3 Reasons Why Retailers and Brands Need to Stop Focusing on Millennials

Millennials: They’re tech-savvy, price-conscious and value authenticity in the digital age. And when it comes to shopping, they’ve been known to influence how retailers design their online platforms and the experiences offered in their brick-and-mortar stores.

As such, fashion firms are often told to throw a significant chunk of their resources behind the cohort. However, in the process, some companies may overlook other generations that make up — or could be enticed to — a significant portion consumer base. According to a recent Deloitte study, it’s this type of generational marketing that’s costing businesses potential profit and growth. Instead, the consulting firm suggests that retailers focus less on demographic and more on consumer attitude.

Here, three reasons why brands and retailer should ditch age-obsessed marketing.

Younger Generations Are Actually Interested in Traditional Brands

Although store brands are getting more competitive by improving their quality and offering more affordable price points, that doesn’t mean younger generations are eschewing name brands that have existed for years. In fact, 87 percent of a segment Deloitte dubbed Aspirationalists — a younger group characterized by its low annual income and propensity for unplanned purchases — still report buying name brands. Gen Xers and baby boomers also continue to hold interest in apparel and footwear brand names despite their continued patronage of generic brands in other spending categories.

Older Generations Are “Very Involved” With Social Media

According to the study, most consumers — regardless of age — are exposed to at least one social media platform every day, with the majority engaging on Facebook. While millennials and Gen Zers use social media to research products and interact with brands, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers use the platform to read reviews and product ratings before making their purchases. Retailers and brands might be able to capitalize on this market by rewarding older consumers with coupons and loyalty points in exchange for posting their product experiences.

Don’t Forget Who Has the Real Spending Power

A separate study by Deloitte contends that Baby Boomers will continue to be the wealthiest generation in the United States until 2030 while Gen Xers will attain the highest increase in the share of national wealth in the same forecast period (from under 14 percent in 2015 to more than double at 31 percent by 2030). This means that older consumers with considerable spending power in apparel and footwear have the potential to drive brand growth, particularly with their high level of interest in innovative touches like customization and smart packaging.

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