Access Over Ownership And The On Demand Generation’s Consumption Habits

memeThe Netflix model of having access to items rather than owning them has been applied to dozens of industries, and Millennials are among the biggest adopters of this ever-growing trend. They don’t care as much about owning everything — whether it’s music, TV shows, or luxury dresses — as long as they can obtain these things when they need them. This mindset is what changed the music industry — YouTube is now the top way in which teens listen to music — and this attitude is influencing marketers who want to tap into Millennials’ purchasing, or rather renting, habits.

Rent the Runway isn’t new, but many female Millennials are continuously turning to it when they need a dress for a special occasion. Whether it’s prom, a school formal, their birthday, or graduation, teens and twentysomethings know that this method allows them to wear their dream dress at a more affordable price. This is valuable in that special occasion dresses aren’t worn often, and they can be pricey for something that then collects dust in their closet. However, if they rent a dress, solely for the situation in which they need it, the “runway” dress becomes more attainable. This also reflects a concept in the age of social media where every outfit is photographed and shared across one’s network. Many Millennials worry about their same clothes constantly being captured on Facebook and Instagram, but renting provides a solution in the form of a temporary expanded wardrobe.

Renting apparel also taps into showrooming, another shopping trend we’re seeing in that Millennials are visiting physical stores to scope out the selection, but not buying items in-person. Rather, they’re treating stores as if they were showrooms, and then going online or comparing prices before making purchases. Rent the Runway for example coincides…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“Art is basically my job and I enjoy it so much.”—Female, 15, MD

Snap is making its “biggest move” in scripted original content, teaming up with NBCUniversal and the Duplass brothers for their next series. The Duplass-owned creative studio Donut will produce original series for Snap shot in vertical video. NBCU and Snap will also be opening a joint digital content studio focused completely on mobile-first entertainment, “formaliz[ing] their partnership” and putting Snap firmly in the producing/original content creation camp. Snap’s mobile-only approach is part of a movement to shake up how we view videos—in fact, they’re calling their offering “a fundamentally new medium.” (THRTechCrunch)

Eggo frozen waffles are capitalizing on their unexpected Stranger Things’ fame. The brand has seized the marketing opportunity of being a part of one of Millennials & Gen Z’s favorite shows, tying themselves into Netflix’s Super Bowl ad, creating a special toaster for select fans, and swarming New York Comic Con with people dressed up like Eleven armed with “watch party kits” (aka “waffles and a microwavable syrup server”). To prep for the premiere of season two of the show, Eggo is sending out a fully-loaded food truck for the red carpet premiere, and going all out on social media to connect with fans. (MediaPost)

More teens than ever have severe anxiety, but why? The American College Health Association found a 12% increase in undergrads reporting “overwhelming anxiety” from 2011 to 2016, and several studies concur that “there’s just been a steady increase of severely anxious students.” Social media is part of the problem—constant like-monitoring and cyber bullying isn’t helping the most stressed generation to date. There’s also an increasing (and constant) perceived need to over-achieve. One psychology professor observes, “There’s always one more activity, one more A.P. class, one more thing to do in order to get into a top college.” (NYTimes)

Ypulse research has shown that 88% of Millennial parents are trying to avoid helicopter parenting—but they might not be able to help it. The constant media storm of global atrocities and everyday stories of parenting gone wrong combined with advertisers’ willingness to fear-monger, results in a generation of (understandably) anxious parents. It doesn’t help that the tech to constantly monitor kids is easily available (albeit pricey)—from drone surveillance meant for the military to devices that track “blood-oxygen levels all night long.” One relationship therapist sums up, “Everyone is having a hard time drawing a line and just figuring out what’s reasonable versus what’s over-protective.” (Refinery29)

Brands are turning college students into mini-sales forces. Aerie, Victoria’s Secret Pink, and Express are just a few of the many brands that have a program for college campus reps where students receive swag, experience, and other perks for helping bring brand awareness to their colleges. Though brands don’t always require social posts, most ambassadors do share their swag on social, bringing organic ads to their friends’ feeds. The biggest draw is that social posts from reps “[come] across as natural, authentic, a product that they would normally use or want to talk about.” (Racked)

“[Celebrity] can mean anything nowadays and it's a rather diluted term; from YouTube star, to someone on Instagram with millions of followers, to reality TV dopes, etc.”—Male, 30, WI

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