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 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 play [games] constantly until 4 in the morning. When I’m not on my game I’m checking my phone. And the whole time I’m doing all of that my desktop is on the internet.”—Male, 22, OH

Twitch is airing every episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, in celebration of the late Fred Rogers’ 90th birthday and the show’s 50th anniversary. The esports streaming service is expanding to nostalgia entertainment (which young viewers can’t get enough of), but they have a unique twist. The show will be available for co-viewing, with popular Twitch streamers chiming in from time to time. (Mashable)

Over one-third of 18-34-year-olds have stopped using a brand after hearing negative news about them, more than any other generation. Among the brands that most consumers said they gave up on were Wells Fargo, Target, Papa John’s, and Uber. However, Critical Mix and kNOW also found that young consumers are more willing to forgive a brand for bad press: While only 30% of consumers overall would use a brand again after a scandal, 41% of 25-34-year-olds would. (MediaPost)

Alamo Drafthouse is bringing back VHS—offering free rentals for Millennials that wax nostalgic for analog products. Their first store, Video Vortex, is opening in North Carolina. Not only are they “fostering a movie-loving community” with the extensive gratis collection of 75,000 titles, but they’re making money off of the added “beer, food, and merchandise.” No VHS player? No problem. They’re renting those as well. (BoingBoingEW)

Researchers were surprised to find Gen Z students were “relieved” to ditch their smartphones for a few weeks. Screen Education’s study of 62 12-16-year-olds found that 92% thought “it was beneficial” to disconnect from their smartphones while they were at camp. And even though 41% admitted they felt frustrated at times, 35% were able to cut down their use after camp and 17% convinced a friend to curb their time spent on smartphones, too. (PR Newswire)

Beauty brands love augmented reality, but an app can’t replace in-store experience. Not only did Ypulse found time and again that young consumers expect Experiencification and flock to marketing activations (like pop-ups), but brick-and-mortar locations build loyalty. People think they’re scamming Sephora when they re-do their makeup gratis, but that time-spent-in-store is really “turning the ‘scammers’ into buyers.” (Quartzy)

"I love my smart phone. It is just like my best friend [and] I just can't do without my smartphone...”—Male, 27, CA

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