Packaged Facts: Marketers Beware, the Traditional Millennial Family is Anything But Traditional
Millennial moms delaying marriage, Millennial dads favor ads that praise positive depictions of fatherhood
ROCKVILLE, Md., Jan. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As they have in so many other parts of their lives, Millennials are rewriting the rules about marriage. When it comes to choosing marriage as a way of life, today's 18- to 34-year-olds—especially women—differ markedly from their predecessors. Millennial women are marrying later than ever before—or not at all. Yet, the decline in the institution of marriage as a marker of what constitutes a family does not mean that Millennial women are foregoing having children. What is different for Millennial women today compared to their predecessors in previous generations is that more than 40% of Millennial women giving birth are unmarried, according to Packaged Facts in the report Millennial Parents in the U.S. In 2014 nearly half of 25- to 29-year-old moms either had no spouse or partner or were cohabiting with a partner rather than living with a spouse. This cultural shift has profoundly changed the environment for marketers of toys, baby foods and other packaged foods, household products, children's clothing and the vast array of other products specifically required to raise children and generally maintain a family.
The non-traditional structure of Millennial families presents something of a minefield for marketers targeting today's young parents. The Millennial definition of family at times is fluid and seemingly ever-evolving. Gone are the days of the house with a white picket fence, two kids, mom, dad, and Fido the family dog. This means that traditional images of a nuclear family in advertising campaigns may not resonate among Millennial moms because so many of them are raising their children on their own. It also may seem to argue in favor of relatively conventional marketing approaches focusing on the clout wielded by moms in making purchases for their families.
Yet, the vast majority of Millennial parents are raising children in a two-parent family structure. Three in four 30- to 34-year-old moms and 95% of all Millennial dads are raising children as part of a couple, whether married or not. In order to reach out successfully to this consumer segment marketers also need to recognize that many Millennial parents are intent on living out egalitarian views about the roles of moms and dads within a family.
This generational characteristic may lead marketers down a strategic path that rejects the notion of mom as the sole decider and includes dads in marketing appeals. In general, Millennial dads feel slighted by ads that treat them as an inferior parent while Millennial moms resent ads based on the unspoken premise that men belong at work and women belong at home.
Marketers targeting two-parent Millennial families with children—whether the parents are married or not—may also find that they increasingly need to adopt strategies geared not only towards both parents but also towards kids old enough to be part of family purchasing decisions. The majority of Millennial parents support the "family meeting" decision-making style. This means that both large and small issues—including both major and minor purchasing decisions—may involve inputs from both parents as well as children old enough to participate.
Research data in Millennial Parents in the U.S. confirm this hypothesis. The purchase of clothing is the only major product category where Millennial moms tend to be the sole decider. When determining what to buy in the categories of automobiles, financial services, food products, home electronics, household furnishings and sporting goods, Millennial moms are less likely to proceed on their own. They are more likely than their 35- to 49-year-old counterparts in Generation X to have the participation of either their spouse or partner or children.
Millennial Parents in the U.S. analyzes the complex world of Millennial parents and highlights the implications for marketers. One consideration is that the demographic and social profile of Millennial parents differs radically from that of their peers without children. For more information on Millennial Parents in the U.S. or to purchase the report visit: http://www.packagedfacts.com/redirect.asp?progid=88131&productid=9455072.
About Packaged Facts – Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer demographics and shopper insights, consumer financial products and services, consumer goods and retailing, consumer packaged goods, and pet products and services. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. Reports can be purchased at www.PackagedFacts.com and are also available on www.marketresearch.com and www.profound.com.
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SOURCE Packaged Facts