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Marketing to Millennials - Canada - January 2016

Published By :


Published Date : Jan 2016

Category :

Advertising and Marketing

No. of Pages : N/A

Millennials are seeking new ways to define themselves (not necessarily rooted in traditional expectations). Taking pride in being unique from others of their generation, brands will need to be respectful of their individuality and sense of responsibility. From brands, Millennials seek a collaborative, authentic relationship.

Table of Content


What you need to know

Executive Summary

The issues
Millennials do not identify with the generational label
Figure 1: Millennial perceptions – How Millennials see themselves, other Millennials and how they think older generations see them, October 2015
When it comes to advertising, Millennials feel overwhelmed and manipulated
Figure 2: Millennial attitudes towards advertising, October 2015
The opportunities
Millennials may be ready for help with money management
Figure 3: Millennial attitudes towards financial statements, October 2015
Millennials are focused on personal enrichment
Figure 4: Goals within the next three years, October 2015
Catering to the Millennial VIPs – The affluent segment
Figure 5: Millennial attitudes towards shopping (selected statements), Millennials with household income of $75,000 or higher vs overall, October 2015
What it means

The Market – What You Need to Know

Millennials make up one fifth of the population
Millennials are a significant part of Canada’s labour force
The current economy is top of mind for Millennials
The retail journey consists of more touchpoints than ever before

Market Factors

Millennials make up one fifth of the population
Figure 6: Canadian population, by generation share, 2015
Millennials make up nearly a third of the workforce
Figure 7: Canada’s labour force survey estimates, by generation, 2015
Economic factors
Millennials are feeling the crunch of current economic conditions
Retail industry factors
The path to purchase involves multiple touchpoints for Millennials

Key Players – What You Need to Know

Retailers are actively aligning touchpoints
Authentic connections will be noticed
Courting those who speak up

What’s Working?

Considering the entire retail experience by aligning touchpoints
Sport Chek steps up its digital game in stores
Thyme Maternity keeps its brick and mortar stores relevant
Amazon gets physical
Connecting to consumers by lending a helping hand
Sobeys helps out in the kitchen with its Seafood Steamer
E-commerce sites integrate technology to help customers find the right fit
Connecting with Millennials by being socially responsible
Warby Parker helps people see better
Uniqlo addresses educational disparity and poverty among disadvantaged children
H&M is environmentally aware with its Conscious collection

What’s Next?

Marketing by rewarding consumers who speak up
Starwood’s Tribute launch showcases reviews by social media influencers
Yelp makes elite reviewers VIP
Kimpton hones in on the power of karma

The Consumer – What You Need to Know

Most Millennials are financially independent and feel the impact of the current economy
When shopping, weight is given to the voice of real consumers
Quality and affordability are basic brand requirements
The sentiment held towards advertising is negative: Overwhelming and manipulative
Millennials are focused on personal enrichment
They may not identify themselves with fitting under the Millennial label

Financial Responsibility

Most Millennials have achieved financial independence
Figure 8: Current living arrangement, October 2015
Two thirds of Millennials are primarily responsible for their own finances
Figure 9: Responsibility for living expenses, October 2015
Predictably, living arrangements correspond to financial responsibility
Opportunities abound for each combination
Benefits to be had by financial companies

Impact of the Current Economic Conditions

Millennials are cautious about how they spend
Figure 10: Millennial attitudes towards financial statements, October 2015
Affluence and life stage plays a role
Messaging that reflects priorities should resonate
Parents exhibit some differences
Rewards programs should work well to entice parents
French speaking households are more laissez-faire

Approach to Shopping

Much weight is given to the voice of real consumers
Figure 11: Millennial attitudes towards shopping, October 2015
Younger Millennials more likely to turn to reviews
Affluent Millennials look to their contacts for recommendations
Millennials are showrooming – Particularly the affluent
Figure 12: Attitudes (any agree) towards shopping statement “stores are best used for creating experiences around products I may later buy online”, household income vs overall, October 2015
Millennial fathers are early adopters
Figure 13: Attitudes towards shopping statement “I like to be one of the first people to buy new/trendy products”, fathers vs overall, October 2015

Valued Brand Characteristics

Millennials will pay for quality, while affordability is the runner up
Figure 14: Brand influencers for Millennials, October 2015
Younger Millennials will pay for quality and eco-friendly brands
Affordability and rewards matter to Millennial women
For women, favourite brands are reflective of personal style
Affluent Millennials value a brand’s heritage, though expect their loyalty to be rewarded

Attitudes towards Advertising

Millennials feel overwhelmed and manipulated
Figure 15: Millennial attitudes towards advertising, October 2015
Acknowledgement may go a long way
Attention! Attention!
Leverage technology to extend the word
Compensate for attention
When done right, laughter can be the best medicine
Figure 16: Geico YouTube pre-roll advertisement, “Family: Unskippable”, 2015
Figure 17: Geico YouTube pre-roll advertisement, “High Five: Unskippable”, 2015

Personal and Career Goals

Millennials are focused on personal enrichment: developing a healthier lifestyle and gaining experiences
Figure 18: Goals within the next three years, October 2015
Greater focus on the ‘life’ part of work/life balance
Figure 19: EpicEstonia #17 advertisement, “A day as a chimney sweeper in medieval Tallinn”, 2015
Older Millennials strive for balance and are forward focused
Time limitations are impacting ability to live a healthy lifestyle for older Millennials
Targeting life’s big milestones
Women more likely to be aiming for a healthier lifestyle and traveling
Affluent Millennials more focused on travel

Perceptions of the Generation

Self-perceptions do not line up with the stereotypes
Figure 20: How Millennials see themselves, October 2015
Self-perceptions: Responsible and ambitious – A qualitative look
Millennials believe their generation is seen negatively, but hold similar views of the generation themselves (albeit to a lesser degree)
Figure 21: Millennial perceptions: How Millennials see themselves, other Millennials and how they think older generations see them, October 2015
Figure 22: Correspondence analysis – Millennial perceptions, October 2015
Being online may be driving a need to stand apart
Being online leads to a greater desire for personalization
Being online also means a need for greater responsiveness from brands
Connections can be made while they are offline
Figure 23: Lily and the Snowman, December 2015
Marketing to Millennials does not have to alienate other generations

Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

Data sources
Consumer survey data
Consumer qualitative research
Correspondence methodology
Abbreviations and terms

List of Table


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