Study: Millennials With Kids Are No Different Than Their Own Parents

Everyone everywhere is trying to tell us how to better target Millennials. Research says that they want to be rewarded and entertained while making the world a better place all at the same time, but now it’s time for the next question: how do they behave as parents? If you guessed “pretty much the same as their parents and every other generation of parents before them” then you win the prize!

Yes, we young folk have begun to reproduce en masse despite all the things weighing against us: crushing student loans, rising healthcare costs, the end of the Harry Potter series, etc. etc. Now brands have to address us as the semi-responsible adults we are.

In order to let us all know what that means, “fiercely independent” Missouri agency Barkley performed a study by examining “exclusive research records” concerning the 10.8 million Millennials who now have kids and conducting one-on-one surveys with 1000 of them. The agency released the full results of its project at its own “Share Like Buy” forum in Kansas City last month and began making the media rounds to discuss them this week.

Here are some key points from the study and the follow-up to date:

  • We’re supposed to be smart and cynical and tech-y, but our favorite store is…wait for it…Walmart (Target if we’re rich)
  • When we’re young and free, our favorite brand is Nike. Once we have kids, our favorite brand is still Nike.
  • Tech becomes more important as we age: Apple is young parents’ #3 favorite brand
  • Our top priorities for our kids are environment and nutrition, so go green and healthy
  • 50% of us want to support brands with cause marketing platforms: brands like Nike, Target and Apple

Barkley VP David Gutting’s Ad Age interview reveals that:

  • We don’t really have that legendary “sense of entitlement” because we can’t afford it
  • We always go cheap first, hence the popularity of Family Dollar and Walmart
  • Your brand doesn’t have to be super-hip or clever to appeal to us. You just have to be practical and affordable

Or, as Hamilton Nolan puts it:

Your mom was young and free and then had you and then she shopped at the cheap store. You were young and free and then you had kids and then you shopped at the cheap store. And Millennials were young and free and then they had kids and then they shopped at the cheap store.

Sounds about right. We’re personally nowhere close to having kids, yet we already have back problems, we turn down more party invitations than we accept, and we can’t seem to handle our liquor quite as well as we once could.

In other words, we’re already exactly like our parents. Get used to it.

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