Tastes change. Mostly over time. However, today, tastes in food, clothing, entertainment, and almost everything else is changing very quickly. Some almost overnight! How does a manufacturer or designer, for example, cope with such dramatic changes? Most of the changing is driven by millennials, young people born between approximately 1980 and 1999. They are well educated, marry later, and have fewer children. They are confident. ambitious, and achievement-oriented. They aren’t afraid to question authority. They are more health conscious, non-impulsive shoppers, and environmentally aware.
To illustrate the challenges that some products are experiencing, go to Google and enter “29 Boomer Brands Struggling in the time of Millennials.” It lists 29 major, well-known brands that are struggling with sales and some to even survive in the time of millennials. Some of these brands include Campbells Soup, Jello, Kellogg cereals, Yoplait Yogurt, some transportation vehicles, and Budweiser Beer. Some of the reasons for their sales challenges were:
Some suggestions of how to stay relevant include the use of mobile media, investing in social media strategy, and providing a seamless shopping experience. Some companies have replaced older executives with young millennials who know how to connect with and appeal to the millennial audience. That is a good start.
One suggestion might be to interview and survey them as to their attitudes toward a specific product or service. Soliciting their ideas for what they would consider an ideal product would be helpful in repositioning or modifying the product for increased sales. Stores like H&M and Topman, for example, offer clothing at reasonable prices knowing that the clothing styles they show today may change tomorrow. To keep abreast of the newer style, the millennial customer, even though just having purchased new clothing item, may replace it in a short time. The reasonable pricing helps foster that purchase.
The changing tastes situation may not change all at once. However, there is an awareness that the status quo cannot continue. Marketing to millennials has started to change. It will take time but in the long run, their input will help to bring success to many existing and yet to be introduced brands.
Franklin Cooper © 2020