Tag Archives: Baby boomer

Infusing Cultural Thinking Into Your Business Strategy

This post was originally
published on Kelton
Global’s blog
.

Understanding culture is crucial for any business that wants
to stick around long term. But culture is a challenging thing to grasp at the
organizational level because it’s big, amorphous, and ever-changing. To
co-opt an idea popularized by the philosopher Karl Popper, culture
operates more like a cloud than a clock: a swirling and
continuously evolving mass that can’t be accurately defined in a single
snapshot.
Businesses, on the other hand, have a comparatively ordered
structure. They tend to want to use clock-like approaches to tackle the cloudy
cultural challenges at hand. This yearning for measurement and simplicity comes
through in questions like:
When does a trend ‘officially’ become mainstream? If we decide to adopt this tone of voice or design, will
Millennials buy our products? What color signals ‘edgy’?
Many crucial aspects of business benefit from structure, but
this ordered approach won’t help businesses to solve their most pressing cultural
challenges. In the cloudy reality of cultural phenomena, linear cause and
effect and simple divisions of reality seldom exist outright.

Take, for instance, the ever-changing cultural dialogue
around masculinity. There are literally thousands of new images and messages
being shared every day ‘ some of which challenge the more traditional
assumptions, and some of which reinforce them. In the middle, brands like Target
are incorporating a softer, more fluid, set of cues in a traditional ‘patrizate-friendly’
way. In the world of consumer values and brand perceptions, far more of the
challenges that we face are ‘cloudy’ than we might imagine.
Grasping the deeper cultural dialogues around things like
masculinity, femininity, fun, beauty, style, and the like will be
impossible if you’re looking for machine-like predictability or linear cause
and effect. The best problem-solving approaches blend technical, linear
‘clockwork’ thinking with creative, lateral ‘dynamic’ thinking. While a
thorough initiative is best guided by a bona fide Cultural Insights researcher
(shameless plug), there are some things that an organization can do on its own
to infuse cultural thinking into the strategic mix:
1. Pay attention to
the fringe
If a competitive brand feels fresh and new in the category,
they’re likely tapping into something that we can learn from’ even if they’re
small in comparison. The fresh ideas in the category now are
often candidates for its future, especially in quickly-changing categories like
food and beverage, consumer tech, and retail. 15 years ago, how many of us
brushed off the idea of health(ish) fast food?
Action Step: Include ‘extreme’
consumers in your qualitative research, and look at the edgier elements within
your category, including crowdfunded ideas.
2. Use Cultural
Insights for early and exploratory initiatives
Use Cultural insights early on to challenge some of the
entrenched ideas around how your category or brand is working. Then, explore
these hypotheses in subsequent research. For example, if your brand refresh
involves looking at emergent ideas in beauty, use CI at the outset to
come up with a range of territories, and then use consumer insight and
co-creation work to nail the best iteration for your brand.
Action Step: Incorporate Semiotics and Trend Analysis
into your research mix at the outset, expanding the number of ideas in play.
3. Harness
‘Expectation Transfer’
Consumers grow accustomed to certain norms in one category,
and the expectations for these norms are slowly demanded of, and adopted into,
other categories. This phenomenon, known as Expectation Transfer, can
cause categories to disrupt not only their own verticals, but others that
feel ripe for reconsideration. Leverage expectation transfer for your brand by
staying extra observant of shifts in other verticals, and adopt them before
they become a standard to stay ahead of competitors.
Action Step: Widen your scope (in landscape analysis
& consumer research) to more than just your category. Try to intuit what
these brands have captured about the consumer, and incorporate that into your
plans.
4. Find natural
places to impact the conversation
In ways that are often hard to measure, brands have the
potential to influence the wider cultural dialogue just as much as they reflect
it. Don’t wait for a good idea to be fully entrenched in the
mainstream ‘ or your category ‘ before acting on it.
Action Step: Look to make public stances in ways that
bring your brand’s point of view & key equities to life, and be bold in
defending those views.
5. Use social
listening to inform hypotheses
The Internet itself is a highly organized system, but the human
activity that takes place on the Internet is much more of a churn.
Leverage powerful social intelligence platforms to make the cloud-like swarm
seem a little more clock-like.
Action Step: Set up a social listening dashboard
following key sentiments and influencers (but be sure to avoid the pitfall of
seeing it as a measurable stand-in for the complexities of the real cultural
world).
Culture operates more like a cloud than a clock: a
swirling and continuously evolving mass that can’t be accurately defined in a
single snapshot.

With so much to see, hear, and read, culture is
absolutely fascinating on both an organizational and personal level. By
simply reframing how they think about culture and using the available insight
tools in accordance with this new way of thinking, brands can get ahead of the
curve and fully understand where their consumer is headed.

