I often get asked, should I focus on Millennials or should I focus on Baby Boomers? My response is, “Why not both?” They are more alike than most people think.
Yes, there are differences but the untapped opportunity lies in leveraging their similarities – why not capture two sales instead of one? The key thing for home-products marketers to understand is that their approaches should not be exclusive to Millennials. There are similarities across the generations based on their life moments. Finding ways to leverage the different perspectives of these two consumer groups around their similarities at life moments can lead to creative marketing and a new kind of conversation.
Millennials are very aware of the value of healthy-living, and eating at home. This generation is much more interested in health, and they are more likely to eat fresh, homemade foods than other generations when they were younger. Boomers, like their predecessors when they were this age, are interested in healthy-living to maintain or improve their health, looking towards longevity and enjoying the age they are at.
Most Millennials are in the pre-kids phase of their lives, and most Baby Boomers are becoming empty-nesters or retiring, so both groups have more “me time”. As a result, many Millennials and Boomers are spending more time looking for experiences. They are interested in more homemade food preparation and at-home entertaining – as a result, they are stocking or restocking their kitchens.
Balancing Individuality and Value
Millennial interest in individuality and environment will drive them to personalize their space and the experiences they create for themselves and those around them. Similarly, Boomers who now find themselves able to focus on their own wants and needs rather than that of their children, are seeking ways to express their personal style and create a space that is about them.
Both of these generations are watching their spending, but they are willing to spend. Boomers have new-found spending power as their kids leave home and a desire to focus on themselves, while staying fiscally responsible. On the other hand, the Millennial generation is low on income. But Millennials balance price with the importance they place on how their purchases define them, so ‘value’ becomes a part of the equation. This balancing act that both of these generations are engaged in is a driving force behind the fact that four of the top five small appliance categories are growing fastest in the $100-$200 range, rather than the under $100 segment.
The home-products industry will grow because of the demographic changes about to hit us as Millennials enter their first critical life stages. But, how high that growth is will be defined by our ability to execute effective products, marketing, and merchandising that meets their needs, while not losing sight of our other customers. The Millennial conversation needs to turn into a multi-generational conversation that is about life’s key moments. Engaging the consumer in this kind of conversation enables marketers to extend their reach beyond a single target audience and attract them to products in a more personal way.