Reassessing Millennials at the Ypulse Mashup

An announcement from Ypulse President Dan Coates:

Last month Ypulse celebrated our ninth birthday. For the past nine years, we've been thinking about, talking about, writing about and researching members of the Millennial generation or, as we used to say much more often than we do nowadays, Gen Y. As we look back, it's gratifying to see how what was once a niche topic that required a great deal of effort in order to attract attention has since become central to the marketing plans of so many marketers and communicators.

During the course of the nine-year dialogue, Millennials themselves have changed. They've "aged up," with the midpoint of the generation now 20 years of age. They've faced the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression. They've watched their parents struggle to support them and their families. A conversation that was once adolescent and teen-centric has developed a number of new facets as Millennials catapult toward adulthood: politics, education, economy, career and, most recently, parenthood. These emerging frontiers of the Millennial experience are new, exciting and challenging. While we feel that we've developed a pretty solid understanding of the fundamental values of the largest generation in American history, it's both energizing and rewarding to see how our understanding is pressure tested daily as Millennials evolve. 

While Jake Katz has already written about our plans to name the generation that will follow the Millennials, we're really excited to follow that conversation with one that will shed new light on Millennials themselves. At our Ypulse Mashup: Millennials Reassessed event on June 27th, we'll reveal the details of a massive psychographic segmentation that we've undertaken that will break up this monolithic generation into smaller…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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