With Millennials overtaking Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation at 75.4 million vs. 74.9 million, and continue to grow, there is no denying the economic power behind the most misunderstood segment of our population.
Companies are waking up to a new reality.
A reality where most of the business is done online, shopping means Amazon and dinner plans mean Uber Eats.
In this new reality consumers have no brand loyalty and will often only follow brands social media in order to utilize discounts.
Millennials are more educated about healthy choices, are price sensitive and environmentally friendly.
All of, are trends that the vast majority of Baby Boomers do not possess.
So which companies are ones seeing the most change in their sales as a result of Millennials making more educated choices?
Here are the top 5 companies already seeing major decline in their business:
Born to be wild, America’s favorite motorcycle company represents freedom and the open road.
The iconic brand has been in business since 1903 and while other motorcycle companies such as BMW, Ducati and KTM have been seeing an increase in sales, Harley have seen U.S. sales falling 3.9 percent in 2016.
Millennials seem to shy away from Harley Davidson Motorcycles.
This might be partly because they were too young to remember Easy Rider, the movie that helped add Harley to the mainstream, or simply because they don’t buy into its rebel image.
Consumers today are smarter than their parents and understand that Harley Davidson Motorcycles are simply not as good as their Japanese and European counterparts.
Harleys don’t accelerate, stop or turn as well as other motorcycles.
In addition they are heavy and lack the ability to go off-road, which, in today’s traffic and law enforcement level represent a better alternative than freeway riding.
In short, Millennials are buying better motorcycles, opting out from the image and choosing function instead.
This could spell serious trouble for the US motorcycle maker.
The investment management firm Alliance Bernstein even downgraded its rating of the company from “outperform” to “market perform”.
Millennials do their shopping online using a mobile device.
They use both Amazon and Google for comparison shopping and take advantage of popular shipping programs like Amazon Prime.
Sears, so it seems, simply cannot keep up and same-store sales recently plummeted by 11.5%.
Overall, the company’s ecommerce sales totaled $2.01 billion in fiscal 2016, a 1.8% decline from 2015.
Ecommerce made up 9.3% of overall sales, up from 8.3% a year earlier.
Sears is one of the only large retailors that have actually lost online sales in recent years.
Millennials are health conscious and nutrition educated.
This leaves no room for the fat and sodium loaded GMO food of chains like Applebee’s.
With the American consumer’s health in decline and the US obesity epidemic (one in three U.S. adults is obese), Millennials prefer healthier eating.
Surprisingly this has landed them in hot water with the mainstream.
Millennials have recently been criticized for buying “$19 avocado toast” instead of saving for real estate.
So far Applebee’s have failed to provide Millennials a healthy, budget friendly avocado toast, and as a result, have seen domestic same-store sales fall 7.9 percent in the first quarter of this year.
Millennials prefer more trendy alcoholic drinks over beer, and micro breweries’ over brand names.
In fact, Millennials like to drink “cool” drinks and the blue collar image of Budweiser Beer simply doesn’t vibe with their values.
This is continuing the trend of more sophisticated food and beverage consumption patterns.
Millennials seem to consume more healthy foods and mass produced beer doesn’t seem to fit their lifestyle.
AB’s domestic market share dropped to 45% from 47.6% in less than a year in the U.S. and the overall beer market in the US declined by 0.7%
Goldman Sachs also downgraded Boston Beer Company from “neutral” to “sell” and Constellation Brands from “buy” to “neutral.”
Millennials tend to skip using Fabric Softener as a general trend of using less chemical products in their home.
This, combined with a general decline of Fabric Softener’s popularity has caused U.S. liquid softener sales to fall 15% overall between 2007 and 2015, and sales of Procter & Gamble’s leading Downy brand have dropped 26% in the same time period.
Softeners have become popular in the 1960s, but, due to advancements in detergent and washing machine technology, no longer have a noticeable effect.
“Millennials consumer habits are increasingly shaping the market, and your brand will need keep up with the trend, or run the risk of losing market share.” said Inverted Software’s CEO Mr. Gal Ratner.
Millennials tend to prefer budget friendly, health conscious trendy products made by companies with social and environmental awareness that have a strong online and mobile presents.
This means you need to take a deep look into your brand, and assess if you are “Millennials friendly”, said Ratner.
There is no doubt that the landscape of business is changing and is projected to change further as the Millennial population is projected to peak in 2036 at 81.1 million.
Are you ready to adapt your brand to the new Millennial?