While its focus is mainly on marketing, the book “Millennials with Kids: Marketing to This Powerful and Surprisingly Different Generation of Parents” is a read that goes well beyond business strategies. It provides insights based on research into one quarter of our population – the roughly 78 million people born between 1977 and 1996. They are the children and grandchildren of baby boomers. They have certain retro characteristics of the hippie movement, are pragmatic, and prefer a back-to-nature, healthy and holistic lifestyle.
Written by Jeff Fromm and Marissa Vidler, this book is more than a demographic analysis of buying trends. It has political and philosophical overtones of a generation that grew up during a technological revolution that culminated in reaching beyond the local and into global connectedness.
The insights and tips on how to market product to Millennials and their kids are specific and different from the old normal. The authors’ research shows that quality and brand loyalty are strong considerations for this group, yet products are seen as a beginning rather than an end. Millennials prefer to add their own creative touch. They participate in finishing products by customizing and personalizing the final product. The personal and uniquely creative addition becomes their signature and adds a sense of adventure and makes it deeply personal.
As a large consumer block, Millennials are estimated to spend $1.3 trillion on purchases – a number that is destined to rise as their wealth and family sizes increase. They have a strong ethical undercurrent in judging a product’s composition. They support causes such as animal rights, humanitarian issues and care for the environment. They are analytical when assessing products and tend to assess the value of a purchase with care.
Social media is their natural form of communication, and their link with peers is important in sharing information that is creative, unique and adventurous. Parenting is less traditional than that of their parents. They are creative in adapting to living arrangements that fit with lifestyle preferences rather than traditional conventions.
In a nutshell, this book provides us with a profile of a generation that is assertively individualistic, pragmatic in decision-making, yet is constantly in touch with peers and a larger social group to share their life as it evolves. We see a maturation process, as millennials with kids create a new generation. In this digital age of sharing, they appear more substantive and less materialistic. Peer affirmation is sought informally, yet continually. Reading between the lines brings me to ponder the hope of their new generation – the kids of the Millennials.
“Millennials with Kids” is a good read for those who want to stay up to date on social trends. The book goes well beyond marketing insights and provides the reader with a view of sociological changes. These changes are subtle and point to a transformation in behavior and individualism that is economic, political and, in my opinion, hopeful and positive.
Lucia Worthington is at home in her garden in Washougal and has the great satisfaction of teaching Millennials and soon, their kids, in business and management at Clark College. To recommend a book for review, email firstname.lastname@example.org.