Millennials like Alison Green, shown here at the Blind Pig in Oxford, Mississippi, don’t like to think of themselves as mere consumers. They value authenticity and individuality and want to be treated as co-creators of their favorite brands.
WHO ARE THEY, ANYWAY? If you’re going to market pizza to millennials, you need to know who they are, how they’re evolving and what matters most to them. Millennials aren’t some cultlike monolith with a single world view, but, according to Linda Duke, CEO of Duke Marketing in San Rafael, California, they do share some key features. For starters, they’re becoming bigger earners and forming families (46% of U.S. households headed by a millennial adult ages 20 to 34 have kids). They’re more technology-focused than previous generations. They like to buy locally, even if it’s more expensive than mass-market alternatives. And they place an emphasis on fresh and organic foods, variety and customizable, personalized meal experiences. Beyond these generalizations, they’re a somewhat motley bunch—the most diverse generation of adults in U.S. history, according to Jason Dorsey, millennial and iGen expert with the Center for Generational Kinetics in Austin, Texas. “It’s a priority to [let them know] that you understand they value and appreciate diversity and that diversity helps to make the world interesting, fun and full of adventure,” Dorsey says. “This could be as simple as presenting more diverse customers [in your advertising] or offering products that proudly include different cultural preferences. With millennials, a one-size-fits-all marketing approach fits none.” Jeff Fromm, president of FutureCast in Kansas City, Missouri, and coauthor of Marketing to Millennials & Millennials With Kids, agrees that millennials are not a homogeneous mass. “Our latest research found that 64% of the affluent millennial population is female,” he notes. “Addressing this generation as if they are all the same and not taking into consideration their different life stages and life objectives is a huge miss.” 38
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