Millennials are old news; meet The Midults

Harnessing millennial spend has been many brands’ digital marketing focus for the past five years. However, are sales – or lack thereof – beginning to suggest this targeting is misguided?

In particular, it seems luxury and designer brands would benefit from re-adjusting their strategies. Burberry’s annual results revealing a 7% profit drop hint its rawer, youth-focused aesthetic has guaranteed a load of social buzz, but poor return.

Meanwhile, the declining number of Chinese travellers – a demographic luxury has long relied upon – has only added to sector anxieties. In short? It needs to woo a new audience that can afford its products.

However if millennials are the wrong target, to where should its gaze shift? A new media brand launching this week, The Midult, believes it has the answer: the neglected 35- to 55-year-old female demographic, AKA the Midults.

They are successful, digitally-literate Generation X-ers who are bored by Agas, obsessed with Instagram and boast a large disposable income. Crucially, their motivations and desires are misunderstood or completely ignored by many of the brands they naturally gravitate to.

The Midult – which is part-community, part LOLs games and content – was founded by journalists Annabel Rivkin and Emilie McMeekan. They started their company after realising they sat somewhere in between Refinery 29, Mumsnet and The Lad Bible. And that this is something of a digital abyss.

Annabel and Emilie

The Midult co-founders Annabel Rivkin and Emilie McMeekan

Explaining the spending power of The Midult demographic, co-founder Rivkin says: “Identifying and targeting the Midult mindset is the way to harness the attention, spending power and influence of one of the most under-serviced – yet financially and digitally confident – groups in the world.”

McMeekan iterates: “From financial services to travel – not to mention cars and healthcare – it is Midults who hold the majority decision-making power over many individuals in the boomer, millennial and teen generations.”

So, who is the demographic and what do you need to know? These key four points are a start…

1. Proportionately, there are more Midults than millennials online every day according to the Office of National Statistics. 84% of 35- to 44-year-olds and 76% of 45- to 54-year-olds are daily internet users, primarily on mobile. Meanwhile 82% of millennials are daily browsers.

2.They are just as likely as millennials to share content created by brands and publishers on social. In addition, 72% use the internet primarily for social media, researchers at ONS discovered.

3.They are a shortcut to both boomers and Generation Z. Why? Because 47% of this demographic are financially responsible for either a parent or a child, according to Pew Research Center. One in seven are financially responsible for both.

4.They are driven by research. Want to sell Midults your product? Give them proof of its greatness. Or make sure it’s on the first page of Google – Gen X are likely to search for peer opinions, reviews and research online before buying in.

Going to WGSN Futures? See The Midult co-founder Annabel Rivkin at 2pm on May 26, speak at our panel debate on how traditional media/new media and brands currently engage with their target audience, and how they could improve.



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