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Marketers – Which Millennial are you targeting?

The internet is abundant with Millennial related articles & studies; particularly their impacts on broader socio-economic changes to come

The vast majority of these studies & articles we come across today seem to focus on the overall Millennial segment and their generalized attributes

These include social causes, social media, spending behavior, environmental concerns, affinity towards shared economy and so on

But when it comes to Marketing & Retailing; the reality is not all millennials behave in the same manner

In fact; there are vast differences within the segment that warrants any consumer focused business to tailor their strategy & offerings accordingly

Retailers; in particular may find that their greatest challenge is not addressing the Millennial segment but it’s diversified sub-segment within


Key socio-economic & behavioral attributes

Millennial segment comprises of a very broad age spectrum of 18-34 yrs. Aside from the obvious geographical presence (dense urban, cosmopolitan, countryside, small town, et al.); sub-segment classifications could be analyzed by few core measurable attributes –

Millennial Attributes


Exploring few Millennial sub-groups

Whilst majority of the Millennial segment may display some form of similar traits such as omniscient price & product comparisons; the actual buying behavior of each sub-segment would differ based on their external socio-economic exposures & a combination of these behavioral attributes.

Some examples of Millennial sub-segments could be:

Millennial Subtypes

1. College Millennial

  • Typically undergoing Education; most likely with corresponding debt
  • Typically Single with lower spending power
  • Lower end of 18-34yrs. old spectrum
  • High dependence on Internet for shopping
  • Social Media presence – Contribution & Consumption
  • Higher tendency for early adoption
  • High engagement in Social & Environmental causes


2. Young Family Millennial

  • Typically Married (maybe kids) with Moderate spending power
  • Higher end of 18-34yrs. old spectrum
  • Dependent on Internet – But equally engages in offline shopping / markets et al.
  • Social Media – Low/Moderate – Predominantly Consumption role
  • ‘Wait & See’ approach towards new product launches
  • ‘Incognito’ engagement in Social & Environmental causes – not important to broadcast on social media


3. Affluent & ‘Show-off’ Millennial

  • Single / Married with ‘Sky is the limit’ spending power
  • Any age between 18-34yrs
  • Varied dependence on Internet for Shopping – Product availability anytime /anywhere is very important
  • Social Media – High – Predominantly Contribution / Influencing role
  • Must have ‘New Release products’
  • Typically important to broadcast Social & Environmental cause on social media


4. Offline Mature Millennial

  • Typically Single / Married (maybe kids) with Higher spending power
  • Typically mid-higher end of 18-34yrs. old spectrum
  • Dependent on Internet – But equally engages in offline shopping / markets et al.
  • Social Media Dependency – None – Doesn’t feel the need to post lifestyle on social media
  • Typically not influenced with new product launches / promotions – ‘If I need it… I’ll seek it out’
  • ‘Offline’ contribution to Social & Environmental cause – not important to broadcast on social media


5. Broadcasting Millennial Mums

  • Single / Married with kid(s) and varied spending power
  • Typically mid-higher end of 18-34yrs. old spectrum
  • Highly dependent on Internet for shopping – Even offline purchase dictated by online forums
  • Social Media – typically Very High Consumption & Contribution (kids related)
  • Highly influenced with new products in market
  • Online contribution to Social & Environmental cause – very important to broadcast on social media

6. Ultra-Budget Millennial

  • Single / Married with Very Low spending power
  • Any age between 18-34yrs. old spectrum
  • Online / Offline shopping dictated by Price
  • Typically leverages Social Media to find bargains
  • Could be influenced with new product launches in market but limited by tight discretionary budget
  • Online contribution to Social & Environmental cause not on the very top of the list

…and many more!! Typically, none of the millennial sub-segments will have a clear delineation, in fact it would actually transcend genre

young Millennial Mum could show attributes of an Offline Mature Millennial sub-segment (i.e. choose not to be influenced by the internet or broadcast her personal life on social media)


Marketing efforts tailored to a diverse Millennial base

Amongst other factors, each of the sub-millennial segment would influence the Retailer’s marketing style, effort and budget in more ways than one

Perhaps a blanket millennial marketing strategy may suit some retailers; whilst for some others customizing their marketing efforts to each of the (identified) millennial sub-segment may yield optimum returns

Additionally, efforts would also be dictated by retailer type (garment, supermarket, electronic, et al.), brand of goods sold and their long term strategy

Millennial Matrix

More importantly an effective marketing strategy (depending on the product) would mirror the life journey of millennials

Millennial Customer Journey

Ultimately, there is no argument that millennials; irrespective of their sub-segments represents one of the most dynamic generations thus far, bringing unique challenges and limitless opportunities for retailers, marketers and other customer-facing business alike