The latest generation of parents are raising their little ones differently than ever before. Riddled with student debt, entering into a massively competitive workforce, and growing up in tandem with the rise of technology, it’s no surprise that their unique conditions have altered parental norms. With 20 and 30-something mothers now giving birth to 82% of babies born each year, the structure of the baby vertical is adapting and evolving to effectively accommodate this new wave of parents. In this article I’ll unpack some interesting insights into Millennial parents, and discuss some strategies for catering to consumer behaviors.
Social Media & Internet Usage
Millennials are documenting EVERYTHING on social media - and their kids’ lives are no exception. You’ve seen images of baby showers and heartwarming videos of baby reveals or pregnancy announcements, newborns in the hospital and a wealth of status updates that seem to sometimes -ahem- overshare the insights of parenthood. The New York Times wrote of the magnitude of the epidemic that is social takeover, detailing the influx of personal hashtags and YouTube channels generated by parents for children. Just 19% of Millennial parents have never shared a photo of their kids of social media. They also noted that Google, chat rooms, and app are becoming parental essentials for Millennials.
As a business in the baby vertical, engaging on social media has become a massively critical marketing component, and is also a great means for continual engagement and exchange with your consumers. Sharing authentic, relevant content is hugely beneficial to your b2c strategy. Engaging blog posts that provide insights, how-to’s, and tricks of the trade of parenting are all great methods for forging a bond with consumers and providing them with genuine recommendations to support their parental journeys. Let them be a witness to your narrative so you may become a part of theirs!
57% of Millennial moms say they are a good parent, versus the 48% of Gen X moms and 41% of Baby Boomer moms. Whether the source of confidence is instilled through the gift of Google and the comfort of having all the answers so easily accessible, higher education, or blind faith brought on by all the likes they got on their latest post, Millennial moms have some serious mojo.
As a business, it’s important to take into consideration the current parenting trends, seek input from your consumers, and make sure you’re offering products that meet their needs - because these moms are confident enough in their parenting skills to know what they want!
That said confidence is key to maintain, for there may be storms to weather ahead! Millennial parents are more likely to struggle financially than previous generations. The Washington Post cited that the average 18 to 34-year-old today makes about $2,000 less than they did in 1980 (while the cost of living has increased). As Millennial parents are still paying off their own student loans, childcare and education for their kids have increased the total cost of raising a kid to 18%, which is 16% greater than the 1960 figure.
Despite the possible financial strain Millennials may face, Forbes reported that today’s parents are spending more per baby. The report states that Gen X and Millennials deem their children more “worthy of protection”. Today’s parents are more committed to applying their own principals to purchases placed on behalf of their child, which has resulted in an upswing in the demand for sustainable, organic, and local goods.
These results can be analyzed and applied to many business strategies in the baby vertical. Predominantly, it’s worth noting that perhaps the best means for addressing the financial struggle in tandem with increased demand for high-quality goods means that it’s wise to provide products that are durable, reusable, and/or can grow as the baby grows to serve multiple purposes at varying stages. Investment purchases for baby are not only economical, but also sustainable and better for the planet. To support these purchase trends, provide your Millennial consumers with eco-friendly, natural products that are truly worth the investment and never skimp on quality.
Millennials Mothers Are Older Than Previous Generations
A mother's age at the birth of her first child has been rising for decades. In 1980 the average age of a mother of a firstborn was 22.7, while in 2013 it was 26.3. This may be due in large part to the increase in women who attain degrees and enter into the workforce, thus generally marrying and having kids later in life. It may also be a result of the financial strain Millennials are facing in paying off their education debts, or could be attributed to poor support from their workplace for maternity leave.
This figure is certainly of interest, as mothers are older, more educated, and are often working professionals. To companies who are trying to dupe Millennials with bogus offers, scams, or blatant marketing schemes, these mamas aren’t falling for it! Transparency, integrity, and credibility should absolutely serve as the supporting pillars in the foundation of your business and brand - for the sake of Millennial, Gen X, and Baby Boomer consumers alike!
- - - -
Forbes reported, “In the coming decades, successful brands will cater to parents who want only the best for their precious little ones.” I am so excited to see such expansive growth catered toward sustainable, eco-friendly, natural, non-toxic products within the baby vertical. When I first became a mother, I wanted nothing but the best for my kids. For fellow moms of all generations who seek out quality over quantity, my store is teeming with products that are straight out of my personal (and very particular) parenting guide, and I hope that the collections speak to like-minded quality chasers. If you’re a brand or a producer of high-quality baby goods, Soojin is always on the hunt for the latest & greatest - so get in touch!