Generation Fraiche/ Generation Y: Consumer trends & buying traits
Born in the early- 1980’s to mid- 90’s, Generation Y (18-29) comprises of young professionals just entering the workforce or in middle level positions within their careers. With numbers over 70 million, Generation Y (also known as the Millennial Generation) is the fastest growing segment of today’s workforce. With a high interest in technology, fashion and consumer goods, understanding Generation Y and Z trends is essential for organisations to best tailor their services and products to a constantly changing consumer market. In comparison between Generation Y and its predecessor Generation X; consumers belonging to the latter are seen to be time poor and money rich, whereas those of Generation Y are the complete opposite. This means Generation Y consumers are more likely to price compare and ensure they get value for money.
With today’s technological advancements, brands with a great marketing strategy can now promote product/s or service/s and gain worldwide interest within hours. This is a trend that is set to continue as Generation Y consumers continue to become more consumer opinionated, whilst sharing their new findings (Consumer viral spread). This new form of promotion for companies cannot be underestimated as consumer viral spread has proven to boost profit sales and brand reputation.
“Time rich money poor – Generation Y
Time poor money rich – Generation X”
Generation Y professionals are more tech savvy than ever before, with product reviews and friend referrals via social media or word of mouth becoming more important than ever before. The power of word of mouth cannot be underestimated as everybody wants to be the “first to know or have.” This has meant companies are constantly under pressure to innovate or face losing their market share. Former market leaders such as Nokia, Blockbuster, Motorola, Sears & Yahoo are prime examples of companies which became complacent and could not adapt to consumer preferences. Co-founder; Cyril Ofori Nelson of So Fraiche Media (the first media agency specialising in Generation Y visual content) states:
“The trick is actually not innovation but highlighting lifestyle improvements by consumers buying into products. If a Generation Y consumer feels that they will benefit from investing in a product whilst giving them respect amongst their peers, they are more likely to invest in a product.
“The power of word of mouth cannot be underestimated”
Developing countries cannot be overlooked, as their growing consumer ranges from the middle class to uber rich (especially in China) has meant an increase in buying trends. With these Generation Y consumers now enjoying the same spending habits as their western counterparts, online shopping has allowed Generation Y and Z consumers in developing countries to purchase luxury goods even though counterfeit products also have a large market share. There is also a strong link between the educational system, working world and consumer trends. One thing that is consistent for Generation Y consumers around the world is their passion for money, status and career advancements. In the UK Over half (56%) of graduates expect to be in a management role within three years of starting work, while 13% of graduates expect a management role within a year.
More information can be found in our Generation Y/Fraiche annual report.