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10 Ways Brands Can Appeal To Millennial Parents

What can brands do to better appeal to the next generation of parents? We asked them… 

Millennials are parents to 50% of today’s children and more than 1 million Millennial women become new mothers each year, according to NRF. As the generation continues to age up and gain economic footing, Millennial parents are fast-becoming a huge demographic with massive spending power. The demographic is expected to yield $1.3 trillion in buying power, which is why we’ve warned in the past to recalibrate your expectations for Millennial spending habits in anticipation of parenthood. Though they hold many of the same characteristics are their childless peers as well as parents from generations past, Millennial parents are breed all their own, which is something most say brands have failed to understand—Ypulse data has found that the demographic overwhelmingly believes that brands are “missing the mark” on what they want. Millennials are known for their desire for authenticity in marketing, and that doesn’t change with parenthood—94% of Millennial parents tell Ypulse they like when people are honest about how hard it is to be a parent and, according to Adweek, 51% of parents believe advertisers have an outdated view of motherhood and don’t understand them.

Learning to appeal to Millennials parents will serve brands particularly well, however—the demo may be the most loyal, despite their generation’s Loyalish reputation. According to the NRF, 49% of Millennial parents stay loyal to a brand even when there are more affordable options available compared to 30% from other generations, and 52% will forsake more convenient options for their brand of choice compared to 35% of other parents. To top it off, 64% of Millennial parents shop their preferred brands before even considering competitors, according to MediaPost. To better understand just how brands can tap this loyalty, we asked 18-36-year-old parents “Other than lowering prices, what could brands do better to appeal to you as a parent?”* Here’s what they had to say:

*This was an open-end response question to allow us to capture the full range of ways brands can better appeal to Millennial parents—without our preconceived ideas shaping their responses. As with any qualitative question, the responses include those that are top of mind and those that are most popular. The lists are ordered according to number of responses received, and alphabetically when ties occurred.

How can brands better appeal to parents?
18-36-year-old parents
  1. Higher quality / More durable
  2. More styles/variety
  3. Help me understand benefits
  4. Natural/organic ingredients
  5. Build values
  6. Participate in children’s charities
  7. Convenience
  8. Educational
  9. Gender neutral
  10. Show product reviews

Across the board, Millennials put a premium on quality products—even over price—and it’s no different for parents. In fact, twice as many respondents listed “high quality” as the number one thing brands could do to appeal to them than the second most popular response, “more styles/variety.” When we surveyed Millennials on their feelings about luxury items, 60% said they prefer to buy products that are a good value for the money. And when we asked what descriptors would make them more or less likely to purchase a product, 29% of respondents said “cheap” would make them put their wallets away. Instead, they were drawn to words like “durable” and “high quality.” Research from Retail Environments also found that Millennial parents are willing to spend extra for higher quality products and services.

Millennial parents are also still committed to the “all-natural” lifestyle their generation is known for, with “natural/organic ingredients” coming in at number four on the list. In fact, Ypulse data found that Millennial parents are more likely than their non-parent peers to be influenced by organic labels and FoodDIVE reports that the demo is giving organic products a major boost—last year for the first time, baby food was ranked as the top category where consumers thought it was “extremely important” to buy organic. Additionally, “super-crunchy” brand California Baby is now the third top-selling baby brand while influencer-boosted Mustela’s sales have surged 30% in the past year, according to reporting from Vox. The obsession with all-natural has even spurred Johnson & Johnson—the most popular baby brand—to roll out revamped products with shorter, simpler ingredient lists for fear of losing shelf space to organic up-and-comers.

Unsurprisingly, Millennial parents also want brands to prioritize their time, with “convenience” coming in at number seven on the list. Ypulse previously found that 58% of Millennial parents agree that there’s never enough time in the day, and 46% agree with the statement “with all the technological advances today, I shouldn’t have to do mundane tasks.” Millennial parents are also participating in the on-demand economy far more than their non-parent peers, with the only service they’re not using more than non-parents being ride-hailing apps. Five times as many parents have hired someone to run an errand for them than non-parents, and three times as many Millennial parents have used a personal shopper or clothing subscription box. NRF also found that 86% of Millennial parents have used same-day shipping compared to just 67% of parents from other generations. They’re willing to pay for convenience—just 53% of the demo told NRF they expected free shipping on small orders under $50 compared with 66% of other parents.


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