How Aldo Is Connecting With Millennials: Insights From Millennial 20/20 Speakers

We’re getting insight on connecting with and selling to Millennials from some of Millennial 20/20's expert speakers…

The way young consumers want to shop, interact with brands, consume content and make payments is evolving—and we’ll be talking about it all at Millennial 20/20 along with 4,000+ brands, retailers, corporates, service providers, media, entrepreneurs, and start-ups.

Join us at Millennial 20/20 North America in New York City on March 1-2, and use the code YPULSE25 to get 25% off your tickets here. 

 

Aldo isn’t worried about the “so-called death of the American mall.” According to Racked, amidst other retailers’ closures, bankruptcies, and layoffs, the shoe brand has thrived, thanks in part to their embrace of online shopping and in-store tech integration. The brand’s app will soon sync to physical stores, sending notifications to consumers on discounts when they pass by a location, and allowing employees to pull up information on the consumer’s past shopping behavior, including the shoes they might have been looking for online.

We asked Vice President of ALDO Group North America, Nicholas F. Martire—who will be speaking at Millennial 20/20—to answer five questions about Millennial consumers and what brands need to know about connecting with this generation of shoppers: 

Ypulse: How would you describe the Millennial consumer? What attributes are most important to them?

NM: Generally, the Millennial consumer is highly educated and informed. They are career driven and seek to be engaged by a brand. They are very brand loyal and they value quality.

When it comes to advertising, Millennials look for authenticity; if you try to give them a hard sell, they will see right through it. They rely on blogs prior to purchase to seek validation with influencers, bloggers, peers, etc. They need to establish trust. Social networks are a hugely important means of communication for them. They are more likely to become a customer of a brand if they can engage with them on social media. They use multiple devices; so a brand's marketing has to be adaptive to multi formats and be digital first. Lastly, Millennials value a brand's commitment to social responsibility.

YP: What do you see as the most unique differences between Millennials and consumers from previous generations?

They are much more informed and have access to more data; they do more research. They have access to more technology and are more shrewd - they like getting deals. Past generations were drawn to traditional advertising, whereas Millennials disregard traditional forms of advertising (i.e. campaigns in magazines, etc.).

YP: What has your brand done or changed specifically to better appeal to Millennials?

We have adopted a Channel Agnostic Strategy. We strive to offer a seamless experience for our customer wherever they want it, whenever they want it—no matter which channel they desire. Our marketing focuses on being real and authentic. Natural real lifestyle settings with friends and occasions—be it special or everyday occasions (ex. first interview, first road trip). All content is digital first and we are heavily focusing on mobile. Our videos are done in an 8-second format because our customers have an insane ability to process info quickly, and the short format makes it more shareable.

YP: What do you foresee as the next big trends that will impact young consumers’ shopping behaviors?

1.  Death of omni-channel. A brand must be channel agnostic. 

2. A brand must connect and engage with the customer to foster loyalty

3. They want to know your brand stands for something; i.e. social responsibility

 

 

NICHOLAS F. MARTIRE

Nicholas F. Martire is the Vice President of ALDO Group North America, Call It Spring. Call It Spring is The Aldo Group’s second largest brand with over 1000 stores and points of sale in 43 countries.

Nicholas is one of two head merchants at The Aldo Group, leading retail, branded wholesale, omnichannel and 360 degrees of the company's brand Call it Spring. Prior to that, Nicholas co-founded and headed Aldo Product Services, the wholesale division of The Aldo Group that has led the transformation of the company into an industry-recognized wholesale distributor and third-party sourcing provider of fashion footwear and accessories.

To download the PDF version of this insight article, click here.   

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The Newsfeed

“I move around every few years so it would be a huge hassle to have to buy and sell property so frequently.”—Female, 28, IN

Gen Z will spend the most on rent of any generation, but Millennials aren’t far behind. HotPads estimates that 2-20-year-olds will spend $226,000 on rent before they buy a home and 24-38-year-olds will ring in at $202,000. Despite the difference, Gen Z will own their first home one year earlier than Millennials because they’ll have “a stronger job market than [M]illennials”—but, despite the myths, they are buying homes in greater numbers. PS: Los Angeles tops the list of where young demos will spend the most on rent. (Business Insider)

What’s behind board games' popularity today? The NPD Group found that board games grew 8% compared to the toy industry’s overall growth of 8% in the past year and has “no signs of slowing down.” Digital detoxing plays a part, as more Millennial parents worry about their kids’ screen time and seek toys that foster face-to-face relationships. But despite the analog appeal, games are also getting high-tech and the word-of-mouth media they receive propels social media-friendly games like Pie Face to the top of toy charts. (Kidscreen)

Parents still have the most influence over kids today, but online celebrities are also top role models. Mintel research found that 86% of 6-17-year-olds say their parents are among their top role models, 62% say teachers, and 41% say siblings. But the top kind of celebrity that gets added to the category are social media celebrities at 35%, followed closely by musicians and athletes. Only 22% said actors were among their top role models and just 16% said the President. (MediaPost)

Disney has a new beverage to fill your Instagram feed: The Purple Wall Slushie. The Millennial & Gen Z-loved company has had no problem coming up with social media-friendly items, from Baby Groot bread to a viral Beauty and the Beast-inspired tumbler, and now they’ve rolled out a boba and taro beverage at Disney World. The Purple Wall is a famous destination to snap a pic for social media in the Magic Kingdom, and this slushy is made specifically to match up with the wall (and monetize on it). (POPSUGARInsider)

Speaking of Instagrammability, the Space Needle’s new, clear benches are sure to make for a thrilling photo op. The iconic viewing deck for the Seattle skyline has been in the midst of a makeover to create a better (and decidedly more social media-worthy) viewing experience. A metal base and caging has been replaced with a high glass wall from floor to sky, and so-called “skyrisers” will let visitors sit right on the edge of it all—and snap a selfie. (Curbed)

“People have been planning outfits since the start of the year [for prom].”—Male, 15, NC

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