Media Insights & Engagement Conference Day 3 Recap

By: Jim Bono

The morning of the last day of the Media Insights Conference
kicked off with co-chair Pam Pearce recapping Day 2. She mentioned some key
points from Marilyn Stephens and Duane Varan’s keynote presentations.
KEYNOTE:

CYBRIDS: THE NEW FUTURE BEGINS – Erica Orange, The
Future Hunters
Erica started off her keynote with a fun math game that had
nearly the entire room thinking about grey elephants from Denmark.  She explained that these are the type of
scenarios that she deals with on a daily basis. She went over how Future Hunters
focuses on long term social trends and macro trends.
She pointed out there major observations of the global transformation
of the economy:
1. Confluence of disruptive technology at each transition
2. Economies do not replace each other, they layer on top of
each other
3. The amount of time between transitions is collapsing
She gave us an overview of how a new cyber-hybrid generation
- “Cybrids” – has emerged from these economic changes.  We learned how they exist in different growth
areas like Time Space, Cyber Space, Innerspace, and Play Space.   They are the generation that “could
swipe before they could walk.”
These people are well educated, go beyond “digital
natives”, and have fully symbiotic relationships with technology. They are
also industrious, collaborative, entrepreneurial, community-oriented, financially
prudent and eager to build a better planet.
CASE STUDIES:

Each finalist was given 10 minutes to present their case
study, and the audience then did an online vote to determine winner.
??        
Memory vs. Engagement: Tut Promo Research
- Thomas Grayman, Spike TV
??        
#ThisIsGenX – Rich Cornish and Tasja
Kirkwood, Viacom (winner)
??        
Visual Fixation as Viewability: Why Ads Require
Less Than 1 Second to Process
– Duane Varan, MediaScience and Nathalie Bordes,
ESPN
BREAKOUT SESSIONS:

Wednesday’s Breakouts were broken into three groups:
??        
Measurement: Defining a New Standard
??        
Multi: Cultural/Generational/Platform
??        
Audience Insights: Getting Beyond the Numbers
The Audience Insights breakouts were:
MILLENNIAL MOMS – Theresa Pepe, Viacom
Theresa gave us some interesting insights about the
differences between Gen X moms and Millennial moms. The initial thought was a
mom is a mom and there were a lot of similarities between the two.  But after some testing, and putting both
groups in a room together, there were some very distinct differences between
the moms from different generations, mainly which Millennials want to be the
“fun mom” compared to the Gen X-ers who want to be the “responsible
mom.”
While Gen X moms are concerned about things like technology,
work ethic, respect and tend to be conservative/traditional, the Millennial
moms are more focused on technology, music/pop culture, clothes and tend to be
more liberal/tolerant.
??        
Millennial moms feel they are the first
generation to…
??        
Be connected to my parents by cell phone
??        
Watch/buy anything on demand 24/7
??        
Be famous, successful, own a business, ANYTHING
??        
Have a vote, a choice, and a voice in all things
??        
Focus on happiness over wealth
BUILDING A FRANCHISE: CONCEPT, CONTENT, CREATIVE AND
COMPLETION 
Karen Miller and Melanie Schneider, AMC
This presentation gave a look at the roadmap and obstacles
that AMC faced once they needed to create a new series as Walking Dead comes to
an end.  “Enter the Badlands”
brought new challenges as they needed to understand Martial Arts vs drama.  The show couldn’t just be martial arts and violence,
and once the program description and character development was outlined, it
became evident that a program could be created for martial arts fans and drama
fans alike.
They were able to create a marketing plan that focused on 3
drivers: purpose, power, loyalty.
KEYNOTE:

THE HUMAN ELEMENT: STRATEGIES TO OBSERVE, ENGAGE AND
CONNECT
 
Kelley Styring, Insight Farm
The last keynote of the conference looked at how consumers
filter through all the clutter that they face every day and how we can
understand them and better reach them.  We
heard how we as humans react to conflict and behavior, and how storytelling
plays a large part of those reactions.
There’s a human need for storytelling and interaction using multiple
technology devices. We are evolving but technology
is evolving much faster.  And though we
have all of these devices, it’s humans that communicate with each other, not
the devices.   We need stories to connect, 
communicate and create
genuine emotions, and have those stories become a currency of engagement.

About the Author: Jim
Bono is a TV industry veteran of nearly 25 years, working in Cable TV research
for over 20 years.  He’s coming up on his 15th year with Hallmark
Channel and Crown Media, where he is VP of Research and heads the department on
the East Coast.  A Long Island native all his life, Jim is married to his
best friend and wife of 23 years and has 2 wonderful teenaged sons. 

