Tag Archives: Generation Y

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. 

Multi-Cultural, Generational & Platform Insights from Comedy Central, US Census & More

From multi-cultural to multi-generational, we are competing
for the most diverse audience than ever before. As if that’s not challenging
enough, let’s not forget about connecting and engaging through multi-platform
channels.

It’s time to embrace a new paradigm at The
Media Insights & Engagement Conference
.

The Media Insights & Engagement
Conference 2016
February 1-3, 2016
The Ritz Carlton ‘ Fort Lauderdale Hotel
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Join your industry peers to explore the myths and realities
of who’s really out there, and prepare you for what’s coming next.
??        
New Age America: Marilyn Stephens, Data
Dissemination Specialist; Media Lead, US Census Bureau
A statistical snapshot of what really
separates Millennials and Boomers. Are millennials the NEW Boomers? If so, how
so? If no, why not? The question is always the same: “What does the data
say?” Get ready to explore what makes a Boomer and what makes a
Millennial.
??        
Keepin’ It Together:  Maintaining the
Connection between Content and Brand: Chanon Cook, SVP, Strategic Insights
& Research, Comedy Central
As viewers increasingly expect to watch
television content on their own terms (their own schedules, platforms and
devices), network brands are giving viewers access to their content across a
multitude of “channels”. View the brochure for full session details:
??        
Hispanics, Media & the Bottom Line: Adriana
Waterston, SVP, Insights and Strategy,
Horowitz Research
The Hispanic composition of the U.S.
population is 18% and growing. It’s no wonder businesses from all walks of
industry are looking to Hispanics as the key segment to reach in order to grow
their bottom line…Click here for more info on this interactive think tank
session. 
And that’s not all. Research and insights leaders from ABC,
Netflix, BBC Worldwide, iHeartMedia, Viacom, A+E Networks, NBCUniversal,
Comcast, ESPN, AMC Networks, Vevo and more unite to help you decipher the
future of media. Download the full
brochure: http://bit.ly/1OKiQ49

Use code MEDIA16BLI for $100 off the
current rate. Don’t be left behind, register today: http://bit.ly/1OKiQ49

We hope to see you in Fort Lauderdale!

Cheers,

The Media Insights & Engagement Conference 2016 Team
@_MediaFusion

#MediaInsights16

Permission to Walk Away from Survey Trends

By: David Shanker, CEO,
The Americas, Lightspeed

In our complex world, the accelerated pace of innovation and
technology has created a struggle in the marketing research industry. Consumers
are our greatest assets, but they are overloaded: countless digital marketing
campaigns, social media platforms and infinite numbers of apps are fighting for
their attention. Our attempts to quantify their behavior and attitudes are
heavily influenced by technology. But with the frequency of change so rapid,
how do we judge if we are capturing the ‘norm’? Are we capturing their full
attention?
There is a need for change in our industry. Similar to the
advertising industry, marketing research is heavily fragmented. We can no
longer passively capture data, we need to ask, listen and learn while being
more nimble than ever. As we look more and more at consumer behaviors, we need
to think more about the data than about the tools capturing the data. Norms are
evolving ‘ driving us away from traditional survey trends.
Today, possibilities with how we connect with a consumer are
faster than ever. When people take surveys it means they need to have the same experience
no matter what device they are on. The adoption of mobile devices, particularly
smartphones, is having a big impact on our ability to provide representative
samples’in fact, the impact of mobile devices on our ability to reach people
cannot be overstated.
??        
Nielsen reported that as of Q4 2014, over 70% of
people in the United States own a Smartphone;
??        
This compares to only 22% in 2010;
??        
Current smartphone ownership is even higher for
the highly coveted Millennials and multicultural; it’s 80% for those
groups. 
Adapting to change
Change is hard. We realize it is easier said than done’it
takes a lot of work; but status quo is not an option to survey in today’s
industry. You will miss the young adults and multicultural; you’ll also miss
members of the general population who use their smartphones to take surveys, a
percentage that will continue to grow. So what should we do?
1.      
Surveys have to be shorter’15 to 20 minutes
maximum
2.      
They have to be designed to be engaging and take
advantage of the latest programming techniques’getting caught in grid paralysis
is no longer an option
3.      
Surveys have to render appropriately for
whatever device is being used
The ‘whys’ and the ‘so what’s’ need to balance traditional big
data. Consumer insights are not only necessary, but essential. The need to
connect with the consumer in the right way at the right time will be as
important as the technology used to do it.
About the Author: David
leads the Lightspeed business across the Americas region, unifying and focusing
systems and expertise to meet clients’ dynamic needs and consistently exceed
their expectations. A veteran of 20-plus years in sales, marketing, operations
and research, he has served in senior management roles in established, start-up
and turn-around business situations. His strategic and operational leadership
has resulted in significant business improvements for companies such as Ipsos,
OTX Research and Information Resources Inc. Prior to joining Lightspeed, David
was CEO of PINCHme, a digital marketing/market research start-up that delivers
insights to leading CPG companies through a unique approach to consumer
research.

