Wedding entrepreneurs are now changing tact to target the growing millennial market segment in order to attain growth in business.
The Echo Boom also known as Generation Y or Millennial is the big generation now in the engagement zone.
In Kenya, over 20 million men and women, born between 1980 and 2000, make up this generation. The oldest is now 38 and due to the sheer size of the group, number of weddings have been on the increase.
(TOP: Millenials check their mobile devices during a social event. Image: GeoMarketing).
Speaking during the first Wedding Industry Network (WIN) Africa tour summit in Nairobi, Dr Catherine Masitsa, the CEO and founder of Samantha Bridal, said the wedding entrepreneurs are now focusing on the millennials as new market segment for growth since the traditional market is ageing: “Their generational characteristics and consumption behavior makes them an important market to the luxury segment . They are highly tech-savvy, well-educated and accustomed to being bombarded by social media messages. They’ve grown up in an affluent society and have bigger spending power than the parents did. This group offers bridal marketers an opportunity to reach a larger audience than in the past and also an increase in market share.”
Dr Masitsa also said that the millennials are looking for rare and extraordinary experiences which have replaced aspirational symbols. “For them stories triumph trophies and that is what we want to use to hook the millennials to spend in weddings.”
She noted also that the millennials are looking for access to connect with the real, authentic movers and shakers. That millennials want exclusive access to people, places, and things they would otherwise never have the opportunity to experience.
Dr Masitsa said that the millennials are looking for inspiration that emanates from visualizing success and celebrating the journey toward their goals.
Millennials are also tilting towards the luxury brands and they are willing to spend so long as they get value, authenticity and access. While 77 percent of millennials prefer a pared down lifestyle with fewer possessions, they are still choosing to spend their money somewhere.
“In today’s market, millennials’ penchant for discovering new brands, high quality good and a company’s heritage make them natural luxury consumer as they seek value and authenticity,” said Masitsa.
Meanwhile, 4 in 5 Consumers that there are real advantages to renting over owning and adults ages 18 to 24 are nearly twice as likely as those ages 25 and older to say that millennials access is the new ownership: “In the last 10 years, though, luxury rental companies such as Rent the Runway and Bag, Borrow, or Steal have been cropping up on the internet-disrupting the luxury goods business by allowing consumers to rent luxury items temporarily instead of purchasing them, “added Masitsa.
At the same time, Tamima Ibrahim, Head of Content, Switch TV called on the Wedding Industry to understand the power of social media and how to aggressively market to the millennials stating thus: “Millennials are about value and behind the scenes activities. They would like to know what goes behind making your brand successful. They associate with authentic and credible brands that take cognizance of their cultures, beliefs and attributes.”
Brands such as Porsche, Mercedes and Emirates have invested heavily in marketing to the millennials and therefore the Wedding industry in Africa is aping the same to stay afloat in a competitive environment from Europe, US and Middle East & Asia.
This first tour summit is the beginning of regional tour summits across the country, eventually culminating in the Africa Wedding Industry Network Summit 2019 to be held in November.
The event, that will be held in Nairobi, is aimed to enhance the capacity of the Wedding Entrepreneur within the region for the global market while promoting the destination for Wedding Tourism.
Prolific and worldly reknowned wedding designer, Preston Bailey will grace the event and give insights on the latest trends and how to make money from the wedding industry.