Millennials and Beauty: Serving the Eye of a New Generation of Beholders

According to a recent Future in Focus report, by 2017 the
Millennial generation, also known as Gen Y, is predicted to surpass the boomer generation
in spending power and become the most active spenders of the first half of the
21st century. The report dove into Millennial consumer behavior regarding
beauty, identifying and exploring attitudes and values that will shape their
purchasing patterns over the next decade.
Shaped by the digital age and the economic recession, this large
generation of 70 million in the U.S. has different priorities, shopping
behaviors, and attitudes from other generations. In fact, this always-connected
generation has concerns about their l finances that the older generation of
spenders did not at their age, and they are more ethnically and racially
diverse than any generation before them.  In fact, among adults age 18 to 29, just 61%
are Caucasian (compared to 70% of older adults), while 19% are Hispanic (vs.
13% of older adults), 14% African-American (vs. 11%), and 5% Asian. In
addition, Millennials are economically diverse’with one-third being lower
income, one-third middle income, and one-third upper income.
Millennials are the first to grow up with ubiquitous
information so they tend to have an affinity for the digital age and are always
connected. Five of six (83%) say they sleep with a mobile phone next to their
bed, compared to just 57% of all adults. They also use the Internet primarily
as a social tool, with 75% reporting having a profile on social media. And 80%
of younger Millennial social media users (i.e., 18 to 24 years old) connect
with their platforms several times a day. But this constant connection applies
to their consumer lives as well: 41% regularly use their phones to compare
prices while shopping, compared to just 26% of boomers.
This generation was hit hard by the Great Recession. As late
as 2012, 32% of Millennial shoppers reported having difficulty affording
groceries, compared to just 22% of the overall population. As a result, Gen Y
tends to be more frugal than older generations. In 2013, 22% of Millennials
(compared to just 17% of Xers and 14% of boomers) said they were putting more
money into savings during the previous year.  Still, Millennials have made beauty and
personal-care rituals part of their culture no matter the economic situation. They
are developing attitudes regarding beauty that will influence the products they
seek. Six of the most pervasive attitudes are beauty is a fun way to express
oneself; beauty is worth the expense; beauty is way more than skin deep; you’re
never too young for anti-aging; do-it-yourself beauty ; beauty is not just for
women and; beauty is a fun way to express oneself.
Image via Katie
Tegtmeyer (flickr)

Research by Mintel suggests that Millennial women associate
beauty with fun more than women of older generations. For instance, two out of
three 18- to 24-year-old women (65%) enjoy the ritual of putting on makeup’a
share nearly 50% higher than that of all women (45%). Nearly two in three Gen Y
women say they wear makeup every day, and nearly half (48%) say they spend more
than 10 minutes putting on makeup. In addition to having fun with it, most
Millennials see beauty care as another way to express themselves. More than two
in three women age 18 to 24 (69%) say they wear makeup that expresses their
personality, compared to just 55% of all women. Their ability to express
themselves through beauty may be part of the reason that almost all (94%) Gen Y
women say that makeup helps them feel more confident.
Millennials seem to think that enhancing their beauty is
worth the expense. In fact, they spend more than the average shopper on beauty
and personal care categories. Millennial shoppers spend over 25% more than
average US shoppers on such products as body scrubbers, shampoo, conditioner,
styling gels or mousses, and suntan products, and 20% more on cosmetics.  A significant majority (75%) of Millennial women
say they don’t mind spending money on makeup because it makes them feel good.
Additionally, unlike older generations, Millennials are more
attuned to skincare and anti-aging benefits at an early age. According to NPD,
39% of older Millennial women (those age 25 to 34) say that anti-aging is an
important benefit that they look for in skincare products. While younger
Millennials are often still dealing with acne, older Millennials are growing
aware that changes in their skin during early adulthood may mark the beginning
of an aging process.
But, Millennials take a more self-driven, DIY approach to
beauty care. Although influenced by their frugal nature, Millennials’
do-it-yourself approach to beauty may also be motivated by the fun they have
experimenting with new products. Millennials are twice as likely as the overall
population to embrace self-reliant, home-based beauty behaviors and at-home
beauty products.
Driven by social media and the increasing competitiveness of
the job market, Millennial men also think beauty matters too. They are putting
a greater emphasis than older generations did on looking and dressing their
best, which involves both fashion and grooming. In 2013, more than three in
four men (76%) said that the pressure on men to dress well and be well groomed
had increased. Nearly as many (73%) think that men now face as much pressure in
these respects as women do. For Millennial men, grooming is increasingly seen
as a component of healthy living, like exercise and eating well.  
From beauty companies’ point of view, Millennials are at a
critical stage in their lives. Millennials are establishing beauty and skincare
habits and consumer patterns that are likely to persist throughout their
lifetime. So, the companies and brands that win Gen Y consumers are likely to
retain these consumers for the long term.  

