We’re excited to present the fifth and final orbit in our five-part Millennial Parent Orbit blog series. Before we jump into this last orbit, let’s talk about what drives so many Millennial parents: convenience. Their shopping habits are often based on what is available to them immediately and in the most convenient way possible. According to the Millennials as New Parents report, before becoming parents, one in six respondents was significantly more likely to make a purchase decision based on quality rather than price for dining and entertainment. After having kids, that drops to only one in eleven.
This is due in large part to the pragmatic mindset that Millennial parents adopt. However, they still expect brands to meet their high quality expectations. Ultimately, pragmatism does not negate the high ideals Millennials held before having children; instead it focuses on how to make those new ideals a reality.
This has lead to a trade up/trade down mentality specifically among Millennial parents. They are comfortable buying private label brands rather than brand names to save a pretty penny. However, when the product warrants a premium cost, whether it is something that benefits the family or is of higher quality, a Millennial parent will happily pay the premium. This explains why you see Target’s, Up and Up private label home products in a Millennial’s shopping cart next to an expensive inflatable backyard pool for summer family days.
This is especially true for parents in the Under Stress orbit who are more budget conscious and have more responsibilities than other Millennial parents.
The Under Stress orbit is a sharp reminder that not all Millennial parents are upbeat, connected, and on a path towards a bright future. Many Millennial parents in this orbit are making less than $50,000 annually. These parents are more concerned with where their next paycheck is going to come from rather than how many friends they have on Facebook.
Many parents in this orbit have not completed college (76%), which directly correlates with the concentration of lower middle class families. In contrast to the 81 percent of Image First parents who consider themselves optimists, only 17 percent of Under Stress parents say the same thing.
Not surprisingly, this is the group with the least brand consciousness – it’s harder to care about brand names when they can often be cost prohibitive. You will not find these Millennials out shopping very often, but when you do, they are typically at specialty stores that carry more brand options at a lower cost. Like most Millennials, these parents place high value on peer affirmation and will rarely make a purchase decision without first consulting their friends, families, or peer reviews.
These parents are also not as crazy about social media as the other orbits. Only 13 percent agree that the Internet has changed the way they spend their free time and only 17 percent say it has changed the way they get information about products or services. However, they still believe their phones are an expression of who they are and will use their device to connect with their social networks on a regular basis.
Connecting with Under Stress parents
Similar to parents from the Against the Grain orbit, product placement works well when targeting these budget-conscious parents. For an Under Stress parent, seeing a product in a movie or TV show reassures them that the product is worth their hard-earned money. For example, Target recently partnered with the popular TBS TV show, Cougar Town, in order to connect with parents who respond to product placement.
Target created a second screen mobile site that enabled viewers to purchase the Target items they saw on the show on the website. As Under Stress parents are likely to watch TV during their downtime as a way to unwind, this campaign was extremely successful.
Don’t worry; it is not all doom and gloom for Under Stress parents. Even though these Millennials may be having a tough time now they are hopeful for their future.
(For a more in-depth discussion of these five orbits, check out the book Millennial with Kids: Marketing to This Powerful and Surprisingly Different Generation of Parents.)