From the white dress to the first dance and everything in between, the wedding industry has been notoriously known as being one of the most—if not the most—traditional industries.
This was, until recently.
Over the past few years, the wedding industry has seen tremendous change due to the millennial generation. From drones and wearables, to online-only inspiration, today’s millennial brides have embraced WedTech—and it doesn’t seem to be a passing trend.
So, why should marketers care about this so-called niche industry?
Although millennials tend to be the recipients of harsh criticism, they are not to be underestimated as they are officially the largest, most diverse generation in the U.S. population, according to a report by the Council of Economic Advisors. This influence combined with a $300 billion industry has created a vast network of opportunities for both marketers and brands to reach a powerful market.
But, in order to capitalize on this market, brands must first understand how to break through the disruption and reach today’s millennial couple.
Millennials have grown up as witnesses to the technology revolution, which means they’ve seen the world without and with tech—and they choose the latter. Since technology is an integral part of their every day lives, it comes as no surprise that today’s couples are quick to jump on any new technology that can help their wedding day be as functional, fun, and unique as possible.
From live streaming robots to 3D-printed wedding cakes—the options are endless. And those marketers who utilize these new technologies have the ability to create an important and lasting relationship with the millennial bride.
In the past, the idea of crafting and creating something from scratch was usually left for grandma and grandpa. Now, not so much. The millennial generation has embraced the mentality, coining themselves as the “DIY generation.” This hands on way of life has translated over to various industries, but nothing has felt the influence quite like the wedding industry.
One of the biggest influences for the DIY bride has been Pinterest. It has been reported that over 70% of Pinterest users have boards that are primarily dedicated to bridal related topics.
From venue inspiration to day-of products, those brands that properly align their boards to appeal to the bridal community, have the opportunity to be a part of each bride’s journey—from inspiration to the time to purchase.
Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Tumblr. Vine. Snapchat—the list goes on. The point being, without a doubt, millennials are the social generation. They grew up in a world where being constantly connected was considered normal.
And the millennial couple is no different. Soon-to-be brides and grooms are constantly looking for ways to share the news of their big day with the rest of the world.
One brand that is doing it right? Snapchat.
The company has just released a new “on-demand” geofilter that allows people and businesses to pay for custom filters. These personalized messages are focused on wedding and event content, perfect for the social-savvy millennial couples’ save-the-date or wedding announcement.
A recent study found that millennials spend at least four hours per day on their cell phones—and that number is quickly growing. This affinity towards mobile has solidified the need for cross-channel functionality within every industry.
In the bridal world, nothing has made the wedding process more convenient than having a smart phone available at all times. Mobile has become imperative for the “on the go” couples. Between lunch breaks, at work and on long train commutes, brides and grooms find any excuse to continue researching—or buying— via mobile.
Word of Mouth
While word of mouth has always been an important way to get an inside look at a company, it has never been so easy and accessible. With the introduction of peer-review websites, such as Yelp, today’s brides don’t have to look far to get the inside scoop.
Beyond that, many brides use these websites to open a dialogue with a perspective company or brand. One peer review—or one question left unanswered— could make or break a bride’s decision to work with that local bakery or bridal shop.
Overall, in order to reach this market, brands must understand the influence tech has had on the wedding industry as a whole. Those brands who highlight the importance of the millennial characteristics, such as the new DIY mentality, will most likely get ahead. Brands and marketers must realize that the millennial generation has no interest in being a passive participant in their own customer journey— and brides are no different. Those who embrace the millennial culture and open themselves to a two-way conversation, will ultimately gain the trust and business of the tech obsessed millennial generation.