The Doogie Howser Segment: Accelerated Development

Kids these days just aren’t growing up at the pace they use to. The rapid speed of which our culture is moving and the tools that we’ve been given are no doubt affecting and shifting our human behavior. The best way to understand a culture and the direction it’s moving in is to look at the tools a society uses in their everyday life. For example, when traveling to a foreign country, something as simple as turning on the TV in your hotel room will give a foreigner great intel into a culture. Even with a language barrier, visuals are a powerful indicator of what a culture is a reflection of. 

We can’t overlook technology as the main tool, of course. The convergence of social trends, democratization of access via technology, boomers refusing to grow old, 40 is the new 30, and Millennials surpassing everyone as the most brand literate and style conscious generation on earth while at the same time struggling with adolescent adulthood...the boundaries between the generations have shifted and overlapped, rendering everyone the same age. But where does that leave the kids of the world? How are they maturing, and at what pace? While older Millennials are experiencing a prolonged adolescence, it seems as though the younger set (and the next generation) is getting older faster.

Back in 2009, Nielson reported that children aged 2-11 comprised of nearly 16 million, or 9.5 percent, of the active online universe. That means that the growth of children online outpaces the overall growth of children in the entire U.S. A scary realization, and in 2013, I’m sure that number has freakishly grown. Growing up wired, with an all-access pass is just one of many examples driving the fast rate of growing up. Studies have also shown the rapid drop in age when it comes to hitting puberty. A recent study

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

“I won’t buy an already-made costume to dress up in for Halloween because I prefer using my creativity to come up with an uncommon or personalized costume to wearing a mass-produced costume that won't be unique to me.” –Male, 24, CA

One entrepreneur has a big idea to change charity fundraising as we know it—and she’s only 10-years-old. Vivienne Harr started a lemonade stand for charity in 2012 that has turned into Make A Stand lemonade, a family company that donates 5% of each sale. Now, the Harrs are launching StandApp, a mobile platform for donating to and starting crowdfunded social good projects. Twitter’s founders have invested in the app, which tells users they can “make a stand and change the world in 3 steps and 30 seconds.” (Fast Company)

Vice media has established themselves as creators of online content that speaks to young consumers, and now they will launch a global, 24 hour TV network for their Millennial audience. The brand’s Vice News has gotten a reputation for tackling some of the biggest international stories before much more established news organizations, and CEO Shane Smith warned traditional media outlets that as the generation ages up, they will become obsolete, and sites like Vice and BuzzFeed are “the changing of the guard.” (The IndependentThe Drum)

Posting calories counts on menus isn’t necessarily making consumers choose healthier options, but a new study has found that if told what they would have to do to burn off those calories, teens are less likely to buy higher calorie or sugary drinks. When signs were posted in stores telling buyers things like, “Did you know that working off a bottle of soda or fruit juice takes about 5 miles of walking,” 40% of 12-18-year-olds who saw them said they changed their drink choice as a result. Even after the signs were removed these teens continued to make healthier choices. (Washington Post)

Italian clothing label Brandy Melville has reportedly become “one of the fastest growing popular brands among American teens,” but the company is not interested in selling to everyone: they sell most items only in size small. Abercrombie & Fitch has famously lost ground with young consumers thanks to their similarly exclusionary practices, and some teens are expressing their dissatisfaction on Melville’s Instagram, where they are asking for sizes that “fit all.” (Tech Times)

Many Millennials don’t trust banks (or any other large institutions) but it could be that financial organizations are missing a big opportunity with the generation. Adweek’s recent study found that 18-24-year-olds are more likely than other consumers to say they would trust a financial institution more if they provided helpful, unbiased content. But only 20% of respondents felt that these institutions are currently posting interesting articles. (Adweek)

That image at the bottom of our newsletter is a gateway to insights and expert commentary on current and future Millennial trends. Clicking on it takes readers to our daily insights article, available to Silver and Gold subscribers, which illuminates a facet of Millennial culture and helps subscribers to understand the "why" behind the "what." Drawing from our ongoing collection of proprietary data, our deep-dive desk research, and our 10-year history of studying this generation, we figure out what it all means for brands and marketers. (Ypulse)

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