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Trend Revisit: Faux-spertise

Once we write about a trend it doesn’t go away, and some shifts in behavior have real staying power. Today we’re revisiting Faux-spertise, a Ypulse trend we still see having real relevance with young consumers. Gold subscribers have access to the full Ypulse Quarterly report that Faux-spertise first appeared in thanks to the My Documents section of, a delivery spot where bi-weekly data and topline documents, reports, and more are automatically uploaded and stored so they are always available to explore.



For Millennials, the barriers to certain specialized skills are being removed, thanks to tools and platforms that allow them to fake being an expert, without actually having to learn a thing.

Living in a world of information overload, Millennials have, in the past, reconciled themselves with the idea that some things would be over their heads, and that a lack of specialized skills might keep them from being able to create expert-level goods.

Now, that same information delivery technology they have always used is helping to democratize the special skills world, and they are embracing a new set of tools and platforms that allow them to create expert-level products. Older Millennials, who are less likely than their younger counterparts to have been taught skills like coding and design, are faking the skills they don’t have to feel like experts in their everyday lives. 




THE WIKI-EFFECT: Millennials have become accustomed to technology giving them instant access to the things they need to know. From quick YouTube how-tos to a Wikipedia page on anything they might imagine, they’re used to having expert-level knowledge at their fingertips.

TECH-ESE: But while some aspects of technology have given them unlimited access to data, helping them feel knowledgeable, other technologies have made things feel out of their reach. Specialized skills like graphic design have remained on the other side of their knowledge gap.



CANVA: Design has become vitally important to Millennials, who judge it harshly and have very high expectations. But the tools to actually produce high caliber design have remained elusive and the skill a specialized one—until now. New apps are beginning to open up the world of design to the inexpert, making them feel instantly skilled. Though it’s still in beta, Canva is already building buzz as being the design platform that anyone can use, by “taking care of the boring bits so you can spend more time creating.” The site’s drag-and-drop interface allows visitors with no design experience to create anything from logos to sites of their own. With the choice between hundreds of fonts and a million images to create designs, they can feel like a real graphic designer without the complicated software usually needed. 


DIRECTR: For a generation that holds the creative class in high esteem, being able to fake the skills needed to make something that makes them feel like a creative themselves holds massive appeal. There are other video editing apps out there, but Directr may be the only one that promises to elevate simple footage to “great movies.” Focusing on storytelling and prime editing, Directr provides users with prepared storyboards to help them create an expert level short—even telling them what to film and organizing clips into a seamless narrative. Calling their tool “point and shoot moviemaking,” the app puts the average Joe in the director’s chair and makes them feel like an auteur.



Try to find ways to provide shortcuts or information hacks into your own business or industry. Equip Millennials with the tools to feel like a ‘professional’ in what you do.

Millennials are gravitating towards real subject matter experts with the skills and knowledge to help them feel they “know it all” themselves. Look to not only highlight your internal superstars when you can, but to—more importantly—provide direct access to them. 

For older Millennials who are recognizing their knowledge gaps and wishing they had learned certain skills at an earlier age, providing ways for them to learn new—even simple—things in a fun way could provide a welcome entry point to your brand.