According to Pamela N. Danziger over at Forbes the reason that P&G sales are down is because they don’t kno3 how to market to Millennials. She goes on to quote the CEO of P&G who says “consumers used to trust big brands; many millennials now distrust big brands and seek out purpose led brands” Really?
Ms Danziger goes on to say “Millennials are the future of every consumer-facing companies. Given their age, with the leading edge 37 years old this year, and lifestage, starting to establish their own homes, they are disrupting business as usual for a company like P&G which provides products largely aimed at consumers making decisions about brands that fill family household needs.
She goes on to say “millennials have a special relationship with brands. They perceive themselves as special people and want the brands they connect with to understand their special needs. They are skeptical of mass brands with their one-size-fits-all approach because they want brands that fit their individual person, their special “one.” Mass brands like Tide, even packaged in new pod style, may have satisfied their mothers or grandmothers, but those brands aren’t likely to satisfy them”.
She also writes “a new consumer generation requires new products, not just warmed over reboots of existing brands. P&G needs to stop looking to the past and look to the future. Millennials are the key. And they won’t find out how to connect with them until they try, really try, to meet them in their special place of need. P&G needs to get swinging”.
Let’s dissect this..
Moosylvania has been tracking the leading consumer brands and publishing industry reports since 2008. Their top Millennial brands for 2016 reads like a who’s who of top brands (see below)
How many brands on this top 100 list were also the top brands for boomers? Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, Pepsi and Ford are just a few.
What does differentiate these brands is that their marketing has been fresh. While P&G cut back on the TV to reach Millennials on the web they were ad blocking advertisers. Compare that to brands like Coca-Cola and Ford which have integrated their ads and have not solely relied on the web.
On ignoring Boomers and focusing strictly on Millennials she perhaps should understand that the vastness of the 50+ demo’s spending power. The U.S. 50+ population spends $3.2 trillion annually. That is a total greater than the GDP of nations such as Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom, Brazil and France. in fact Wayne Best, the chief economist of Visa says “the 50-plus and 60-plus population is clearly playing a large role in consumer spending and older consumers are going to become more significant”.
If you focus solely on Millenials, you’re asking for trouble. Baby Boomers spend the most across all product categories, but are targeted by just 5–10 percent of marketing. There’s simply a lack of marketing, and that sometimes results in low awareness of cutting-edge solutions by many 50+ consumers.
So where did P&G go wrong?
1ne: Too big to be nimble and a shortage of talented brand marketers.
2wo: The decision to spend more on digital was shortsighted and led to lost market share.
3hree: No compelling message to keep their brands “top of mind”.
4our: The decision to go upscale the same time that private label went upscale.
5ive: Too many organizational changes that led to changes in strategy.