graph 4: weekly Google search term frequency, indexed, 2019-24
    • Millennials’ consumer behaviors rooted in life stage and finances
    • Graph 5: population, by generation, 2018-28
    • Millennial racial diversity is reflective of the US as a whole, but sexual identity is progressive
    • Graph 6: identifying as LGBTQ, by generation, 2012-23*
    • Graph 7: generations, by race, 2023
  3. Consumer Insights

    • Consumer fast facts
    • Consumer fast facts, continued
    • Understand consumer priorities with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
    • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs provides a framework for marketing based on consumers’ needs
    • Translating Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to consumer priorities
    • Household and lifestage
    • Between a hard place and the unknown, Millennials are both catching up and finding their own way
    • Graph 8: life circumstances and milestones, by generation, 2024
    • Having children later in life creates new consumer needs and opportunities
    • Graph 9: share of births, by age of mother, 2020 vs 2000
    • Graph 10: average age of mother at first birth, 1980-2020
    • Financial stability prioritized before children for more than a third of Millennials
    • Millennials are financially conservative when making long-term commitments, such as starting families
    • Graph 11: household makeup – Millennials, by financial situation, 2024
    • Build trust by presenting solutions for Millennial parents’ evolving needs
    • Graph 12: ages children in household – Millennials, by Millennial age groups, 2024
    • First home needs are evolving: provide functional solutions to meet them
    • Debt and finances
    • Student loan debt an outsized burden for Millennials
    • Graph 13: average annual student loan debt per borrower, 1994-2023
    • Potential for lower discretionary spending among those resuming Federal student loan payments
    • Graph 14: impacts of student loan repayments, all adults and Millennials, by parental status, 2023
    • Expedite large expenditures requiring parental financial support by aligning values shared by Millennials and their parents
    • Graph 15: financial help received from parents in past two years, by generation, 2024
    • Ease Millennials’ high expenditure growth with solutions for their Safety needs
    • Graph 16: average annual consumer unit expenditure – indexed to 2019, by generation, 2019-22
    • Relationship with social media and technology
    • Combine data-driven analysis of interests and social media usage to prioritize ad spend
    • Graph 17: social media sites used daily, by Millennials and Gen Z, 2024
    • Power-users of social media tend to have higher discretionary income
    • Graph 18: social media sites used daily – Millennials, by financial health, 2024
    • Appeal to Belonging and Esteem needs of Millennials through social media
    • Graph 19: attitudes towards social media and social perception (any agree), Millennials vs all adults, 2024
    • Inspire aspirational lifestyles among financially healthy Millennials by delving deeper into their socially desirable values and positions
    • Graph 20: attitudes towards social media and social perception (any agree) – Millennials, by financial health, 2024
    • Speak to Millennial parents’ Esteem and Self-Actualization needs through positive familial messaging
    • Graph 21: attitudes towards social media and social perception – Millennials, by parental status, 2024
    • Motivate financially healthy Millennials with goal-oriented messaging, while navigating around social media’s negative effects
    • Graph 22: opinions about social media – Millennials, by financial health, 2024
    • Asian and Pacific Islanders least engaged in social media and feel its emotional effects the least
    • Graph 23: attitudes (any agree) and opinions towards social media – Millennials, by race/ethnicity, 2024
    • Fight “AI hype” to maintain trust with Millennials and GenAI power users
    • Graph 24: familiarity and experience with generative AI, by generation, 2023
    • Leisure activities and attitudes toward cultural diversity
    • Diverse Millennial interests requires granular segmentation
    • Compared to other generations, Millennials divide their interests equally
    • Graph 25: most enjoyable activities (any rank 1-3)*, by generation, 2024
    • Segmenting by financial health reveals preferred channels for activities
    • Graph 26: most enjoyable activities (any rank 1-3)* – Millennials, by financial health, 2024
    • Vary content and channel by race and ethnicity
    • Graph 27: most enjoyable activities (any rank 1-3)*, Millennials, by race/ethnicity, 2024
    • Millennials value multiculturalism beyond representation of their own heritage
    • Graph 28: attitudes toward culture (strongly agree), Millennials vs all adults, 2024
    • Target affluent Millennials with cultural travel experiences
    • Graph 29: attitudes towards culture (strongly agree) and foreign travel experience, by Millennials and financially healthy Millennials, 2024
    • Lean on native sources when crafting culturally specific messaging for Asian and Pacific Islander audiences
    • Graph 30: attitudes toward culture (strongly agree) – Millennials, by race/ethnicity, 2024
