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What Drives Millennial Women To Spend Money?

Much of what you are going to read in this blog post is based off our experience (Founders of Out Of Office Media) as millennial women as well as the anecdotal experience we have working with the 3,000 female, millennial influencers in our network and feedback from the tens of thousands of millennial women who engage with our media property My Life OOO. However, if your the kind of person that likes calculated research and stats, we haven’t forgotten about you - we’ll also include some fancy numbers from a 2018 report conducted by Merkle in partnership with Levo on “Why Millennial Women Buy.”


One key value defining our generation of women is that we “work hard, play hard.” The more we work, the more money we make, meaning more money to spend! According the to the Merkle study, 40% of women have a side hustle, and we’d estimate that 90% of the influencers in our network work full-time jobs in addition to creating content, building their brand and negotiating brand campaigns. In other words, we will find the money to spend on things we want. Now go shopping ladies, you deserve it!


Another core value for millennial women is that we prioritize experiences above all else. Again, we regularly interact with hundreds of brands and thousands of female millennials and we’re here to confess it’s true. In fact, if we had to pick one key learning for marketers, this would be IT. While a quick scroll through Insta will reveal the thousands of ladies roughly ages 18 - 34 posting about their EXPERIENCE at places like the rose mansion (okay, maybe these ladies are 21 - 34) or The Pint Shop, the Merkle report puts this notion into actual percentages - 72% of millennial women surveyed say spending money on experiences makes them happiest, 54% of millennial women say their biggest purchase in the next 12 months will be on experiences and 54% of their purchases over the last 12 months was on experiences.


Next, we (millennial women) LOVE a good brand story- which is really part of the brand experience. According to the Merkel report, “Creating an experience requires telling a story. Millennial women are interested in brands which they are proud to be associated.” The survey goes on to report that 47% of millennial women know their favorite brand’s, “origin story” and 41% of millennial women know who the founders of their favorite brands are. If only we had enough hands to count the number of times we’ve heard our friends freak out when spotting Julie Rice (Co-Founder of SoulCycle) crossing the street with her family in the Hamptons.


You’ve probably heard millennial women say, “If it’s not on Insta, it didn’t happen.” If not, you will now that we brought it to your attention. This common belief among the demographic shows just how strong the impact of social media is for this consumer group. The Markle report also confirms this by stating that “social media posts account for the single largest discovery point for new brands”, i.e - your brand’s Instagram account is “v” important. However, we want to add some clarification - female millennials are looking to discover brands that speak to them on social media, not receive spam. This means, that your brand’s story and experience as we described above needs to be expressed through its social channels.


And the last core value of female millennials we want to discuss, which is “obvi” another one of our favorites is influencers. The Merkle study specifically states, “The role of social media influencers can not be understated.” Why you ask? Because “62% of millennial women say they tried a brand based on the recommendation of an influencer.” That being said, close to or maybe even 100% of the millennial women we know have purchased something based on the recommendation of an influencer.


To recap, the main driving forces behind the millennial woman’s purchase decisions are her strong work ethic, priority on experiences, brand story, brand social media presence and recommendation by influencers. If you are a brand that sells a product, you might be freaking out right now...unless you realize that brands have the unique ability to craft a story and an associated experience that resonates with this demographic. And if you don’t know how - ask us, we’re experts at it.

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