To read the full
report,
click here.

About the Author:
Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and
print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing,
and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs
including Next Big DesignCustomers 1stDigital Impact, STEAM Accelerator and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business
Analysts
, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,.
She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where
she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She
can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.

Millennials and Beauty: Serving the Eye of a New Generation of Customers

According to a recent Future in Focus report, by 2017 the Millennial generation, also known as Gen Y, is predicted to surpass the boomer generation in spending power and become the most active spenders of the first half of the 21st century. The report dove into Millennial consumer behavior regarding beauty, identifying and exploring attitudes and values that will shape their purchasing patterns over the next decade.
Shaped by the digital age and the economic recession, this large generation of 70 million in the U.S. has different priorities, shopping behaviors, and attitudes from other generations. In fact, this always-connected generation has concerns about their l finances that the older generation of spenders did not at their age, and they are more ethnically and racially diverse than any generation before them.  In fact, among adults age 18 to 29, just 61% are Caucasian (compared to 70% of older adults), while 19% are Hispanic (vs. 13% of older adults), 14% African-American (vs. 11%), and 5% Asian. In addition, Millennials are economically diverse’with one-third being lower income, one-third middle income, and one-third upper income.
Millennials are the first to grow up with ubiquitous information so they tend to have an affinity for the digital age and are always connected. Five of six (83%) say they sleep with a mobile phone next to their bed, compared to just 57% of all adults. They also use the Internet primarily as a social tool, with 75% reporting having a profile on social media. And 80% of younger Millennial social media users (i.e., 18 to 24 years old) connect with their platforms several times a day. But this constant connection applies to their consumer lives as well: 41% regularly use their phones to compare prices while shopping, compared to just 26% of boomers.
This generation was hit hard by the Great Recession. As late as 2012, 32% of Millennial shoppers reported having difficulty affording groceries, compared to just 22% of the overall population. As a result, Gen Y tends to be more frugal than older generations. In 2013, 22% of Millennials (compared to just 17% of Xers and 14% of boomers) said they were putting more money into savings during the previous year.  Still, Millennials have made beauty and personal-care rituals part of their culture no matter the economic situation. They are developing attitudes regarding beauty that will influence the products they seek. Six of the most pervasive attitudes are beauty is a fun way to express oneself; beauty is worth the expense; beauty is way more than skin deep; you’re never too young for anti-aging; do-it-yourself beauty ; beauty is not just for women and; beauty is a fun way to express oneself.
Research by Mintel suggests that Millennial women associate beauty with fun more than women of older generations. For instance, two out of three 18- to 24-year-old women (65%) enjoy the ritual of putting on makeup’a share nearly 50% higher than that of all women (45%). Nearly two in three Gen Y women say they wear makeup every day, and nearly half (48%) say they spend more than 10 minutes putting on makeup. In addition to having fun with it, most Millennials see beauty care as another way to express themselves. More than two in three women age 18 to 24 (69%) say they wear makeup that expresses their personality, compared to just 55% of all women. Their ability to express themselves through beauty may be part of the reason that almost all (94%) Gen Y women say that makeup helps them feel more confident.
Millennials seem to think that enhancing their beauty is worth the expense. In fact, they spend more than the average shopper on beauty and personal care categories. Millennial shoppers spend over 25% more than average US shoppers on such products as body scrubbers, shampoo, conditioner, styling gels or mousses, and suntan products, and 20% more on cosmetics.  A significant majority (75%) of Millennial women say they don’t mind spending money on makeup because it makes them feel good.
Additionally, unlike older generations, Millennials are more attuned to skincare and anti-aging benefits at an early age. According to NPD, 39% of older Millennial women (those age 25 to 34) say that anti-aging is an important benefit that they look for in skincare products. While younger Millennials are often still dealing with acne, older Millennials are growing aware that changes in their skin during early adulthood may mark the beginning of an aging process.
But, Millennials take a more self-driven, DIY approach to beauty care. Although influenced by their frugal nature, Millennials’ do-it-yourself approach to beauty may also be motivated by the fun they have experimenting with new products. Millennials are twice as likely as the overall population to embrace self-reliant, home-based beauty behaviors and at-home beauty products.
Driven by social media and the increasing competitiveness of the job market, Millennial men also think beauty matters too. They are putting a greater emphasis than older generations did on looking and dressing their best, which involves both fashion and grooming. In 2013, more than three in four men (76%) said that the pressure on men to dress well and be well groomed had increased. Nearly as many (73%) think that men now face as much pressure in these respects as women do. For Millennial men, grooming is increasingly seen as a component of healthy living, like exercise and eating well.  
From beauty companies’ point of view, Millennials are at a critical stage in their lives. Millennials are establishing beauty and skincare habits and consumer patterns that are likely to persist throughout their lifetime. So, the companies and brands that win Gen Y consumers are likely to retain these consumers for the long term.  

