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

“My generation feels entitled and is less willing to put in hard work to get the results they want.”—Female, 17, VA

CoverGirl is getting a marketing makeover to impress Millennials. The brand is changing up their slogan for the first time since 1997, with “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful Covergirl” getting traded for “I Am What I Make Up.” To go along with the new tagline, an inclusive lineup of new CoverGirls will debut the revamped brand—from 69-year-old Maye Musk to pro motorcycle rider Shelina Moreda. Finally, products will be taking on the Less is More trend with “sleeker, more minimal black and white packaging” and a logo to match—a familiar branding makeover move. (Racked)

Riverdale’s recent premiere pulled impressive ratings, especially among young adults—and the show may have Netflix to thank for it. The Archie-remake grew in popularity by 67% from last winter’s premiere and 140% with women under 35. But it gained the most ground with teens, jumping an impressive 467% from last winter’s premiere, making it the most popular show from The CW among teens since The Vampire Diaries in 2012. The show’s presence on Netflix during the off-season may have helped attract young viewers, allowing them to binge the series and get addicted on their time—The Binge Effect at work. (Vulture)

Essential oils are the latest wellness trend to gain traction, appealing to Millennials’ desire to ease anxiety. The most stressed generation to date is turning to little vials of “something between a perfume and a potion” to calm their minds and remedy simple sicknesses. Companies aren’t missing the opportunity to capitalize on the growing demand. Two major brands, Young Living and doTerra, “have more than three million customers apiece, and a billion dollars in annual sales.” (The New Yorker)

The majority of teachers say that life skills are more important to success today than academics. According to research out of the U.K., more than half of teachers believe so-called “’soft’ skills,” including perseverance, the ability to problem-solve, and communicate effectively are more important than “academic knowledge and technical skills.” Unfortunately, institutions often focus on test scores instead of “social and emotional learning, or character.” The good news is groups are pushing for change and “teaching ‘character’ is taking hold everywhere.” (Quartz)

Throw that “Me, Me, Me Generation” stereotype out the window, because Millennials are probably not any more narcissistic than previous generations. (Sorry, Time Magazine.) A report published in Psychological Science compared students from a ‘90s study with students in the 2000s and 2010s and found that today’s youth are “at best” equally as self-involved as young people of the past, and may actually be less narcissistic. The professor who led the study reports, “The kids are all right. There never was a narcissism epidemic, despite what has been claimed.” (Uproxx)

“My love of video games and knowledge of technology and streaming naturally eased me into the world of esports.”—Female, 23, FL

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