In Marketing, Millennial Marketing

Woman holding a gift box in a gesture of givingListen up marketers! It is that time of year again, when men and women across all generations are buying and receiving gifts. The most abundant of shoppers on the streets, but mostly online, are of the Millennial generation. So what is it that they desire most this holiday season?

Ask that question of a Millennial, you might just get “All I want for Christmas is to have my student loans paid off or “A full-time job in the industry of my choice.”  And chances are you probably can’t make those holiday wishes come true.  But, if you’re still determined to make the holidays shine for your favorite Millennial, here are a few gift choices to choose from:

Tech Accessories

 Millennials have grown up as digital natives so this seems like a winner.  But understand that not all tech is necessarily Millennial-worthy. Millennials are fast adopters of new tech and most likely have all the latest gadgets. For the younger Millennials it is not the technology itself that will be the most popular but the accessories that go along with that technology. Think wireless headphones, speakers or even a portable photo printer.  Yes, wonder of wonder, folks are actually printing out their photos again?

Wearable Tech

Although the new Apple iWatch is new and tech-y it might seem like an obvious choice for a Millennia, but it’s really not.  This product is actually more popular with older professionals. On the topic of wearable technology there are other tech products that are popular among Millennials, most notably theFitbit. Fitbit is an activity, fitness and health tracker. While they started out with digital touchscreen bands that track activity level throughout the day, they have expanded into many more styles of wearable technology for men and women.  These are more stylish then the classic athletic look because they are now created by notable fashion designers like Public School, Vera Wang and Tory Burch. Other companies have also jumped on the bandwagon of this wearable technology trend are, Michael Kors, Android, Fossel and even Disney with kids wearable technology.

Talk-able Tech

 For your older Millennial try an electronic personal assistant. If you watch television at all, or at least watched the 2016 Super Bowl commercials you will know who “Alexa” is. For those of you that don’t, Alexa is the voice-activated personal assistant that lives in the Amazon Echo. When it first came out Alexa could place an order from Amazon, order you food, play your media and even give you details about your commute. Now she’s truly a personal assistant. Her artificial intelligence can be control your house.  She’s got the ability to control lights and other factors in your home. For the on-the-go older Millennials this gift will help them to keep organized and on the move, not to mention it can travel with you anywhere. Google also has a voice assistant app called Google Now.


 No matter what the age of your favorite Millennial they all need help coping with stress. For those that are entering college or in college, think about giving a de-stressor like a subscription to Netflix or Hulu As we know Millennials are known for binge watching and streaming television rather than watching live cable. Music is also a major de-stressor for Millennials.  Consider a gift card to iTunes, which gets them access to not only music, but movies. A study on generational shopping behavior, revealed that gift cards are still particularly popular among Millennials. Gift cards are just as good as cash to a Millennial as long they are good for  Millennial-esc, activities such as iTunes or Amazon.

Older Millennials dealing with the stress of work and/or parenting life are more inclined to accept a case of craft beer or a bottle of wine with an ironic label. Craft beers and micro-breweries are popping up across the nation and are a hit with Millennial men. This preference of craft beer is great for Millennnials who may think big brand beers are inauthentic and corporate.

Although not to our surprise, according to Business Insider, the drink of choice for Millennials is wine. Yes, Millennials are “wine people”. In fact, they have consumed 42 percent of all the wine drunk last year! So consider a gift subscription to a “wine of the month” club.

 Affordable Adventure

 No two words speak more Millennial than “affordable adventure.” Those Millennials that are not asking for tangible gifts, are in search of gifts with a little more action. Think:gift cards for tours, dinner reservations or a night in the largest city nearest to you. Or even for a dinner with a little adventure. There is such thing as live mystery dinners and interactive outings. In New York City, Millennials are engaging in what is called “Escape Rooms”. Basically you and your friends are trapped in your room for one hour and you have to escape, don’t worry the whole thing is staged. This experience is challenging and unforgettable.  You really can’t get more Millennial than that.

The best advice I could give here is to check out Groupon.  Millennials want the freedom to choose when they spend this time and a gift card to a restaurant, vineyard or even a membership to a museum is something that they can use and enjoy at their own convenience.

The lesson here is that Millennials are searching for most everything you’d expect and some surprising alternatives. Marketers, if your product or service falls under any of these categories, make sure you are paying close attention to your Millennial audience but also other generations that may be buying for them.


Danielle Murray heads the Millennial Principle team.

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