Strategies for connecting with 21-39 year olds
Plan on growing your business in 2018 and into the future? The key is engaging and marketing to Millennials, those “kids” who are now between 21 and 39 years old and number more than 80 million, slightly more than Baby Boomers at over 76 million.
For this article, we dive into the American Floral Endowment’s (AFE) 2016 Millennial Marketing Tactics Study funded by the Floral Marketing Research Fund (FMRF) to provide insight into this demographic and share several recommended strategies to get their attention!
MEET THE MILLENNIALS
Given the wide age range, Millennials may be finishing school or entering the job market. Speaking of education, Millennials are well-educated with more than half having college education or higher. Average income for Millennials is from $35,001-$50,000… representing an annual buying power of $200 billion. So how do florists capture a piece of this pie?
PERCEPTIONS OF FLOWERS
It starts with understanding Millennials’ perception of flowers (see chart). According to the study, Millennials have good memories associated with receiving or using flowers and believe flowers are a very special gift or décor item since they are alive and perishable.
On the flip side, because they are “special,” flowers – especially arranged – are perceived as expensive and since they are perishable, don’t last long. Other negative perceptions include the view that flowers are a “default” gift when there are no other “better” or preferred choices and flowers are “traditional” gifts offered by older consumers.
THE PRICE COULD BE RIGHT
To tackle the perception of arranged flowers as expensive, consider offering multiple pricing tiers you can present as good, better or best options. Communicate how
the same arrangement could be scaled down to meet the Millennial budget – be specific on what’s different so the customer understands the value of the choice.
Also offer promotions or free add-on gift items to target first-time flower buyers, young professionals or students. Offer incentives to Millennials for Liking your Facebook Page, checking in on-site or sharing product photos taken at the shop. Consider BOGO deals and be sure to offer online coupons on your website. You will get a boost in mobile traffic from Millennial searches for coupons!
Other strategies include starting a loyalty or subscription program. Be sure to make the program based on emails or smartphone numbers versus cards or usernames and make rewards or points indefinite or no-expiration.
SHARE YOUR STORY
Millennials want to know who (or what company) they are making a purchase from. Tell your professional and/or company story on your website. Talk about your organic or sustainable practices. Post to social media about your expertise on floral and home décor trends. Through social and follow-up emails, share with Millennials the proper care and handling of their purchases to address negative perishable perceptions.
INVITE MILLENNIALS TO THE SHOP
Our last strategy may be the best to engage Millennials. Offer in-shop pick up as an option for web orders. Create special, valueadded, hand-tied products for this offer. Beyond that, invite Millennials into the shop for a flower-arranging class and/or offer a flower bar where they can choose a vase and review suggested menus of floral product from which they can select. Also offer guidance as they create their arrangements or bouquets.
Lastly, be sure to ask Millennials to share their experiences with their friends and/or leave a review about the product or experience. You’ll find word of mouth among this demographic travels quickly and in mass.