“Macy’s and Millennials” – and Mistakes!

Macy’s is making a big push to “get in good with the cool Millennial kids,” and one part of their multi-year strategy is a launch of 13 new brands to tempt them.  There will be an exclusive Marilyn Monroe collection for Millennial young women, and T-shirts featuring tattoo-influenced designs for the guys.

So, to check out Macy’s Millennial strategy, this fearless generationalist made a field trip to Macy’s mega-store in New York during the key back-to-school buying period.  I asked 10 salespeople to direct me to the Millennial department – their response: “Huh?   I climbed up the stairs to the information counter (bad placement, Macy’s), and they hadn’t heard of it either.  They thought I might want to go to “young juniors” on the third floor and “older juniors” on the fourth floor.

So, I trekked up to the third floor – no customers and no “WOW” factor!  The first thing Macy’s needs to know about Millennials is – they like buzz and lots of it.  For example, Millennials have grown up with American Girl dolls.  At their stores, Millennials enjoy doll-friendly dining, check out matching owner-and-doll outfits, visit the doll hair salon, have photos snapped with their dolls, or attend special events.

Macy’s idea of creating buzz seems to be placing giant photos of Millennial-aged people here and there.

Tip for Macy’s – in order to entice Millennials to buy things, you have to get them in the stores or online.  And, if you’re trying to connect with them online, perhaps, you shouldn’t use the word “juniors” in your menu.

The good thing for Macy’s is that the clothes were odd and Millennial-like.

It’s not too late for Macy’s to tap into the values, attitudes, and lifestyles of Millennials.

But, run, don’t walk, because word-of-mouth (mouse) marketing is a big part of Millennials’ buying habits.  One bad experience can go viral.  And, that doesn’t take a multi-year strategy to happen.  It takes a second.