Millennials— there are more than 80 million of them in the United States. They’re often identified as individuals between ages 20 and 36, making up the largest generation in U.S. history, even surpassing Baby Boomers. So it goes without saying that retailers are understandably focused on reaching this consumer market.
However, marketers have noticed Millennials have been a difficult group to pin down. They have a natural skepticism to advertising. They demand transparency and authenticity. And they have their eye on the bigger picture—the world around them.
Even the bedding industry has been focused on this changing stream of conscientiousness. While buying bedding is something we know most people do, it’s not just about the biggest sale this week. It’s so much more. To get a piece of the action, we must stop, listen and understand what Millennials are telling us.
Millennials Are Unique
Millennials are unlike any other group of consumers, and they’re just fine with that. In fact, you can thank this group of people for changing the way many products are manufactured and marketed today—much of it for the better. That applies to bedding as well. Here are 5 eye-opening ways Millennials are impacting the industry:
1. Sustainably Savvy
From bed linens to headboards, Millennials are more concerned than previous generations about sustainability. They’re asking questions—are the materials used to make these products sustainable? What kind of impact do these products make on the environment? Is the company producing these products adopting sustainable practices?
In bedding, they’re looking for eco-friendly sustainable fibers and sheets made from 100% organically grown cotton. The most well-informed Millennials even look to make sure their bedding is Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified.
Welspun Home Textile products can say “yes” to all of these. In fact, Wel-Trak™ certification is a patent-pending process that tracks the source of spun fiber from source to shelf, so consumers know exactly how their products were made from start to finish. And Wel-Trak™ isn’t just for bedding. It applies to all spun-fabric textiles carrying this certification.
Most young consumers have a smartphone in their hand, on the table or even in their bed. It’s a 24/7 thing. They’re savvier about technology than any group of consumers. So it should come as no surprise that technology influences every area of life, including sleeping.
An example? Today’s smart mattresses track how well you sleep, feeding that information to your phone via health and wellness apps. Don’t blink. Look for this technology to become more prevalent in every aspect of our lives in the next few years.
3. Unique Sense of Person
A hallmark of the Millennial generation is the idea that everyone has his or her own story. Hello, social media.
These same consumers are demanding furniture and other home goods that reflect their personal tastes and specific needs. The result? Consumer-centric manufacturers, including Welspun, are meeting this demand by attentively listening to what these consumers are saying in social media. They are introducing product lines that meet the needs of Millennials, giving them the aesthetics, performance and transparency they seek.
In bedding, this might mean mix-and-match sheet and comforter sets, or online sites, like shopwelspun.com, that make selecting just the right bedding for their personalized look easy.
What happens between the sheets is also changing. While the bed has traditionally been a place for intimacy and zzz’s, Millennials consider their bed an extension of their personal living space. What are Millennials doing in bed? According to Welspun’s Millennial insights, they are:
- Browsing online
- Listening to music
We call it #bedlife. The bed is now a space to relax, study, work and text with friends. Yet, the bedroom isn’t as private as it once was. It is shared in social media. This fits with the trend of living in smaller spaces, creating smaller carbon footprints, choosing smaller beds topped with luxurious, well-made, eco-friendly bedding, and sharing all aspect of our lives.
5. Cleaner Living
Artificial dyes and chlorine bleach are out. Millennials tend to prefer unbleached fabrics dyed with natural inks and pigments. And that is better for all consumers.
This opens the doors for manufacturers using traditional, more natural techniques. And because of the global reach of the Internet, Millennial consumers can find their personal faves right from the comfort of their bed.
Welspun, the world’s largest home-textile manufacturer, has adapted early, using chemical-free practices, more sustainable processes throughout, and developing an industry-wide textile certification—Wel-Trak™. This patented process allows participating textile manufacturers to share where goods are sourced, and how they are handled throughout the manufacturing process.
Millennials are rapidly becoming the most powerful consumer force in the U.S. As this transition occurs, retailers and manufacturers are eager to get into the hearts and minds of these savvy shoppers. These 5 ways Millennials are changing bedding choices are also changing the way all consumers shop for home goods today.