Gen Y is so oversaturated with ads that many billboards, pop-ups and Hulu ads have just become mundane wallpaper in their daily lives. In fact, according to the market research firm, Yankelovich, a person living in a city 30 years ago saw up to 2,000 ad messages a day, compared with up to 5,000 today. How then, can a brand pierce through this seemingly impenetrable wall of advertising messages? We’ve refreshed Sparxoo’s Generation and Psychographic Reports with new Gen Y trends to help your brand survive and thrive:
Straighforward — Marketers are constantly finding new avenues to target consumers – from Geico-branded turnstiles to the most recent innovation: branded captcha forms. Some marketers are always trying to invent new “gotcha” strategies to get consumers attention. Gen Yers consider themselves to be pretty media savvy and want to find new products and services rather than be surprised by them. Think how reviews and search engines have empowered Gen Yers to learn about new brands and / or products. No-nonsense brands, such as Ally, HuffPo and Gawker are going to be Gen Y powerhouse brands in the next 5 years.
Minimalist – We’re not just talking about Helvetica versus Times New Roman here. Gen Yers are sick and tired of the waste piling up — destroying the future of the environment. Apple and numerous other brands signed on board to eliminate extra space and reduce the size of their packaging, while eco-conscious brands like Kashi use recyclable cardboard in their frozen meals. However (and this is a BIG however), the user experience cannot be compromise in the name of sustainability. Sun Chips’ cause-related marketing flopped when the company made bio-degradable bags that also compelled you to wear ear plugs due to the obnoxiously loud bag crinkles. Brands like Kashi, Apple and others that go out of their way to eliminate excesses will thrive as Gen Yers have more buying power.
Squeaky Clean – Graphic tees, grunge, torn and tattered jeans are quickly becoming fashion faux-pas as consumers, particularly Gen Yers shift to a more clean, sleek style. Such a style reflects on popular Gen Y brands: Jet Blue, Target, Apple, Volkswagen, Vitamin Water. Clean lines and one-toned colors are emblematic of sophistication, authority and cool – traits Gen Yers seek in their brands.
Empowered – Boomers have been making the decisions that directly impact Gen Y’s future – from public policy on the environment to international sociopolitical relationships that will shape the global landscape for years to come. Now entering the workforce and polls, Gen Yers are beginning to take the reins from their elders. Brands are beginning to tap into this independence and new-found power and the trend will certainly continue for the next 5-10 years. Expect Urban Outfitters and other empowering brands will be on the forefront.
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