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- 16 Nov 2015
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Understanding Segments Of Affluent Millennials Part 2: Pragmatic Parents


Affluent millennials are a coveted set for luxury brands to capture, but they are anything but homogeneous. Here, FutureCast looks at the ‘Pragmatic Parents’ segment as part of its four-part series on the generation.

Affluent Millennials are quickly becoming a major topic of conversation for brand decision makers across the country. These highly influential consumers are changing the way we perceive affluence in the United States and are setting the stage for a new wave of luxury consumers.

If you have been following along, you know that we are knee deep in a series of articles that dives into the different segments of affluent millennial consumers found in the ‘Money Matters’ report published by FutureCast.

 To best connect with these influential consumers, brands must establish a strong digital and mobile presence 

Last month, I dove into the Active Influencer Millennial segment and explained how these consumers have a strong authority within the overall millennial generation. More often than not, the trends we see take shape within the consumer market stem from this group of millennial consumers.

In order to best connect with these influential consumers, brands must establish a strong digital and mobile presence with strong calls to participate (not just calls to action). Mobile-friendly sites, established profiles on social media and text alert programs are good first steps to connect with consumers in this segment. Additionally, catering to the Active Influencer’s desire to stand out with designer labels is a must.

Today, let’s go a step further and tap into the ‘Pragmatic Parent’ segment and learn how this group of affluent millennial parents behave and what motivates them to spend their discretionary dollars. This consumer segments comprises 22% of the 6.2% millennial affluent household in the United States today and leans majority female (71% versus 29% male).

 The Pragmatic Parents segment is defined by the responsibilities associated with parenting 

Pragmatic Parents

Like the name suggests, Millennials in the Pragmatic Parent segment are twice as likely to be parents as affluent Millennials in other segments. This is due to the fact that Millennials in this segment are more likely to be in the older half of the millennial population with the majority between the ages of 25 and 34.

Unlike Millennials in other segments, Pragmatic Parents are defined by the responsibilities associated with parenting. To understand this group, we must acknowledge the dramatic shift happening from single, self-invested individuals to collaborative, family focused moms and dads. While the difference my seem obvious, it is important to consider the significant role adjustment that is taking place for these young Millennials as they embark on the journey of parenting for the first time.

As parents, these young adults are twice as likely, compared to other segments, to describe themselves as very busy and family oriented. Keep in mind – these new parents want the best for their children. Similar to previous generations of parents, when we study family values, it’s clear that the children are the focal point and have a significant influence on purchase decisions.


Parents in this segment are likely to agree that they want to give their kids the things they missed out on in their own childhood. Whether that means an international trip, a great private education or simply a new top-of-the line toy, Millennials in the Pragmatic Parents segment are significantly more likely to indulge their children with little extras every now and then.

Even though these young adults value “millennial” experiences, they are more invested in experiences shared with the whole family and will make sacrifices in their individual lives to benefit the larger family unit.

For example, many women in the Pragmatic Parents orbit potentially made the decision to forgo graduate school to take better care of their family and be at home with the kids (at least while they are below school age).

 Pragmatic Parents will continue to place the needs of the family over their own individual needs 

While most of these parents have young children we can not predict if the same sacrifices will be made as soon as their children start school, but we can be sure that Pragmatic Parents will continue to place the needs of the family over their own individual needs.

When it comes to shopping, Pragmatic Parents overwhelmingly tend to report that functionality is the most important factor in clothes. Remember, these are new parents and are likely not as in touch with latest fashion trends as members of other affluent segments. However, they are more likely not to be phased by the price tags of their favourite brands if they are able to justify the value.

Connecting with Pragmatic Parents

We found that Pragmatic Parents are more likely to over index on the statement, “I do not want responsibility; I would rather be told what to do.” While this may seem like a very passive statement, it is essentially marketing gold.

 Parents in this segment are looking for brands to help make their lives easier 

When it comes to spending, Pragmatic Parents are the most responsive to advertisements because they are more concerned with their parental responsibilities rather than deciphering advertising messages.

This is where parental pragmatism comes into play. Parents in this segment are looking for brands to help make their lives easier. The “shop here,” “buy this,” “go here” messaging that worked with affluent boomers still has a trace of validity among Pragmatic Parents as well as they are looking for easier access to their favourite brands.

Overall, these affluent Millennials may be considered affluent based on their household income; however, as parents they are intentional with their purchase decisions. With the responsibilities of parenthood, Pragmatic Parents are savvy shoppers but will spend their hard-earned dollars when the quality is right and the family experience is worthwhile.

To further investigate the millennial consumer and brand innovation on Luxury Society, we invite your to explore the related materials as follows:

- Understanding Segments Of Affluent Millennials Part 1: Active Influencers
- Female Millennials Reveal Unlikely Brand Love
- The Secrets To Luxury Online For Millennials


FutureCast is an insights and analytical consultancy helping organizations reimagine their greatest possible future through Millennial research.