Five Ypulse Predictions for 2014

Our roundup of New Year predictions gave you a curated look at the supposed Millennial experience in 2014, but now it's time for us to weigh in on what to expect. Looking through the Millennial lens, we see a migration from brand presence to consumer focus, where companies are finally understanding this generation's lifestyle and views and turning them into future business practices. We have a lot to say about what 2014 might bring, but today we’ve narrowed it down to five ideas (plus a bonus!) from bigger shifts to category specific trends to watch. The Ypulse team weighed in with their own big predictions for the year to come:

1. The rise of creative disruption.
Last year, we dedicated one of our Lifeline reports to the concept of Disruptive Creativity, and its appeal for Millennial consumers. Millennials are fascinated with things that are operating out of the norm, and they’re purposefully disrupting the status quo to make a bigger cultural statement. This year, the idea of real success lying in disrupting the status quo will become more mainstream. We have already seen the success of small brands rethinking old systems in stories like Uber and Airbnb, with many of these disruptions driven by use of smart technology. Over the next year, those that proactively attack inefficiencies within current business models based on outdated production techniques will be challenging those who find themselves struggling to adapt to the new, in-demand skill set. Businesses and products with the express goal of disrupting the status quo will become the norm and will be rising to the top.
What It Means: Highlighting the ways that you are rethinking and disrupting old systems will become an important way of capturing Millennials’ attention and earning their admiration. They’re rebelling…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Retail should be a facilitator for experience, rather than just selling product.”—Sharmandean Reid, Founder, Wah Nails London (YPulse)

Millennials seeking portable booze are cracking open canned wine. Even though the category still only accounts for less than 1% of the Millennial-favorite alcoholic beverages’ market, Nielsen reports it spiked 69% last year and continues to gain ground. An exec at Delicato Family Wines explains, “Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.” (Wine Spectator)

Summer camps are cropping up to teach kids how to become YouTubers. At I-D Tech Camps, Level Up, and Star Camps, kids can learn all about how to, as the latter puts it, “Become an Internet sensation.” They offer courses in how to create and post videos, from shooting clips to editing audio, and how to build their personal brand. But don’t worry, most are framing YouTubing as a hobby, not a career, and setting kids’ expectations accordingly. (WSJ)

A new bill could change the free-to-play profit model that’s made games like Fortnite top earners. Senators have proposed the official ban of “loot boxes,” or items that players can buy (and sometimes must buy) to win a video game, often gambling on what’s inside. Senator Ed Markey explains that “Inherently manipulative game features that take advantage of kids and turn play time into pay time should be out of bounds.” For some, this will eliminate a key revenue stream and open the door to review other in-game purchases.  (The Verge)

A social media overhaul upped Corn Nuts’ sales by 12%—with no paid support.The snack’s sales were stagnant before a new exec took over their Twitter, infusing it with the personable tone food brands have become known for (and sometimes notorious for). Since then, followers spiked from 650 to 21,000, and what they’re calling a “scrappy” strategy “absolutely translated to sales,” reporting that retail sales spiked 12% and Millennials’ repeat purchases rose the same percentage. (Marketing Dive)

The retail apocalypse continues, with 7,000 more stores closing their doors in 2019. CoStar Group estimates that the square footage of retail space closed has topped its own record each year since 2017, and this year they’re “predicting more of the same.” PayLess ShoeSource, Gymboree, Dressbarn, and Charlotte Russe lead the list of number stores planned to shutter this year, as retailers learn to scale down size and up Experiencification for young shoppers. (Business Insider

Quote of the Day: “It’s a really interesting time at the moment in catalog [music]…Sometimes, it’s a question of how we make something out of nothing.”—Tim Fraser-Harding, President, Global Catalogue, Recorded Music at Warner Music Group (Rolling Stone)

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