Commentary

Brands To Product Lines

Recent research, that Sharon Vinderine penned on the millennial shopping habits market, indicates that customers are less inclined to be loyal to brands. Vinderine is not your average mom or every day CEO. As the founder and CEO of Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA), Vinderine has been on over 200 TV shows including the Steve Harvey Show, Headline News and Rachael Ray. Toy, Parent, and Retail Expert, Vinderine is ambassador for the Parent Tested Parent Seal of Approval, and work as it applies to millennials and brands.

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She notes that Kleenex, Q-tips, Ziploc Jell-O and Band-Aid, despite being brand names, have become synonymous with entire product lines. Can you even think of an alternative name for how you would ask for a Q-tip, she asks? This type of complete category ownership has long since faded away, says the report, as customers are less inclined to be loyal to brands. 

A survey of over 3000 moms, from the Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA) North American network, revealed that two-thirds no longer feel loyal to any particular national brand. Rather, they are driven by price, quality and social values. Consumers are no longer willing to pay a brand tax to have the “luxury” of buying a national brand. One simply has to look to the success of Brandless to validate this claim, she says.

Clearly, says the report, these genericized trademarks made their impact when loyalty to national brands was high and when private label products and retailers were still considered the low-cost, low-quality alternative. 

Since then, private label brands have really upped their game and millennials, in particular, are buying what they are selling. In fact, millennials, who are known to be very value conscious and more open to trying new products, are one of the major groups driving the growth in private label sales, according to Nielsen's recent global Consumer Confidence Index reports, says the report.

Vinderine suggests several ways that brands can appeal to millennial consumers today, and really differentiate themselves from the competition.

  • Go niche.Predictability is no longer what consumers want. They want differentiation, which is what niche brands offer.  Brands like Warby Parker, Tesla and Nest are changing the way consumers think about the shopping experience, while providing a unique value proposition that is clear.
  • Take the risk out of the purchase. Millennials are commitment-phobic which is why they are so intrigued by brands that provide a risk-free guarantee. Brands like Casper understand this and have leveraged it to completely disrupt the mattress industry with a 100 night sleep guarantee.
  • Create compelling experiences. A recent study, by retail strategy and solution provider Daymon, revealed that six in 10 shoppers crave experiences tstimulate the senses, says the report. Brands like Nespresso, which has successfully created a chic environment to draw in coffee lovers, is a mix of free espresso samples, reasonably priced multi-functional machines and enough espresso choices to give them a reason to keep coming back.
  • Hyper-personalize to build brand loyalty. With developments in AI capabilities, retailers and brands have a unique opportunity to take all of the data and insights they have gained, from their loyalty programs and POS data, to truly personalize offers for their customers. According to the PTPA survey, says the report, more than 1 in 4 millennials said that receiving offers based on their purchasing history appeals to them, and increases their likelihood of re-purchasing that item. 
  • Tap into the power of peer endorsements. Shoppers trust everyday consumers over celebrity endorsements. The PTPA survey  found that consumers sought recommendations from their friends and families before trusting brand messaging. Objective third party awards and endorsements were their next go-to.

Concluding, the report says that, while millennials are truly changing the face of retail, everyone will benefit from the changes. Immediate gratification, risk-free purchases and hyper-personalization are all elements that improve the shopping experience.

Her (Sharon Vinderine) full storycan be found here. 

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