I admit that the headline here may be a little harsh but if the data that is being presented by a study performed by Edelman is any indication it seems to ring true. Millennials are those folks born between 1980 and 1995. There is apparently a push to name this group the 8095ers but I vote right now to remove that because its just plain dumb. Anyway, back to the data.
eMarketer tells us about the survey and how Millennials build and use their relationships with brands in the online space. First the overall take is that they like to share their opinions online.
They like to share their opinions online for sure as the article even says:
As the report explains, that makes brand preference a top personal identifier for millennials online—alongside such information as religion and ethnicity.
“This research suggests a link between the immersive, symbiotic relationship 8095ers have with social networking channels and the likelihood to define their personal brand by aligning with the brands they favor,” said the report.
So now in honor of the World Series, here’s the wind up and the disconnect. The chart below shows that while Millennials will define themselves and align themselves with brands online they don’t use the online space to get information about what to buy at even close to the same rate as they like to spout off. In fact, they trust friends and family to help them and not those in the social space.
All this does is continue to support one of the troubling trends that we see with the 30 and under crowd and the online space. It appears that they think they are contributing and defining things by putting their opinions out there with relative ease. The trouble is they don’t necessarily trust what others are saying so it’s almost like online activism. It’s real easy to be ‘involved’ but only on the most superficial level. It’s the “Hey, look over here at who I am and I don’t really care who you are! Have a nice day!” mind set.
How do you see this kind of ‘involvement” where one of the most popular activities involves telling the world what you are through what you use, wear etc but turning around and having little trust in that same arena to provide value when you need help? It’s a very one way in approach and is likely one of the reasons why we have a lot of “echo chamber” like areas on the social web.
What’s your take on this? Is there a disconnect? Do you find it strange that something is used by so many and then trusted by so few to help?