For this edition, we surveyed 900 14- to 34-year-old consumers, and utilized our proprietary Cassandra Speaks online community for qualitative research, to uncover the key social movements that are impacting the Gen Y world. The report includes a special focus on Innovation, with deep dives into the new class of brands, inventors, entrepreneurs, and disruptors who value creativity, collaboration, technology, and groundbreaking ideas above all else...as well as the emerging macro-trends that we believe will resonate for years to come, including:
- The emergence of a new form of virtual consumption in which consumers “claim” ownership of identity-defining objects, images, experiences, and ideas, without accumulating an abundance of physical goods. This POSTconsumption gives rise to a new way of shopping, as a diminishing brick-and-mortar “hunting-gathering” experience increasingly shifts to the Web.
- The real-time Web has broken down the wall between corporations and consumers, shifting brands into the role of companions. Indeed, brands are now able to converse, listen, hang out, “friend” consumers, and forge more intimate one-to-one relationships, compelling young consumers to think of them as trusted friends. Today, companies that strive to be Brand Friends Forever—or BFF—must wholly develop their human sides, and act more like people than inanimate institutions.
- Young consumers catalog life events as they happen, and thus have built an ongoing, open archive of personal history: a store of digital memory. As such, their bygone experiences have an increased presence—and relevance—in everyday life. To acknowledge the emergence of this PAST PRESENCE, marketers will not only have to refer to and draw from Gen Ys’ histories but also tap into their own, highlighting brand heritage and eliciting inspiration and ideas from the ever-present past.