The Top 10 Millennial Trends of 2015
[See the original article here on Medium.]
Millennials is the buzz word of the year, our current pop culture obsession. I’ve been studying Millennials, they’re buying habits, and habits in general for over 18 years. I’ve even written a book about it.
Buzz Marketing Group conducts monthly studies on Millennials, delving into issues like employment, shopping habits, and relationship status. At the close of each year we propose our Top 10 Trends. This is only a starting point, meant to create a conversation and hopefully inspiration for youth marketers and the consumers they serve. Here are our Top 10 Trends of 2015
Millennials crave authenticity, so this year we will see more appreciation for the true artisans. You have seen the rise of DIY and platforms like Etsy, because there is a craving for more than just fast, cheap goods. Millennials are looking for businesses that offer quality, sustainability, and integrity. Businesses like Zady have started to capitalize on this movement by showcasing locally-sourced, handmade clothing and accessories that manage to capture current trends as well as timeless style.
This year, we are going to see a huge surge of content. Simply put, there is just a lot of stuff out there and in our faces. Everyone has pictures to post, moments to announce, ideas to spread, and things to share… and all of this content is readily available to marketers, brand managers, and companies targeting Millennials. However, too many of them have yet to maximize on this trend — and the secret lies in how they sift through this information and use it to their advantage.
The fight for net neutrality has not died off. Although SOPA and PIPA are long gone, there is still a strong push to maintain the freedom of the Internet. This isn’t a surprise, especially because the Internet is the most important tool, asset, and weapon for this generation — so it is worth fighting for. As Millennials become more aware of the legislative attempts to regulate and control the Internet, their determination will only grow.
Amazon, eBay, and a variety of non-specialized and specialized online shopping sites are continuing to rise in popularity and utility. Now, consumers have access to an enormous amount of products, prices, reviews, and everything else that encourages them to not make snap-decisions while at a store. Instead, Millennials do their research and figure out what exactly is best for them before handing over their money for a product or service.
Millennials are not only aware of what they are buying, but they are also eager to learn about how that product came to be and how it is being sold. These consumers are aware of what is happening behind the scenes, and that knowledge is factoring into their decision-making process while shopping. For instance, our research shows that 74% of Millennials are more likely to buy a product if the proceeds go to charity. Companies like Warby Parker and TOMS are a testament to the importance of transparency and giving in the eyes of Generation Y buyers.
The top luxury brands are entering new markets and redefining luxury. Take a look at Louboutin. A company that sells $675 shoes is now moving into the cosmetics market and creating $50 nail polish. Chanel has made a similar move with their new headphones. This trend indicates that these high-end luxury brands are finally trying to bait teen consumers with lower cost items that still provide the indulgence and elegance guaranteed by the brand.
With the rise of girl power campaigns like #likeagirl, female anthems on the Billboard charts, and strong idols like Beyonce and Sheryl Sandberg, there is now a pathway that reaches women a bit more effectively. Building off of last year’s “Upping the Upworthiness” trend, more focus is being directed toward the mission of empowering girls and women in the US and around the world.
Millennials are living in a world where they are constantly connected to friends, peers, colleagues, and everyone else. Obviously, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are expanding circles and networks, allowing more people to share with each other. So these selfie-conscious 20-somethings see pictures and posts about delicious food, fun get-togethers, and overall amazing experiences. As a result, Millennials are eager to curate an image of themselves that matches the outward perfection that surrounds them.
We are going to see a continuation of fitness experts infiltrating social media, resulting in a rise of health-conscious Millennials that will manifest in various ways. Take a look at Monique Volz’s Ambitious Kitchen blog, which provides a multitude of “good-for-you meals” that are creative and geared towards a more active and healthy audience. We have also seen the rise of Jen Selter, who provides fitness and fashion advice for “caboose-conscious” women and has achieved a version of fame primarily through Instagram and Tumblr.
What is better than giving? Giving and receiving. This is precisely why the popularity of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge skyrocketed. Not only are Millennials able to raise awareness and donate to the worthy cause of Lou Gehrig’s Disease, but they can also broadcast that information to the rest of their network in an amusing way that will gain Likes and Comments. This combination of charity, social perception, and individualization will be incredibly powerful for organizations that learn how to strike the perfect balance between these factors.
You can view our entire report here.