The word millennials is a word I rarely consider. Mostly because I consider a millennial someone who is 10 years younger than me. While I know that’s incorrect, and despite differences in what people consider where Generation X ends and millennial begins, it’s clear I’m on the cusp of both generations.

Parts of the newest generation appeal to me – the desire to use technology whenever possible being chief principle – but largely this generation has many perceived negative attributes. People say they’re selfish, professionally unprepared, overly stimulated little brats. Okay, I’m paraphrasing, but I’m not wrong.


Millennials and Marketing

But today I began thinking about millennials and marketing while buying my melatonin at the Vitamine Shoppe. The associate offered to sign me up for their new free program called Spark. It will give me 10% off my product purchase and it will be shipped directly to my house for free. Obviously, I was eager to sign up. I’m an online shopping extraordinaire, but I couldn’t help but wonder (aloud) why the company would do this –  a free program, a discount, and free shipping. What’s in it for them?

The associate said, “It’s because of millennials.”

Obviously, I’ve seen changes in marketing. My life is pretty much all about Amazon Prime (a fee-based service). Other changes have occurred on social media. Instagram now allows you to buy products directly from their app. Brick and mortar stores are now allowing you to buy online and pick up in store for no fee (once again trying to appeal to a digital shopper while still getting them in store), but this new program has me questioning the future of brick and mortar stores.

The recent news about Aldi and Kohl’s pairing up to change the grocery shopping experience had me scratching my head, but now I’m beginning to understand. Aldi is trying to reduce its retail footprint because millennials are driving their brick and mortar experience out of business.

What do you think about how millennials are changing shopping and marketing?