Review: Millennials with Kids – Marketing to This Powerful and Surprisingly Different Generation Parents by Fromm and Vidler

MillennialsThis review first ran in the Sept. 28 edition of The Hamilton Spectator.

Millennials With Kids: Marketing to This Powerful and Surprisingly Different Generation of Parents

By Jeff Fromm and Marissa Vidler



Here are two ways to convince more Millennials to move to Hamilton.

Rebrand our Ambitious City as the Useful City.

And have drones fly over Walmart when shooting highlight reel videos of Hamilton.

Here’s why.  Today’s Millennials are tomorrow’s pragmatists and Walmart shoppers.

“Usefulness will become the new cool and Millennial consumers will take to brands that can contribute to their new idea,” predict Jeff Froom, president of a Millennial marketing firm and Marissa Vidler, founder of a marketing research firm specializing in Millennial consumers. “Pragmatism is rooted in the idea that success is based on how practical something is and how easily something can solve a problem.”

Time-squeezed Millennials who got hit hard by the Great Recession will embrace pragmatism because their lives are about to get even more complicated, stressful and expensive.

“There is an epidemic raging through the Millennial generation, and it seems to be unstoppable,” say Froom and Vidler. “All signs point to the continual spread of this epidemic until the vast majority of the Millennial population is affected. Once exposed, everything changes – in a heartbeat. What could be so contagious, so powerful, so life altering? Parenthood.”

By one count, a quarter of Millennials are already parents. As more of them become moms and dads, they’ll define family life for the next 30 years. Look for Millennials to raise kids blessed with an unprecedented sense of individual tolerance and social responsibility. Millennial moms and dads will lead the charge in setting new standards for health and nutrition and new expectations when it comes to the quality and purity of the food that they serve to their families.

As parents, they’ll be less involved in civic, political and social causes and they’ll become more conservative.

Froom and Vidler believe Millennials with kids will be our most innovative and empowered generation of parents in history. “Now, more than ever, it’s time to stop treating them like kids who are an enigma and start treating them like adults who are in charge and make their own decisions and budgets – and who are quite pragmatic.”

Millennials will also discover what every parent knows all too well. Kids change everything, priorities radically shift and household expenses can go through the roof.

While 20-somethings may swear they’ll never venture beyond downtown and step foot in a Walmart, that pledge of unallegiance is subject to change.

In a recent survey of top 10 brands, Millennials ranked Walmart dead last.  Walmart climbed to the fourth spot among Millennial moms and dads. Why the jump in popularity?

“Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t always about the ‘coolest’ brand (or in this case maybe the ‘least uncool brand’) but rather it comes back to the king and queen of shopping priorities for Millennial parents – price and convenience – both of which Walmart consistently delivers on.”

Yes, some Millennial parents will drop a small fortune on brands that deliver unique, personalized experiences and high quality for their kids.  They’ll shop and splurge at Whole Foods and Pottery Barn. Yet they’ll also look to balance the family finances by saving money on other household purchases.

“Walmart has mastered the art of high-low budgeting,” say Froom and Vidler. “Walmart understands that Millennials are going to spend money on products that are beyond their budget.  They plan to make up for that spending by saving pennies elsewhere. Enter Walmart – the ultimate retailer for a budget-conscious shopper. Walmart is the ideal retailer for bulk shopping that provides essentially everything new Millennial parents need for their households.”

So let’s welcome Millennials to the Useful City. Let’s tell them why we’re the best and easiest place to raise a child.  And let’s show them that we have Walmarts to go along with our waterfalls, parks and downtown arts scene.

Published by

Jay Robb

I've reviewed more than 500 business books for the Hamilton Spectator since 1999 and worked in public relations since 1993.

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