To read the full report, click here.

TMREtv Video: What Makes Millennials Tick

In advance of our 2014 program here are some key points from last year’s TMRE speakers about millennials habits and thought processes. This video is brought
to you by The Market Research Event (TMRE).

 Explore:

  • Strength In Numbers:

Millennials are as powerful as
baby boomers and they want to be heard.

  • Death of Facebook:

Facebook is not working;
millennials don’t want to be where there parents are.

  • Social Trends:

Millennials see social action as
a social opportunity and are creating trends.

About the Author:

Ryan Polachi is a contributing
writer concentrating his focus on Marketing, Finance and Innovation. He can be
reached at rpolachi@IIRUSA.com.

It’s a Generational Thing

Today’s post comes from TMRE Guest Blogger, Katie Clark. She is also known as @InsightsGal on Twitter and is a client-side market researcher, project manager, and social media maven.   

I have often joked with my team and on Twitter about ‘being a millennial at heart’ although (full disclosure here) I’m squarely in the Gen X age range.  


Generational research has been a special interest of mine for a long time, inspired initially by managing a market research online community (MROC for the uninitiated) of Millennials. Hearing what was trendy and cool for the Millennials I studied was a fascinating experience that has sparked a career-long interest in generational research. Millennials are the first true ‘digital natives’ and their generation is larger than the Baby Boomers and three times the size of Gen X. Their marketing buying power is huge and will just keep growing

There’s been a lot of discussion in the blogosphere recently as to whether researching Millennials (just like any other demographic cut) is a worthwhile endeavor as ‘they’re all so different.’ Well, that’s the case for most of the demographic cuts we could do, isn’t it? Not all the folks from the Midwest are nice (but most of us are!) and not all Boston drivers are aggressive (hah!).  

So yes, we need to be aware of generational stereotypes such as the below and not let them cloud our judgment or research analysis.
We’ve all likely heard that Millennials are supposedly the ‘me’ generation and have high expectations of employers. But a recent study by Success Factors concluded that it was actually those in Generation X (those born between 1962 and 1979 for purposes of that survey) who are ‘the most demanding age group‘ in the workplace.
What about the stereotype that Boomers shy away from technology? Not so fast.  Even back 2009, more than 60% of Boomers were avid consumers of social media (via Forrester), up from 40% the year before.
So is looking at our data by generation important? From where I sit in the tradeshow and exhibition industry, it’s absolutely important. Why? Because different generations interact with tradeshows and events differently. In order for us to appropriately meet our customers’ needs we need to be aware of those differences and address them.

The exhibition industry is lucky to have CEIR, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research. CEIR frequently publishes studies that are of great interest to us and help inform how we run our business.  Not surprisingly, a number of their reports in the past few years have focused on how different generations interact with tradeshows.  For instance Generational Differences in Face-to-Face Interaction Preferences and Activities finds that while all professionals attend events to look for new products, gain insights on industry trends, etc., one of the key reasons younger attendees attend is to gain inspiration and motivation for their jobs.  Although that’s just the tip of the iceberg of findings, having research like this allows us to better cater to the different generations at our events. 

Along this theme, I’m very excited that #TMRE13 is offering an entire track on ‘Youth and Millennials’ during their Monday Day One Intensives with sessions such as’ Creating Participant Television: Developing a Media Model Designed to Activate Millennials’ and ‘Where are the new pioneers? A Global Survey of Millennial-led Innovation.’  

Millennials will soon run the world (and some of them already do) ‘ so better understanding this generational group from a research perspective is important to the health of our products and services! 

_______________

More about Katie: Based in Portland, Maine, Katie is the Senior Research Manager at Diversified Business Communications, managing a team of skilled researchers busy gleaning insights for products around the globe. She has worked with companies large and small in industries such as software, seafood, fragrance and entertainment to help companies move their business forward supported by actionable insights derived from market research. She loves to find the story in the numbers and is passionate about bringing the ‘Voice of the Customer’ inside the organization. Active on social media as @InsightsGal, Katie actively tweets and blogs about the market research industry. The opinions expressed here are her own and not those of her employer.