Older generations often think of the younger generation as frivolous, fun-lovers who don’t know the meaning of hard work and sacrifice. Ask that younger generation how they see themselves and you’ll get a whole different answer.
The McCann Worldgroup has a new study called “Truth About Youth” and it’s essential reading for anyone marketing to millennials. 7000 young people from around the world were asked questions about what they value in life, how and why they connect with others and how they want to be viewed by others.
The concepts that popped up most often could all be categorized on the same page of the thesaurus: honesty, truth, authenticity, genuine. This crowd can spot a fake without ever looking up from their iPhone and that’s bad for brands who think they can reel them in with hype and hoopla.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Thanks to social media, the concept of “friends” has changed drastically. It’s no longer you and the three others who hang out together on a Friday night. Now it’s you, them, and the fifty people you follow everyday on Facebook or Twitter. Did I say fifty? How about five hundred? According to the report, young people in India are competitive about the number of people they are connected to, while in the UK, too many Facebook friends means you’re desperate. In Singapore, there’s the concept of “disposable friends,” those uninteresting strangers who latch on and become part of your crowd.
Technology as a Fifth Sense
53% of those aged 16-22 and 48% of those aged 23-30 would give up their own sense of smell if it meant they could keep an item of technology (most often their phone or laptop).
Justice for All
The takeaway here is that brands need to be humble, truthful and forward thinking if they want to grab hold of the next generation. The good news is that if you give them the knowledge and tools that allow them to create something amazing, they’ll do your job for you.