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8095, named for the years in which the Millennial generation was born (1980 to 1995), is an insights group that focuses on the Millennial generation and their relationship with brands. Following the launch of our benchmark study in 2010, Edelman 8095 has refreshed the research in October 2012 with a new study of 4,000 Millennials in 11 countries.
The Millennial generation goes by many names.
They are not kids anymore. Many in this group are parents, have careers and an incredible amount of spending power. They are also coming of age during one of the most turbulent economic times in history.
The world today is smaller and Millennials are more global-minded than ever. Millennials in all of the 11 countries surveyed see their country as playing a key role on the world stage.
The median age of the world population is 28
Their mentality of change and action translates to their relationship with brands. They have powerful influence and demand two-way dialogue with companies. They drive popular culture.
Today, 50% of the world population lives in cities or suburbs. By 2050 that number will swell to 70% globally. In the U.S., for the first time in more than a century, more people are moving to cities than suburbs, and this trend is led primarily by Millennials.
The recession and new social norms have led more Millennials to delay traditional purchases, like homes and cars. The rise of social buying and rent/share businesses are also shifting purchasing behavior. To stand out and be relevant, brands will need to show how they enable life experiences and allow Millennials to buy into new ideas.
More men are confidently taking on traditional female roles in terms of parenting and purchasing household products. More women are confidently taking on traditional male roles in terms of being the main earner in the family and going to college/university.
The 2010 study revealed four insights that remain highly relevant today.
In other words, brands help Millennials define their personal “brand”
Millennials are crowd-sourcing in amazing ways to help them make brand purchase decisions, and they look first to friends and family for advice.
Millennials are less resistant to branding than other generations, and they will take action for brands, but they demand authenticity, transparency, to be entertained and for your brand to contribute to the greater good in this world.
Reverberation, or word-of-mouth sharing, is taking place online and via mobile devices for sure, but many people forget that most WOM is shared offline, in face-to-face discussions. Keller Fay Group tracked chatter in the U.S. and finds 14.7 billion WOM impressions EVERY WEEK, with the large majority of those taking place offline. Regardless of medium, the main point is that there is an incredible amount of sharing and crowd-sourcing taking place, online and offline,
Their aspirations are surprisingly traditional. They want a meaningful career, to own a home and to get married and have children.
American Millennials say the #1 person who defines their generation is Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook. Nearly half of Millennials aspire to own their own company. In the down economy, they realize that an entrepreneurial spirit is likely their best path to success.
When it comes to buying luxury items, Millennials are quite sensible. When you average all 11 countries in the survey, they are most likely to pay a premium for health-related goods and services, followed by electronics. They are least likely to pay a premium for beauty-related items of apparel. Chinese Millennials are most willing to pay a premium for all of the items in this chart, but they too ranked health-related items the highest. French Millennials were least likely to pay a premium for the categories collectively.
3 in 4 Millennials across our 11 markets say they influence the purchase decisions of peers and those in older generations.
The influence of parents on Millennials is astounding. Millennials overall have a different and more friendly relationship with their parents than most past generations. The influence goes both ways, with parents heavily influencing their children, and children influencing their parents.
Consider these statistics. What they mean is that when a Millennial goes to the grocery store (for example), they are typically going with friends or family. And, they since many won’t make a purchase their friends don’t approve of, they need to justify why they are choosing items off the shelf. They need to be able to tell their friends why they are buying that product – they need a back-story. It’s our job as marketers to give them that back-story.
Most Millennials see it as their responsibility to share feedback with brands. They are more likely to share positive feedback than negative feedback, which is counter to most assumptions.
Information is a key to influence for Millennials. They crowd-source to make brand purchase decisions. Compared to our 2010 data, more Millennials are crowd-sourcing in 2012 (up 19 points), but they are using slightly fewer sources of information today.
Many marketers think that the only way to reach Millennials is through social media. Not true. Search engines rule, but then face-to-face communications with friends and family are #2 and #3 respectively. The vast majority of Word-Of-Mouth happens offline (90%).