Whole Foods Focuses on Fickle Millennials

‘I wish I could afford to buy good organic produce whilst
still being able to pay off my student loans.’ This is something I, as a
millennial, say to myself every time I go to do my weekly food shop. Millennials
like myself have become the focus for many retail industries due to the huge
potential that they provide and Whole Foods are looking to take advantage.
Whole Foods Market recently announced their plans to launch
a new store that is targeted specifically to millennials. The new stores, that
are yet to be named, will be complimentary to the existing Whole Foods Markets
but will provide a more limited array of foods at cheaper prices in order to
cater for the beliefs and needs of the millennial generation.
Millennials are notorious for being difficult to please;
they demand the best yet at low cost. Millennials being the highest users of
social media have been brought up using the internet to discern the best value
products by trawling reviews and forums. However when it comes to food, most
good standard products do not differ a huge amount in price. I know from
personal experience, that most of the time if I want cheap produce, I have to
take a hit in terms of quality.
Though millennials are commonly associated as being far more
concerned about ethical issues behind organic produce, the ‘boomer’ generation
account for a far higher percentage of purchasers. Millennials at the moment
may be at the start of their careers, not earning as much as boomers whilst
paying off student debts. So Whole Foods Markets, Inc. creating smaller stores,
with high quality products for cheaper prices is surely a recipe for success
within the millennial generation. By setting up these stores in areas filling
up with young professionals they will harness a huge market of food values
driven people and could create loyalty in a notoriously disloyal demographic of
consumers.
The questions on my mind that arise from such an
announcement is whether consumers may ask ‘well surely Whole Foods have been
ripping us off if they can set lower prices at these new stores’? 
Could there
be a potential backlash that sees the main stores see a huge decline in
customers? This in turn could lead to a decline in bigger stores and an increase
in new smaller ones. Will this in turn mean Whole Foods ends as a small food
store to rival Trader Joes and other similar companies? If so, will these
rivals lower these prices and cause continuous price drops that could create
profit decline across the industry? This in turn to me could mean a decline in
profit for the farmers and original producers of the food and this is what the
millennials are associated with being concerned about.
Despite my negative questions, I do believe the new stores
will be a success. Cheaper produce in up and coming areas will definitely be
popular with millennials. There are potential roadblocks that should be
addressed in a proactive fashion in order to make sure the easily bored and
brand disloyal millennials grow up into a new boomer generation who stay with
Whole Foods Market, Inc.

About the Author:
Harry Kempe, a marketing intern at IIR USA, who works on various aspects of the
industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. He is a recent
graduate of Newcastle University who previously worked for EMAP Ltd. and WGSN as
a marketing assistant on events such as the World Architecture Festival, World
Retail Congress and Global Fashion Awards. He can be reached at hkempe@IIRUSA.com.   

