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Translating millennial values into opportunities


Millennials get a lot of attention these days, for good reason.

They’re the consumer cohort of the future, second only in scale to their boomer parents. However, millennials’ attitudes and behaviours differ greatly from prior generations.

There are three things retailers and manufacturers should consider when marketing to millennials:


Millennials value experiences over material things. Evidence can be found by their lack of interest in car or home ownership.  Why is it that experiences are so important to millennials? Some have watched their parents work hard to strive for material things without ever achieving happiness. Despite seeing their parents work hard and stay loyal to their employers, it did not necessarily insulate them from job losses.

Secondly, the internet and social media are experience enablers, significantly changing the way people interact with each other and increasing the value they place on relationships.

So what does that mean for manufacturers and retailers?  Think about how to extend a millennial’s interaction with your brand beyond just the product or service itself.  How can you create an experience for them? This might mean sharing recipes for premium appetizers with serving instructions and wine pairings that will help create a gourmet dining experience. For Valentine’s Day, you could create a package that allows a couple to celebrate the day together.


Millennials are the most connected generation. It’s an understatement to say that connection is of the upmost importance to this cohort. Their network of friends has a huge influence over them and vice-versa. No other generation has been so connected and the growth in apps that facilitate this connection continues to grow rapidly. 

How do you help them connect to their network of friends and family?

Try sharing interesting information, experiences or events through your own social platforms.  Social media has turned everyone into content curators. Give them content relevant to their lives and they in turn will share it with their network.


Millennials expect customization. Most of us have heard that millennials like the flexibility of choice, whether it be their frappuccinos or to their workplace.  For millennials, flexibility helps enable their ability to personalize. Think about it–why wouldn’t personalization be important given this generation grew up creating its own playlists and apps? While everyone might own the same device, no two phones are alike.

So how do you give them opportunities to customize? One solution is creating options for your product or service assortment based on their needs. If the consumer is health-focused, it could be creating healthy menu items or shopping lists for them.  For manufacturers it may be about allowing consumers to easily segment and select options within your portfolio to match their specific needs.

Whatever your solution, if it is based on what is important to millennials, by addressing their values and needs, you will have a higher likelihood of growing with them and succeeding in the long term.

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