It is no secret that Millennials are the most talked about population of consumers when it comes to brand engagement. If you have been keeping up-to-date with this blog, you know that Millennials are quickly becoming the largest generation of consumers in the U.S. today and they are influencing market trends that affect brands of all types.

However, by only discussing overarching trends of this generation, we barely scratch the surface of understanding what truly makes Millennials tick and the variations within this cohort. While it’s safe to assume that there are still common generational trends that tie the older half and younger half of the Millennial generation together, there is one clear divider: having children. We know that the behaviors, values, and consumption of a 34 year-old mom is very different than that of a 19 year-old college student.

So let’s divide and conquer here. With a focus on Millennials who have children, in this five part blog series, we examine and identify the different segments, or “orbits” of Millennials with kids.

In partnership with FutureCast and Consumer Orbit, we investigated the Millennial parent population and uncovered five distinct segments of Millennial parents: Image First, Family First, Style & Substance, Against the Grain, and Under Stress. Let’s get started by examining the first orbit, Image First.

Image First
Image First parents fall into the most stereotypical description of Millennials, and are most like those without children. They are extremely connected via their smartphones and regularly check their multiple social profiles. These parents believe that staying up-to-date with the latest fashions trends is important and they often feel the need to impress others by being “in the know.” Like the name suggests, Image First parents place high value on what others think of them and are often looking for affirmation from friends and family.

Although this is the smallest of the five Millennial parent segments (9%), these moms and dads are very different from the rest of the population. They are by far the youngest parents; however, they have the oldest children – meaning they started their families at a relatively young age. As a result, many parents in this orbit are still navigating what it means to be a parent. They can find difficulty in balancing their previous lives with the new responsibilities that come with having a family. This is why Image First parents place such high value on social media; it makes them feel connected when they cannot physically be with others.

Image First parents are highly engaged in social media and are, more often than not, using their smart phones as a vehicle to login. This means that they are very responsive to mobile advertising. Additionally, these young adults are struggling with their identity as a parent so creating a campaign, product, or service that taps into that need to belong or be on top of trends is key.

Hefty is winning with Image First parents
If you haven’t seen Hefty’s new series of commercials promoting the brand’s new anti-break cups, then you are missing out. At first glance, the moms in the ad seem like your standard PTA president, cardigan wearing, housewives – that is until they start to tell their stories from the night before using all of the “on fleek” slang from the past year. This ad speaks directly to Image First parents. Although it uses humor to mock the slang used by Millennials today, Image First parents will relate because they still very much consider themselves “in the know.” You won’t see these parents Googling why “bye, Felicia” is so funny, because they were there when it happened. #blessed

(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.)










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