Written by: Leah Swartz
When it comes to fashion and shopping, there isn’t a more important demographic for retailers to reach than millennials. Their influence on the market has even gone so far as to alter the language that brands use when discussing target audiences. In fact, the term target audience has shifted in order to account for millennial attitudes.
The Millennial Mindset® is a new approach to connecting with a group of consumers whose actions span across generational boundaries. For example, a 50-year-old man may be just as motivated by his latest Fitbit as his 25-year-old son. This mindset is founded on six core principles: Social presence, Connectedness, Innovation, Trustworthiness, Purpose and Accessibility.
While it is extremely hard for brands to win across the board, identifying where your top opportunities exist could be what sets you apart from other brand leaders. This is especially true for brands in the fashion and retail market.
Fashion is social (media)
Fashion has always been social; there’s nothing new about a few friends meeting up for lunch and a day of shopping. The definition of what we describe as “social” has expanded, however. For 13 years, “friends” have been the number 1 purchase influencer according to Piper Jaffray’s “Taking Stock with Teens & Young Adults” survey. Internet has moved from No. 7 ten years ago to No. 2 currently. Friends + Internet = Social Media.
Millennial women don’t only ask their friends for opinions when it comes to choosing their outfits. They check fashion blogs, sift through photos on Pinterest and often take and share photos of clothing pieces in the store before purchasing.
The most successful brands have created influencer campaigns that inspire genuine engagement from within the audience rather than shouting a message across channels. This has fueled a new marketing goal of calling to participate rather than simply calling to action.
Fashion is personal and personalized
Although high quality is still important to millennials, they aren’t as concerned with touting name brands across their chests. In fact, research by Ypulse found that expressing individuality was more important to people ages 13 to 34 than flashing high-end names. The same study also reported that 55 percent of those surveyed said, “I don’t follow trends; I like to have my own personal style.”
Millennial dads especially want to maintain their own personal identity separate from being a father. Unlike their boomer predecessors, millennial dads are struggling to accept some of the new challenges fatherhood brings.
Although they agree that having a child brings them happiness and has been one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives, being a father has affected their sense of self. According to research conducted by DDB, 25 percent of millennials agreed with the statement “I’ve lost my identity because I am a dad.” We get that this may seem a little pessimistic, but it provides a great opportunity for new retail brands to foster relationships that help young fathers maintain their individual sense-of-self in addition to being a father.
Pieces are pricey but fashion doesn’t have to be
Millennials are Day Traders™, meaning they are happy to splurge on the must-have items while maintaining a tight budget elsewhere. This has fueled the major millennial trend of shopping at stores like TJ Maxx, Ross and Marshalls where top designer products are offered at a discount. Another way millennials balance value and price is by investing in a couple expensive items and then pairing them with cheaper options.
Polyvore is an online website that allows users to shop trending looks without breaking the brank. One avenue of the site is where professional stylists create fashion boards that feature key pieces ranging in price from $100 – $800 (or more) paired with a $15 t-shirt from Forever 21. This trade up/trade down mentality has drastically altered the retail industry – especially how luxury products are marketed.
It is without question that our retail market is changing indefinitely – and we didn’t even scratch the surface of what online shopping has done to the industry! Brands that get lost playing catch up will be quickly forgotten.
To stay on the forefront of these modern marketing trends, it is imperative to tap into your millennial audience for inspiration and research. Too often, brands assume they know what is best for their consumers. However, inviting millennials to participate in the creation of their own brand journey will be what sets your business apart.
March kicks off the annual season of Spring Breaker travel for college and high school students. Destinations range from theme parks to beaches to exotic cities around the world. Many of the students from the Northern part of the country run for the beaches to escape the memory of months dealing with cold temperatures along with snow and ice. Here’s a list of our Top 8 destinations in North America.
It probably isn’t the first place you think of when you think of a party, but Austin is really emerging as a party town. Add that to the fact that SXSW (South by Southwest Festival) comes into town in February / March and the warmer temperatures, it is a great place for people who aren’t looking to go to the beach. Plus, there is a lot to do all over town with live music at every corner and tons of bars.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
This is a traditional Spring Break location, but there is a reason people keep going back. This beach town at the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula has been a popular vacation spot for years. This is where the party is, which tons of free flowing drinks, beautiful weather, and all-inclusive resorts. You will also find golf courses, high-end shopping, and beautiful beaches to relax on when you are a bit hungover. Make sure to take the leap and get into that all-inclusive resort, you’ll save money.
Las Vegas, Nevada
If you are over 21 and can gamble, Las Vegas is another great place to go for Spring Break. The Strip, which is a 2.5-mile stretch that is packed with casinos, has 70,000 hotel rooms. During the Spring Break season, they are packed with tons of bikini and swimming suit clad people. Las Vegas is well known for wild parties, but they become absolutely crazy during the Spring Break season.
Miami, which is a little pricier than other Florida locations, has beautiful beaches, a well known food district, and high quality clubs that stay open late into the nights. Miami is extremely popular for people who love the Caribbean vibes without the cost of a Carribean flight. Just know that everything here does tend to cost more.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, with its mix of partying and culture, is another fantastic option for people. It stays at a comfortable 70 degrees during the springtime and has everything from Mardi Gras to Jazz Fest, depending what time of the year you visit. Families and non-partiers love ghost tours, Creole meals, historic plantations, and cruises. Those who do enjoy a party love the open-container laws and extremely strong cocktails.
Panama City Beach, Florida
Dubbed the “Spring Break Capital of the World,” Panama City Beach is a top location that hosts over 500,000 people each year for Spring Break. They keep them coming with outdoor concerts and contests, lots of alcohol, an amusement park, and great food. Everything is also pretty affordable. For those who just want to relax, there are miles and miles of coastline and historic sites.
South Padre Island, Texas
Many people don’t think about the islands that Texas has, but South Padre Island should be on your radar for spring break. It is extremely cheap and easy to get to via Route 100. In mid-March, the highs can reach the 80s. It is a popular destination for people from all southern colleges because there are huge Spring Break parties with up to 25,000 people. Of course, there is a lot for people who don’t like to party as well, including water parks, sailing, shopping, kiteboarding, dining, and animal adventures.
Tampa is really popular with college students for one big reason: it is affordable. This area has Clearwater Beach, one of the highest rated beaches in the United States. It isn’t just for swimming either, though you can do that, it is a place where super active people can enjoy themselves parasailing, jet skiing, fishing, and even going on dolphin watching cruises. The sunsets cannot be topped. Tampa appeals to everyone as well, there are plenty of family activities.
Spring Break 2017 Destinations
No matter where you are considering to go this year for spring break, make sure to take a great attitude, a hoodie, a bikini, shorts, a tanktop, some sunscreen, and your ID – and you will have a fantastic time.