    • US Asian and Pacific Islander parents are prioritizing travel, possibly taking advantage of current strength of USD
    • Appeal to Millennial parents’ empathy by opening windows to multiculturalism
    • The joys and struggles of families are universal
    • Graph 31: attitudes towards culture (any agree) – Millennial, by parental status, 2024
    • Discretionary spending habits and priorities
    • Millennials’ discretionary spending in line with greater population, with some exceptions
    • Graph 32: discretionary spending priorities in the past 12 months (any rank 1-3)*, Millennials vs all adults, 2024
    • Demand is pent-up for nearby overnight stays and tech devices, but Millennials need a compelling reason to eat out
    • Graph 33: discretionary spending priorities – hypothetical $500 in the next 30 days (any rank 1-3)*, by Millennials vs all adults, 2024
    • Dissect products’ functions to determine how they meet the needs of Millennials of differing financial health
    • Graph 34: discretionary spending priorities in the past 12 months (any rank 1-3)* – Millennials, by financial health, 2024
    • Build trust with Millennials through financial services and advice for future purchases
    • Graph 35: financial priorities for 2023 and 2024, Millennials vs all adults, 2022-23
    • Millennials prioritize mental health more than all adults, but lifestyle and finances shape their focus
    • Graph 36: prioritization of physical and mental health – Millennials, by financial health and parental status, 2024
    • Emphasize “relaxation” vs “improving mental health” for financially healthy Millennials
    • Graph 37: most enjoyable activities (any rank 1-3)* and top priorities (any top three)* of the next five years, Millennials, by financial health, 2024
    • Generational perceptions
    • Millennials are middle-of-the-road in generational perceptions
    • Consumers’ perceptions of older and younger generations vary
    • Self vs the perceived self – bridging the perception gap
    • Gain trust and credibility by resolving dissonances in perception
    • Graph 38: perceptions of self, and of Millennials, by Millennials vs all adults, 2024
    • Improve product and message through analysis of perception gaps
    • Check biases by comparing general perceptions of Millennials against their self-perceptions
    • Graph 39: Millennials’ self-perception vs all adults’ perception of Millennials, 2024
    • Millennials think of themselves as more powerful but less open-minded
    • Graph 40: self-perceptions, Millennials vs all adults, 2024
    • Self-identified deficiencies reveal opportunities for engagement
    • Graph 41: differences in self-perception vs perception of other Millennials – Millennials, by financial health, 2024
    • Acknowledge racial and ethnic differences in self-perception
    • Graph 42: differences in self-perception vs perception of other Millennials – Millennials, by race/ethnicity, 2024
    • Stressors, concerns and motivations
    • Play on Millennials’ Esteem and Belonging needs by messaging the specific positions they resonate with
    • Graph 43: top concerns for the next 6 months (any rank 1-3)*, by Millennials vs all adults, 2024
    • If messaging politically, stick to specific issues rather than using broad political strokes
    • Maximize value perception by identifying the top Maslow Hierarchy priorities of the target segment
    • Graph 44: top concerns for the next six months (any rank 1-3)* – Millennials, by financial health, 2024
    • Engage future-focused Millennial parents with positive societal messaging
    • Graph 45: top stressors and concerns over the next six months (any rank 1-3)* – Millennials, by parental status, 2024
    • Acknowledge higher financial literacy of Asians and affluent Millennials
    • Graph 46: top concerns over the next six months (any rank 1-3)* – Millennials, by race/ethnicity, 2024
    • Keep expectations realistic when marketing to financially strained Millennials
    • Graph 47: attitude towards social expectations (any agree) – Millennials, by financial health, 2024
    • Emphasize a family legacy of success and stability when marketing to parents
    • Graph 48: attitude towards social expectations (any agree), by generation, by parental status, 2024
    • Millennials cautious of generative AI due to fears of personal job loss, among other concerns
    • Graph 49: “I could see myself losing my job due to the use of generative AI…” (any agree), by generation, 2023
  4. Marketing strategies

    • Marketing to Millennials vs Baby Boomers – what has changed?
    • Abercrombie & Fitch Co. successfully re-brands for Millennial values
    • Convenience food packaging targets on-the-go Millennial parents
    • Singapore Tourism Board mixes the familiar with the exotic to entice first-time overseas travelers
    • DSG Family Gear emphasizes family, affordability and functionality in its sports wear
    • Rask AI ad campaign focuses on connecting multicultural families through language
  5. Appendix

    • Market definition
    • Consumer research methodology
    • Correspondence analysis – methodology
    • Generations
    • Abbreviations and terms

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