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The Values of Millennials: Changing Marketing and Changing Payments

Andi DeFonce |

Ad Week recently named the 10 Best Ads of 2015:

(10) Android “Friends Furever

(9) Nike “Short a Guy”

(8) Loterias y Apuestas del Estado “Justino”

(7) Shiseido “High School Girl?”

(6) States United to Prevent Gun Violence “Gun Store”

(5) Atlantic Group “37 Days”

(4) The Ad Council “Love Has No Labels”

(3) Comcast Xfinity “Emily’s Oz”

(2) Snickers “Brady Bunch”

(1) Geico“ Unskippable”

Why do these ads stick out to us so much?  Well, for me, partly because after attending the 2015 The Futures Company (formerly Yankelovich) presentation, I now understand the dynamic values of US consumers 16 and over.

The overarching themes in the ads are congruent with the values of millennials that the findings from the 2015 The Futures Company Monitor Survey presents. This survey of 10,000-plus respondents, nationally and ethnically representative is the world’s longest running tracking study—going strong since 1971. Understanding these values is crucial for retailers to effectively engage with this market—most of the general population in 10 years, and near all the population in 20.

Connect with the Heart

Jamie Moldafsky, CMO of Wells Fargo says, “The goal is to reflect the diversity of its customers and get beyond products and services to tell emotional stories that illustrate universal truths.” Authenticity is key for millennials.

The Triumph of Individualism

Fully 72 percent of those millennials The Futures Company surveyed say “I am true to myself” and feel everyone should be free to do their own thing. 57 percent of Millennials are willing to share their brand preferences over social media or online, versus 31 percent of Boomers.

Blending boundaries

An impressive 62 percent of millennials, an increase of 8 percent from 2014, feel that we are free to shape our identities and transform ourselves in whatever way we want.

Rejecting labels

Fully 77 percent of millennials don’t let traditional gender roles define how they live their life. Women are now in more leadership roles.

Millennials are ubiquitous: Connectivity, embracing flexibility and freedom in life are what characterize this generation. When they buy they focus on experiences. They appreciate stories that engage them with their heart and inspire them to take action. Ultimately retailers must be aware that they must change the goal from spending to sharing. They must also shift the focus from brands to ideas.

That is not to say that these values are the sole property of millennials. It’s just that millennials exhibit them most prominently. The Global Insights team, uncovers these findings in our Omnishopper Report: “Gen C, as Google calls this generation of people who care about creation, curation, connection and community, is an attitude and mindset, not an age group, although it applies to 80 percent of Millennials.”


Topics: Affluent

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