Naming the Next Generation Speaker Q&A: Neil Howe

On June 26th Ypulse will be Naming the Next Generation. Neil Howe, author, historian and generational guru, will be joining us in our quest to find a name for post-Millennials that fits their unique generational experience. Neil has been a pioneer in generational theory, writing nine books on American generations.  Along with William Strauss, he first coined the term “Millennials,” describing this generation with remarkable foresight as far back as 1991. We can think of no one better to help us to name the next generation, in fact, we wouldn't have dreamed of trying without Neil's help. Today Neil tells us about why we need to move away from the term “Gen Z,” how post-Millennials will be the oldest group to not recall a time before the Great Recession, and how this generation could be like Millennials ... on steroids.
 
Ypulse: What do you think is the biggest difference between Millennials and post-Millennials?
Neil Howe: I think it’s important to establish what we mean when referring to “Millennials” and “post-Millennials.” My definition for “post-Millennials” includes those born after 2004, so these are kids currently just entering grade 2 of elementary school. Yes, that date remains tentative. You can’t be sure where history will someday draw a cohort dividing line until a generation fully comes of age into adulthood. But since there are good reasons why social generations tend to be 20 or so years long, I am naturally suspicious of a definition that abruptly limits Millennials to only 10 or 15 birth years.
 
Right now, the biggest difference is the emphasis on socialization, pushed on them largely by their Gen-X parents and teachers. Post-Millennials are being taught from a very early age to inhibit their impulses, control their behavior, and play well with others. This goes…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “There are so many places I would love to go! I’ve never been to Greece. I would like to go with some close friends and just take in the local culture and food and relax.” –Female, 30, IN

According to Ypulse’s May monthly survey, 41% of 13-32-year-olds regularly use Spotify to listen to music. But the app wants to be their one-stop-entertainment shop, and has just added video and podcasts to the platform. Media partners, including Slate, BBC, Conde Nast, and Adult Swim, will offer clips of video content to be streamed by users. The move puts Spotify in the ranks of other social platforms “determined to become everything to everyone.” (TechCrunchWired)

While some social media giants (Facebook, Snapchat, and now Spotify) want to be young consumers' portal for all media, others are becoming more and more focused on single functions. New apps Catchpool and This. (with a period) allow users to post only one thing each day, pushing only “high-quality content” into feeds. The approach gets rid of overwhelming social clutter in favor of those things users are most passionate about. (Fast Company)

Pizza Hut is the latest brand to use selfies in marketing—but they’re taking a slightly different approach. Their new two foot pizzas are too big to be captured in a regular selfie, so the chain has created a selfie stick parody PSA, warning against the “dangers of selfie stick abuse.” Branding in the video is purposefully secondary to the entertainment, but the spot does walk a fine line between winkingly acknowledging customers’ behavior, and making fun of them for it. (Adweek)

We’ve told you that Millennials are embracing wine, and that big beer is struggling to win over the new generation of drinkers. Morgan Stanley Research has found the number of Millennials who say beer is their favorite alcoholic drink actually fell over 5% since 2012. In response, we’ve seen beer brands roll out new products, flavors, and campaigns attempting to provide new exciting beverage options for these potential industry killers. (Business Insider)

American Eagle is hoping their new label will help them to win back teens. The brand, Don’t Ask Why, follows the recently popular trends of “soft dressing, restricted sizing, [and] a California aesthetic.” Those qualities make it very similar to the Brandy Melville brand, which has had a lot of success with young female shoppers. Don’t Ask Why is being used to test and experiment with concepts that could be applied to AE products if successful. (Racked)

What if you could collect all the young consumer insights, data, and news most relevant to you in one easily accessed spot? Oh wait, you can! On Ypulse.com, Bronze, Silver and Gold subscribers can click on the star icons next to any insight article or news feed item to immediately store them in the Library tab, creating a repository of relevant information—curated by you. (Ypulse)

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