MMNPL 2017 Insight: Generational Gap In How Consumers Learn About New Products Is Growing

by Belfort Group | Thought Leadership
May 16, 2018

The following insight is from our 2017 Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey, scroll down to download the full eBook. 

This year’s MMNPL showed us that there is a growing generational gap in how consumers gather information. Gone are the days when folks of all ages would learn about new products and services from television, radio and newspapers.

In the age of digital advertising and mobile apps, if marketers want their messages to be seen by the right people, they need to identify the media sources their audience is using.

Younger individuals are increasingly more likely to learn about new products online and through mobile devices. 2017 data shows us that those in the baby boomer age bracket still source most of their new product information from TV commercials and other forms of traditional media. We did see a notable jump in social media use by baby boomers this year (24%), suggesting the TV trend may end soon if older generations continue to adopt newer forms of media. Facebook seems to be the mostly widely adopted by the older age segment—boomers and a quarter of older consumers cite using Facebook as their social media source for product awareness.

While many brands are sending messages to iGens, their rate of product recall was lower than that of Millennials. Perhaps iGens have a lower product recall rate than older populations because of their general lack of buying power. Millennials had the highest product recall rate of 52 percent, while the 72 + age demo recalled only 26 percent.

Graph for generational gap

Overall, the differences in product recall rate between age demographics have diminished in the 2017 survey. Multiple years of MMNPL survey data have taught us that those who use six or more sources are more likely to remember new products compared to those that engage with less than six sources. As marketers, this means broadcasting your message on as many of the right, targeted channels as possible is key to disseminating new product information. At BG, we employ an integrated approach to marketing and surround segmented consumer groups with a key narrative that is publicized through multiple channels.

For brands to reach target audiences, channel knowledge and diversification is critical.

The annual MMNPL survey helps us to understand where we can reach our targets most effectively. MMNPL 2017 tells us that millennials are most impressionable when it comes to remembering new products, and that iGens seem to be turning away from mainstream social media outlets that their older counterparts frequent in favor of outlets like YouTube and Snapchat that allow for shared user experiences.

Our 2017 Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey is available for download from the form below:

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