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

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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