US Marketing to Millennials Market Report 2021
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“Having just survived their second economic recession in 15 years, Millennials are prioritizing a stable career and financial independence before making any other major life decisions. However, a shift in…

US Marketing to Millennials Market Report 2021

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)


Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the US Marketing To Millennials market, including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Millennials are the largest generation in the US, making up 23.2% of the population. Feeling knocked down by life, they report seeing themselves as more overwhelmed and less resilient than other generations. The economic uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic and anxieties over social events could prove challenging, however, with brands needing to work hard to reconnect and build up trust with this group.

Having suffered through two recessions, Millennials are prioritizing growth and stability in their careers and finances. They desire to achieve major life events like purchasing a home, getting married and having kids, but they are choosing to delay these decisions – ultimately leaving them feeling behind and rushing to catch up. With a 19% drop in the birthrate since the peak in 2007, Millennials are becoming an important demographic to market to as they get older.

The pandemic has also left them with habits that could last into the longer term, with 76% reporting new health and safety habits they plan on continuing to do into the future. With 99% of Millennials being active social media users, it is important for brands to understand this groups opinions and associations with each platform in order to fully connect with them as a group.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our US Lifestages market research. View US Marketing to Millennials on the US Store

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on Millennials and consumer behavior
  • Financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Millennials
  • Millennials’ views on marriage and parenthood
  • Millennials’ relationship with social media and technology

Covered in this report

Social Media Brands: YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Stasher Bags, Talkspace, BetterHelp, Target, Pure Leaf Tea, Starbucks, Rocket Mortgage, T-Mobile, The Little Market, Peloton, Anheuser-Busch, Nike.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Ariel Horton, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Having just survived their second economic recession in 15 years, Millennials are prioritizing a stable career and financial independence before making any other major life decisions. However, a shift in priorities can be seen for Millennials in their mid-30s. These older Millennials are prioritizing marriage and especially parenthood. Meanwhile, younger Millennials feel like the pandemic set them back by a year and this has ultimately made them feel overwhelmed and rushing to catch back up.
Ariel Horton
Lifestyle and Leisure Analyst


Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • COVID-19: market context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Population by generation, 2021
    • Impact of COVID-19 on Millennials
    • Millennials are faced with income setbacks
    • Homeownership continues to be delayed
      • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on Millennials, June 2021
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Millennials are overwhelmed trying to keep up with life
      • Figure 3: Self-perceptions, indexed to total adults, February 2021
    • Prioritizing financial stability and independence
    • Older Millennials are prioritizing parenthood
      • Figure 4: Dating and relationship preferences, indexed to total adults, February 2021
    • Brand presence on social media is essential
      • Figure 5: Millennials’ social media associations, February 2021
    • Millennials want more than a low price
      • Figure 6: Purchasing value, indexed to total adults, February 2021
  3. Target Audience – Key Takeaways

    • Millennials are the largest generation
    • They continue to delay milestones
    • Careers are a part of their identity
    • Looking for ways to improve their personal world
  4. Millennials by the Numbers

    • Millennials are the largest generation in the US
      • Figure 7: Population by generation, 2021
    • Two distinct cohorts – Younger and older Millennials
      • Figure 8: Share of population by generation with Millennials broken out, 2021
    • Majority of Millennials live on their own or with a partner
      • Figure 9: Living arrangements of adults 18 to 64 years old, 2020
    • Homeownership rates are better, but still not where they should be
      • Figure 10: Homeownership rate, by age of householder, 2020
    • Many continue to delay marriage until they feel more stable
      • Figure 11: Marital status, by age, 2020
    • The majority of parents are Millennials
      • Figure 12: Share of households with own children under age 18, by age of householder, 2020
  5. Market Factors

    • Impact of COVID-19 on Millennials
    • Immediate impacts (2020)
    • Short term (2021)
      • Figure 13: Top three things Millennials are looking forward to post COVID-19, indexed to all adults, April 2021
    • Recovery (2022-25)
    • Millennials are still playing income catch-up
      • Figure 14: Household income distribution, shares by age of householder, 2019
    • Young millennial employment impacted by pandemic layoffs
      • Figure 15: Millennial employment, February 2021
    • Millennial career outlook
      • Figure 16: Career opinions, indexed to total adults, February 2021
    • Shift toward more flexibility is the future workplace preference
    • Work from home may stunt creativity
      • Figure 17: Career opinions, indexed to total adults, February 2021
  6. Market Opportunities

