Gen Inked: Millennials’ Top Ten Tattoos

We surveyed 18-33-year-olds to find out the truth behind their ink obsession, and the most popular tattoo designs…

Close your eyes and think about how a “typical” Millennial is often shown. Did you see skinny jeans? An iPhone? Heavy framed glasses? Maybe some plaid or a beanie? Well, we’d be willing to bet there were also one or two visible tattoos on that imaginary young person as well. Their love of getting inked has made tattoos one of the most-widespread visual representations of the generation—and according to our research it’s not without reason. Our recent monthly survey dug into young consumers’ attitudes about tattoos, and we found that 20% of 18-33-year-olds (28% of 30-33-year-olds) are currently inked—and 40% of those who don’t have one yet are interested in getting one.

Tattoos are a bold physical representation of the generation’s desire to stand out. In fact, 74% of those who have one tell us their tattoo(s) make them unique, and 70% say they are proud to show off their tattoos. Getting inked is also a safe form of rebellion for the risk-averse group. Tiny, hidden tattoos and subtle piercings are in vogue and normalized, with one tattoo artist commenting to Mashable that customers seeking mini-rebellion are “minimalist Millennials," and that, "Pinterest displays these as acceptable and popular, so it is more digestible to the masses." Over half of 13-33-year-olds tell us there is less stigma towards tattoos than there used to be.

Young consumers’ embrace of tattoos has inspired some daring brands to integrate them into marketing efforts…and we’re not just talking about some cute branded faux-ink. In 2014, Reebok set up a tattoo tent at the Tough Viking competition in Stolkholm and offered a one-year sponsorship to the individual who got the biggest tattoo of their…

 
 

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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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