Millennial men are starting to enter parenthood (about 4.5 percent of the U.S. adult population are fathers between the ages of 18 and 34), and they’re breaking down traditional stereotypes of what it means to become a father. In fact, a 2015 BabyCenter study found that 88 percent of millennial dads aspire to be “perfect” parents—far more than their mom counterparts.
As more millennial men become dads, marketers will need to re-evaluate their assumptions about this cohort. Here are three surprising facts about how millennial men approach fatherhood and what they mean for your brand.
- They shop more than previous generations.
The stereotype of dads hating shopping doesn’t hold for millennials. A report from the marketing agency Y&R found that 80 percent of millennial dads engage in primary or shared grocery shopping compared to 45 percent in all generations. More importantly, millennials say they make their own choices when shopping, instead of simply following orders from their spouse.
“CPG brands can benefit from changing packaging, demos and technology to attract more millennial dads,” Kasi Bruno, senior VP-strategic planning director at Y&R Toronto, told Digiday. Recent examples include Dove Men+Care, whose “Real Strength” 2015 campaign gained praise for confronting traditional stereotypes about masculinity.
“CPG brands can benefit from changing packaging, demos and technology to attract more millennial dads.”
– Kasi Bruno, senior VP, Y&R Toronto (CLICK TO TWEET)
- Spending time with their kids is important to them.
Compared to previous generations, this generation is placing more value on spending free time with their kids. According to Mintel, a research company, 49 percent of millennial dads play a major role in planning play dates and other activities for their kids. In contrast, only 23 percent of fathers over the age of 35 plan activities for their children.
“Dad sees himself as the provider of family entertainment, and is more likely to be the primary spender in this sector for both time and money,” writes Bruno in an article for AdAge. “The more that brands can do to foster this family time, the more brand-loyal a millennial dad will be.”
- They’re more receptive to marketing.
Millennial dads are more receptive to marketing communications after they become fathers, according to a study by IPG Mediabrands agency Initiative. According to the study, 45 percent of brands play an important role in their life compared to 39 percent of non-dads. A great majority of millennial dads are also likely to recommend brands to others.
Eager to work with companies, millennial dads are also more likely to join an online brand community compared to non-fathers in this generation. The report reveals that 66 percent are willing to participate in online communities—presenting a great opportunity for brands to work with millennial dads and gather insight that can drive business decisions.
66% of millennial dads are willing to participate in branded online communities. (CLICK TO TWEET)
Entering parenthood is a significant life change for millennials. To stay relevant with millennial dads, companies need to engage with these customers and aim to understand their evolving needs and wants. For companies that want to keep millennial dads as customers, a two-way, ongoing relationship with customers is more critical than ever.