5 Things Millennials Are Doing That Might Surprise You

Lots of assumptions are made about the most-analyzed generation ever, but you might be surprised by what they’re really doing…

Keeping up with Millennials can be tough. They inspire headline after headline every day—the sheer volume of information about them is the whole reason we have a curated newsfeed and newsletter devoted to hand-picking the most-important, relevant data and insights on young consumers. But even if you pay close attention to the way that Millennials and teens are shifting markets and changing industries, there are some things they’re doing that still might surprise you. Here are five behaviors that might not fit your idea of the generation, but they are in fact doing anyway…

1. COUPONING

Think using coupons is too old school for young consumers? Not so fast. Millennials are a generation of coupon “clippers”—though they’re mostly using them digitally of course. Bloomberg reports that almost 90% of Millennials say they use coupons, but while their parents cut the paper kind, young consumers are turning to sites like RetailMeNot and Gilt City to find their discounts and deals. A Ypulse monthly survey found that 92% of 13-33-year-olds have used a discount code online. In the end, their savings amount to the same as they did in the days of scissors and circulars. Traditionally analog coupon distributers like SmartSource and Valpak are finding ways to digitize, and the latter reports that almost 2 million coupons have been printed through their app and mobile site. Shortcuts are also being created for shoppers who favor digital savings: Chrome extension Honey scans any online shopping basket and applies all the coupon and sale codes available for the site automatically. Email is another couponing source for budget-conscious Millennial shoppers. A recent shopper…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I observe holidays and religion-based traditions but am more connected to it as a culture than as a religion.”—Female, 27, MA

Chinese youth have a “selfie obsession” that’s changing beauty standards and creating a new tier of celebrity. The Influencer Effect is full blown in China, where young consumers are beautifying their selfies via filter apps like Meitu and plastic surgery—all in the quest to look more like wang hong, their internet celebrities. One influencer, HoneyCC, argues that “Selfies are part of Chinese culture now, and so is Meitu-editing selfies.” But some say the trend is pushing the population to become more homogenous by favoring certain features, and headlines have lashed back against the whitening of skin prevalent in social apps. (The New Yorker)

Eighty-one percent of Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily’s Millennial readers say social media is the best way for advertisers to reach them. Bustle’s latest questionnaire also found that 40% of their 18-34-year-old readers prefer Instagram for brand communications, followed by trusted websites, email, and online articles. Some other fun insights: Over half believe that a company should give back, instead of just turning a profit, and 49% think “companies should do more to protect the environment.” (Adweek)

Drug use is down among teens—except when it comes to marijuana and vaping. From the 1990s to 2017, the percentage of teens who said they’d been drunk dropped from 46% and 58%, and those reporting they’ve smoked cigarettes from 26% and 17%. However, marijuana use increased for the first time in seven years in 2017, while vaping is up as well, with at least 19% of high school seniors, 16% of sophomores, and 8% of eighth-graders saying they’ve vaped in the past year. (LATimes)

Two modern dating shows are coming to Facebook Watch. The first “unscripted dating show” from SoulPancake, Love & Longitude, is shot on iPhones and shows two potential love interests’ relationship blossoming across FaceTime, social media, and other digital interactions. The second dating show from Machinima, Co-Op Connection, plays into the esports craze. One bachelor gets to pick his partner based on their personality—and their skills at the videogame, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (tubefiltertubefilter)

Some cities are past their “peak Millennial” populations, as the generation increasingly finds new digs in the suburbs. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all reached their highest Millennial population in 2015, and New York and Washington D.C. are showing slowing Millennial growth, according to U.S. Census data. Meanwhile Chicago’s suburbs and others have seen an uptick in their young adult populations—another Millennial myth debunked. Which urban centers are still attracting the demo as they age up? “Tech hubs” like Seattle and San Francisco. (Time)

“Crochet and knitting are very relaxing, therapeutic, and have tangible results."—Female, 31, AL

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