    • Provide nonjudgmental financial help and resources
      • Figure 18: Confidence in adulting, indexed to total adults, February 2021
    • Encourage home and apartment improvement
      • Figure 19: Reasons for undertaking home projects, indexed to total adults, October 2021
    • Help them organize and minimize
      • Figure 20: Color-coded organization, February 2021
    • Making mental health a priority
      • Figure 21: Stop procrastinating self-care, March 2021
  7. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Brands encourage Millennials to take care of their psychological wellbeing
    • Community reminds Millennials they aren’t alone
    • Brands appeal to Millennials’ need for security and perfection
  8. Competitive Strategies

    • Mintel Global Trend Drivers
    • Mintel Trend Driver: Wellbeing
      • Figure 22: Mintel Trend Driver, Wellbeing
    • Promoting products as self-care
      • Figure 23: You deserve wellness, January 2021
    • Give Millennials permission to say “no”
      • Figure 24: Pure Leaf Tea No Is Beautiful, March 2021
    • Mintel Trend Driver: Identity
      • Figure 25: Mintel Trend Driver, Identity
    • Help Millennial purchases support communities in need
      • Figure 26: Sugar Scrub In-House, February 2021
    • Use competition to create community
      • Figure 27: Peloton homecoming, May 2021
    • Remind Millennials of the meaning behind small acts
      • Figure 28: Let’s Grab a Beer, February 2021
    • Improve a sense of resiliency through community
      • Figure 29: You Can’t Stop Us, July 2020
    • Mintel Trend Driver: Rights
      • Figure 30: Mintel Trend Driver, Rights
    • Appeal to Millennials’ need to be more than “pretty sure”
      • Figure 31: Certain Is Better Rocket Mortgage commercial, February 2021
    • Help Millennials avoid hazards
      • Figure 32: T-Mobile Big Game 2021, February 2021
  9. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Becoming a parent shifts Millennials’ identity
    • Appearances matter to Millennials
    • Millennials desire to be financially independent
    • Social media is an important platform for Millennial communication
    • They expect brands to provide more
  10. Millennials’ Self-perceptions

    • Millennials feel unique, but lack resilience
      • Figure 33: Self-perceptions, indexed to total adults, February 2021
    • Increased income results in more feelings of practicality and resilience
      • Figure 34: Self-perceptions, by income, February 2021
    • Parental status shifts Millennials’ self-view
      • Figure 35: Self-perceptions, by parental status, February 2021
  11. Relationships and Social Circles

    • More weight is placed on becoming a parent than finding a spouse
      • Figure 36: Dating and relationship preferences, indexed to total adults, February 2021
    • Younger Millennials are career focused, while older Millennials prioritize family
      • Figure 37: Dating and relationship preferences, by Millennial segments, February 2021
    • Women see last name as an important part of their personal identity
    • Keeping finances separate to combat marriage challenges
      • Figure 38: Highs and lows of marriage, indexed by total population, February 2021
    • Men consult their spouse less than women
      • Figure 39: Highs and lows of marriage, by gender, February 2021
  12. Technology and Social Media

    • Social media usage
      • Figure 40: Millennials’ social media usage, February 2021
    • Social media platform associations
    • Facebook and Twitter
    • Instagram and TikTok
    • YouTube
    • LinkedIn
      • Figure 41: Millennials’ social media associations, February 2021
    • Millennials use social media as a multidimensional tool
      • Figure 42: Technology opinions, indexed to total adults, February 2021
    • Less concerned with data privacy
      • Figure 43: Interacting with people preferences, February 2021
    • Millennials have their own definitions of “real” and “aspirational”
      • Figure 44: Online content preferences, February 2021
  13. Increasing Brand Value

    • Ethical claims and recommendations encourage Millennials’ purchases
      • Figure 45: Top items requested at homeless shelters, March 2021
    • Influence of friends
      • Figure 46: Purchasing value, indexed to total adults, February 2021
    • Purchasing local resonates with smaller communities
      • Figure 47: Purchasing local, by area, February 2021
    • Millennials are the only generation more focused on experiences
      • Figure 48: Spending preferences, February 2021
    • Look to brands to help support causes when they can’t
      • Figure 49: Supporting causes preferences, February 2021
  14. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Consumer survey data
    • Consumer qualitative research
    • Direct marketing creative
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
  15. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 50: Marital status, by age, 2020

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