EYE on GEN Y – Macy’s goes Millennial

Today begins a new series of blog entries – called EYE on GEN Y.  It’s the latest buzz on Gen Y.

Gen Ys, aka Millennials, spend some $65 billion each year for the type of goods typically sold at Macy’s.  So, it’s a no-brainer that Macy’s has just announced a new initiative to build its relationship with Millennials, whom they define as young people ages 13 to 30.

Macy’s separates Gen Ys into two groups:  its mstylelab is a shopping experience for 13- to 22-year-old Ys, and Impulse is targeted to shoppers 19 to 30 years of age.

Other changes:  more e-commerce, mobile initiatives, and social media (more tablets, texting, tap-and-go transaction processing, offers delivered via mobile, microsites and bloggers.)

Fishman’s five hints for Macy’s Millennial outreach:

  • Ys trust word-of-mouth (mouse) marketing from their friends, so if a Gen Y shopper has a bad sales encounter, you can bet it will go viral.  Do Macy’s sales people know how to communicate with Ys?
  • Ys like experiences.  With a three-year plan for implementation, how does Macy’s create the buzz H&M, a competitor, had on its opening day?  or, Apple has on ANY day?
  • Ys like speed.  Can Macy’s develop and produce a collection within two weeks like Zara’s, another competitor?
  • Ys shop with their BFFs.  Is Macy’s giving group discounts?  Two friends shopping = an extra 10% off; a three-friend discount might be 15%.  OMG
  • Ys are a generation of volunteers.  As Macy’s plans to fine-tune its marketing geographically, becoming the go-to company that supports local Gen Y volunteer efforts will mean a lot.
One last point:  In focusing on the Gen Y/Millennial shopper, don’t overlook Baby Boomers, the engine driving America’s retail spending.  Hell hath no fury like a Boomer made to feel old and out-of-touch when she visits Macy’s.