Skift Take

Young people aren’t one monolithic group: an 18-year-old is very different from a 34-year-old. The travel industry needs to act smarter and start thinking in subsets.

Consumer-focused companies have become increasingly obsessed with targeting millennials.

Travel brands in particular have spent millions of dollars on trying to entice 18- to 34-year-olds to buy or use their products — but according to Clayton Reid, CEO of global marketing firm MMGY, they are getting it all wrong.

“We as marketers are spending more and more money against this monolithic group and I would categorize that in some ways is a rabbit hole, unless you’re specifically looking at the behaviors themselves,” said Reid, who was speaking at Skift Global Forum in September in New York City.

Reid gave the example of actor and singer Justin Timberlake, who, during his time in the millennial age bracket, passed through several different stages: boyband member, movie star, and father.

Instead of targeting millennials as an age group, Reid believes it is more useful to focus on micro-segments within the category.

Suggestions from MMGY included HENRYs (high earners not rich yet), young people with a large amount of disposable income who could become tastemakers for a brand, and Jet Sweaters, amateur athletes who travel without their families.

You can watch the full discussion below.

Read more coverage of Skift Global Forum 2016.

At this year’s Skift Global Forum in New York City, travel leaders from around the world gathered for two days of inspiration, information, and conversation for panels as well as solo TED-like talks on the future of travel.

Visit our Skift Global Forum site for more details about 2017 events, including our London event in April of 2017.


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Tags: millennials, sgf2016, skift global forum

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