Marketers Increasingly Courting Millennial Women and Our "Brand Influence"

As older Millennials transition into bona fide adults, marketers have begun to take notice. Millennial women are now the "burgeoning epicenter of brand influence," writes Forbes blogger and marketing CEO Bridget Brennan. And our value grows as more Gen Y women become mothers and begin having career success.

"This combination of factors means Millennial women are a prime target audience for everything from cars to furniture to financial services," Brennan says. Here's how she suggests marketers appeal to us:

1. Make Millennial women think your company cares about things other than money (the example she gives is TOMS shoes).

2. Have good design, whether you're a lip gloss or a website. "Consider what brands like Kleenex and Puffs have done with innovative tissue box designs and shapes. What was once viewed as a quasi-medicinal product on grandma’s nightstand is now also a home décor accessory."

3. Think about products that can also appeal to Millennial women's kids — and parents. Starbucks has done this well, says Brennan, by introducing kid-friendly snacks and drinks (so ladies don't have to give up their latte habits when they become moms). But Gen Y women also influence the products their parents buy.

What do you think — are marketers on the right track to Millennial hearts this way? I'm not so sure about number one. Gen Y may be more likely to buy eco-friendly, organic, and natural products, but I think people are more concerned with the fact that Toms is trendy than that it has a socially-conscious mission (though of course that's nice, too). Numbers two and three, however, are probably pretty good advice. If there's one thing Gen Y hates, it's bad user interface. I can't speak for all Millennials, but I also really like those patterned Kleenex boxes — and I've got my mom taking gummy probiotics and buying whole-grain pasta. In my anecdotal experience, younger adults are influencing what their parents buy, especially in terms of pushing them towards more organic, healthy or sustainable products.