8 Questions With A 21-Year-Old: Charles Tong

Questions With a Millennial

We're back with our "Questions With a Millennial" feature to provide you with insights on Gen Y straight from the source. Today we chatted with Charles Tong, a 21-year-old college senior.

What’s one hobby that you’re really into right now?

Recently, I’ve discovered board gaming, and I have completely fallen in love with it. I hadn’t realized there were a ton of board games outside of Monopoly and Risk. These are very social games that involve a bit of luck and a lot of social interaction. Currently, I’ve been playing Pandemic, which has you and three other players try to solve a global disease. I’ve also been playing a ton of Battlestar Galactica, which can be best summed up as a crisis management game, while a few of your friends are secretly trying to make your life miserable. I discovered this hobby when my friend showed me the game Settlers of Catan, where you attempt to build the biggest colony on the island of Catan, and I fell in love immediately. The social aspect of these games make them very appealing, and have actually become a nice relaxing way to spend a night with friends.

What are 5 things you couldn’t live without?

1. Internet
2. Music
3. Friends
4. Books
5. Food

What are your favorite TV shows right now?

“A Game of Thrones,” “Doctor Who,” “The Wire,” and “The Legend of Korra”Charles

What about your favorite artists?

Ride, Bon Iver, Slowdive, Bjork, Passion Pit, Purity Ring, DeVotchKa, Spiritualized, M83, Neon Indian, Phoenix, Beach House, The XX, Wilco

What’s your preferred social network these days and why?

I use Facebook for personal usage. Everyone uses it already, and it allows me to manage many different networks easily and its built in messenger has become a de facto replacement for AIM. I also enjoy reddit because it easily connects me to…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I eat [Pizza Hut] least two times per month; it's one of my favorite places to go to eat pizza.”—Male, 35, VA

More Millennials are asking for cash wedding registries, and it’s bad news for stores like Bed Bath & Beyond and Williams Sonoma. Increasingly, young couples are asking guests to contribute towards their nest egg, travel, or anything they feel like buying themselves. Companies like Zola and Honeypot have boomed in popularity, offering a personalized platform for their cash registries. However, their success with wedding registries is taking “a key customer acquisition tool” away from home décor stores. (Insider)

The beauty industry is catering to Customization Nation, as more companies crop up to blend unique beauty products for each customer. But can the trend scale? Truly personalized products, like the ones offered by hair care start-up Function of Beauty and makeup company Bite Beauty, take time and resources. But companies that offer base products with just a personalized element or two could be the future of the industry. And big-name brands are getting their feet wet too: Lancôme and CoverGirl have both offered custom-made foundations. (Glossy)

Nordstrom is taking risks to survive retail’s big shifts. Instead of shuttering stores, they’re opening experimental retail locations, revamping their department stores, and making their mark in Manhattan with their first store openings. The long-standing brand also bought ecommerce site HauteLook and the subscription service Trunk Club. So far, their risk-taking hasn’t proved to be a boon to their bottom line—but only time will tell. (WSJ)

Hollister is teaming up with AwesomenessTV to reach Gen Z with a YouTube series. “The Carpe Life” will be a part of a broader campaign, which includes influencer marketingand appeals to young consumers’ love for active, adventurous lifestyles. "The Carpe Life" follows Hollister's first YouTube series, “This is Summer” which “boosted key brand metrics by double digits,” adding on to their overall positive impact on Abercrombie & Fitch’s rising bottom line. (Marketing Dive)

Netflix is switching its strategy, putting less money into “prestige films” for the Post-TV Gen. Instead, they’re churning out more direct-to-video releases. Last year, they bought ten titles at Sundance while this year they had none. While they continue to create original content like the recent The Cloverfield Paradox, they’re betting on less-than-award-worthy films to maintain their hold on Millennial viewers. (The Atlantic)

“Basically if I found out any brand was supporting causes I do not support and actively oppose, I will avoid buying their products.”—Female, 27, CA

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