Millennials: Cautious, volatile – and online

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Millennials are nearly three times as likely to be influenced by smartphone apps when choosing brands
Millennials are nearly three times as likely to be influenced by smartphone apps when choosing brands

Related tags Marketing research Generation y Marketing

Millennials may be the hot new target demographic for food and beverage manufacturers in the United States, but they are a cautious and volatile group of shoppers, according to a new report from market research organization SymphonyIRI.

In its new Times & Trends ​report, the market researcher claims that the 50 million millennial consumers in the US – who it defines as currently aged from 18 to 34 – are less fiscally confident and more cautious than other consumer groups. However, there are opportunities to connect with this huge up-and-coming demographic.

Wired generation

In particular, the way this age group learns about new brands is strongly shaped by social media and online information, the researcher said. According to its latest research, millennials are 262% more likely than the average shopper to be influenced by smartphone apps and 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites when making brand decisions.

“CPG marketers must continue to develop programs that feed the new media wave,”​ the report said.  “While those programs can and should target consumers across multiple segments, millennial shoppers are already willing and active participants in the field of new media.  And, efforts aimed at this group should have a long-lasting impact, for this is also the segment that is developing CPG strategies that will likely last a lifetime.”

Price was found to be a top consideration for 87% of millennials when selecting brands. The next important consideration was previous usage and trust of brands, a top priority for 70% of consumers in this group, although this figure was lower than the average across age groups.

“Millennial shoppers remain an important group to consider when creating pricing and marketing plans,”​ said senior vice president of marketing at SymphonyIRI John McIndoe.  “A nuanced group that behaves much like the savvy, cost-conscious consumers of the recent recession, they are very different in how they interact with CPG brands and in how they seek deals.  Understanding the unique characteristics of the millennial generation, or any group of shoppers, is essential to building powerful and lasting relationships.”

The full study is available to download here.

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