Creating a Millennial-Friendly Customer Experience

Retailers today are striving to make sure that their companies provide a millennial-friendly customer experience. As a millennial myself, I have been fortunate enough to have grown up in a more advanced technological world where I, like many others in a similar age bracket, will have been more tech savvy than their parents by their early teens. Customer experience for millennials has been molded by the increasing number of platforms available for retail and this creates opportunities and challenges for retailers.
Monitoring online social experiences are seen as a must for retail companies; consumers are often flocking to the web to look for answers to issues as well as contacting a call center or an online chat for information. The web has a huge number of forums and communities where consumers go to discuss products and are in my eyes a great resource for gaining first hand insights into exactly what customers want or think about products. Often, companies only monitor comments from customers on their own sites and may miss people’s comments from sites such as TripAdvisor or other discussion rooms.
Social media sites such as twitter are now becoming a popular resource for companies to talk to customers. According to Forbes, millennials take up 29 percent of the twitter-sphere and use the platform for commenting on purchases; leveraging the resource to monitor posts and often responding via twitter can give the customer a sense of being personally looked after rather than having to wait on hold whilst a customer representative at a call center keeps you on hold for three hours.
Giving the customer a more personalized feel is deemed another priority in giving a better customer experience. Repeating personal information that could have been retained by companies I find very irritating. Fundamental information such as contact information and home addresses I expect to be able to be seen across different platforms and having to re-input information could put customers off returning. Being able to access personal information and interests is key to giving a customer a comfortable and easy experience. Online retailers such as Amazon and ASOS retain previous purchase information or what has been searched for in order to give suggestions. I believe the next step would be to take that technique in store.
The world is becoming far more interconnected; so I believe creating systems that register a smartphone when a person has entered a store can bring up information of again past purchases so that a shop assistant would be able to give the customer a more personal experience.
Catering to the desires of the millennial generation could be a great opportunity to boost customer satisfaction. Other strategies could be being more engaged in price comparison or giving more of a story behind a product rather than just it being made for profit. TOMS shoes is a prime example, it helps the consumer appreciate the company for doing something to help rather than just making money. Millennials have grown up in a world where global issues such as poverty and climate change are often at the forefront of discussions; so creating a retail platform that goes beyond wanting to make an easy buck, for me and I’m sure many others, would be the difference in choosing between two retailers.
About the Author: Harry Kempe, a marketing intern at IIR USA, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. He is a recent graduate of Newcastle University who previously worked for EMAP Ltd. and WGSN as a marketing assistant on events such as the World Architecture Festival, World Retail Congress and Global Fashion Awards. He can be reached at hkempe@IIRUSA.com.

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.

TMRE 2013 Video Released: Creating Pivot TV: Developing A Media Model Designed to Activate Millennials

Karen Ramspacher of Participant Media discusses the formation of Pivot TV in this presentation from the Market Research Event. She discusses the three different approaches they took which were quantifying, examining the cultural, and experiential. Millennials are 85 million strong and are often given a bad rap. They also believe they can do anything.

Sign for full access to this video presentation from The Market Research Event

Quantifying:

A survey was conducted with 3100 respondents and they found that 64% were open to the idea of creating social change. This translates to 27 million millennials that they sorted into three groups or stages. The first is the “allies” which are skewed female and enjoy the entertainment value. The second is the “clicktivists” who are skewed male and take online action. The third is the “new heroes” which was the majority and they are engaged and willing to make a change.

Cultural:

A brand lives in an area where the marketing, content, and culture overlap.Millennials live in a post collapse culture and and seek role models because they don’t trust anyone. They are also a positive generation and are willing to clean up the mess even though they didn’t make it.

Experiential:

The quest to get millennials was proven to be a difficult one. They have so many pressures and so many choices that it make it a bleak world for them. The caring and doing spectrum covers the amount someone cares and how likely they will act on someone. Using this and interviews with millennials, they found that millennials want to be challenged and believe that companies that do good things are important.

Creating a brand filter was important to Pivot TV and they need to be disruptive, credible, and brave. The mission for Pivot TV was to create social change.

Watch the video here.

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.