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

Quote of the Day: “I don't drink on a typical night, but my choice when I do have a drink is often red wine.”

—Female, 34, FL

13 Reasons Why, the Netflix series about a teen girl’s suicide, has some mental health professionals worried. While some applaud the show for increasing awareness about teen suicide, others fear the series could act as suicide contagion, increasing the risk of an individual engaging in copycat behavior. School districts across the U.S. are sending letters to parents to discuss the show and red flags to watch for in teens’ behavior, while counsellors are having conversations with students and patients. The National Association of School Psychologists has recommended that at-risk youth shouldn’t watch the series, and cautions adults to help teens differentiate “between a TV drama and real life.” (CNN)

U.K. Millennials consider themselves ‘grown up’ at age 27, according to a recent survey by Nationwide Current Accounts. With shifting paradigms surrounding adulthood, Millennials are defining maturity differently, and over half surveyed feel like entrance to adulthood depends on particular milestones rather than age. One in five believe they’re mature when they have children and another one in five when they move out of their parent’s home. Interestingly, Ypulse’s Adulting trend found that paying their own bills is the top sign of adulthood for Millennials in the U.S. (Telegraph)

Millennial shoppers are re-defining retail by purchasing on mobile, returning at higher rates, and ‘showrooming’—selecting clothes in-store then purchasing online—as a part of their “normal” purchasing process.  According to Criteo, as more clothing is purchased online, retailers can expect larger cart sizes at checkout, and return rates as high as 30-50%—which could create an opportunity to get young shoppers back into stores. Successful retailers are ““moving seamlessly between” online and off by covering return shipping costs or allowing in-store returns, innovating their online experiences, and keeping a high volume of product available in both spaces. (MediaPost)

Mexican wine country is becoming a top travel destination for Millennials. Cheaper, artsier, and arguably more authentic than Napa or Sonoma, Valle de Guadelupe is quickly accruing acclaim with twenty and thirtysomethings, who Ypulse has found love their wine. The small strip of vineyards and restaurants is shifting to suit their needs with food trucks, modern art, and even Uber for wine tours, when just a decade ago, the area didn’t even have the necessary roads to facilitate tourism. One winery owner observes, “What used to happen in this part of the world was that no one had anything to do and now everyone has appointments every hour.” (NYTimes)

The restaurant industry currently employs one third of all working teenagers, thanks to a recent uptick in teen employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, teens made up 35% of all restaurant workers in 2016, the highest percentage since 2009. Teen participation in the restaurant industry was above 50% until the Great Recession when it started a steep downward trend, causing staffing challenges across the industry. But it’s too early to know if the recent boost in employment signals a new trend or is just “a temporary blip.” (National Restaurant Association)

Quote of the Day: “If a brand is going to interact with a 'fandom' of any sort, they’d better either A) Know what they're talking about and have someone lead the interactions who is a fan as well, or B) Be honest in a funny way…”

—Female, 21, Virginia

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