The Top 10 People Millennials Feel Define Their Generation

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Who are the individuals that Millennials feel represent their generation? We asked 1000 13-34-year-olds, and compared their responses to the ones they gave us five years ago…

In 2012, we asked Millennials to tell us who defines their generation, and found that “some of the most creative, active, and cause-driven stars were the ones they mentioned the most.” In the five years since we first asked that question, interest in the generation has grown enormously. While Ypulse has been studying young consumers, they’ve aged up, and more and more industries have made the generation their focus, fueling massive amounts of conversation—and stereotype trafficking—about the generation. Just look at the Google Trends line showing interest in the generation (based on web search) since 2012:

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

There’s been so much negative press about them that most Millennials haven’t identified with the label “Millennial” at all: In 2014, Ypulse research found only 19% of 13-32-year-olds felt that the term Millennial described who they are. But more Millennials have also aged into adulthood in those same five years, and their common characteristics have become even more clear. To see how their own view of their generation might have shifted, five years after we first asked the question, we’ve once again asked 18-34-year-olds to tell us, “If you had to pick one person who defines your generation, who would it be?*” Here are their top 10 responses:

*These were open-end response questions to allow us to capture the full range of individuals that 18-34-year-olds feel represent their generation. As with any qualitative question, the responses include those that are top of mind and those that are least favored. The lists are ordered according to number of responses received, and alphabetically when ties…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“My work schedule can be hectic, so I snack on nuts, berries, or other non-deadly foods during any downtime.”

—Male, 32, KY

AwesomenessTV and fashion/beauty brands are coming together to make branded series for Gen Z. In the past, AwesomenessTV has worked with numerous brands to produce original content, including CoverGirl and Kohl’s. Now they’re planning a 24-part docu-series with Hollister called “This is Summer,” following teens’ high school journeys—while they’re clad in shoppable Hollister clothing of course. Our own Chief Content Officer explains that Ypulse has “found Gen Z to be fairly open to watching sponsored entertainment,” with 77% of 13-17-year-olds agreeing, "As long as the story is interesting, I don't mind that it is sponsored." (Glossy)

Fullscreen agrees that Gen Z is the generation that’s most receptive to branded content. Their survey found over half of Gen Z doesn’t mind even undisclosed branded content, and significantly more Gen Z teens than Millennials have engaged with social branded content (viewing photos, liking and sharing content and tagging friends) in the past six months. Influencer marketing wins out with the group, with over half of teens preferring influencer content to pre-roll, sponsored posts, banners, and traditional TV commercials. The sweet spot for advertisers may be branded video, especially when influencers are involved. (TubefilterAdweek)

Graduation spending is expected to reach a record $5.6 billion for the Class of 2017. Over half of the graduation gifts given will be cash, followed by greeting cards, gift cards, apparel, and electronic devices. Another trend for the year is more and more peers giving each other gifts, with a 6% lift year over year. Younger consumers will spend an average of $78.42 ,compared to 45-54-year-olds’ $119.84 and 65-and-over’s $112.34, and while greeting cards are also most popular, they’re also almost twice as likely to gift clothing. (ConsumerAffairs)

Instagram has the “most negative impact on young people’s mental wellbeing,” followed by Snapchat, according to a recent study. The image-centric platforms could “driv[e] feelings of inadequacy and anxiety,” and were rated the most poorly for their impacts on sleep, FOMO, and body image. Out of the top five most popular social media platforms, YouTube was the only one that earned a positive score. The silver lining? Some argue the evaluation is “blaming the medium for the message,” and social media/online communities are also Gen Z and Millennials’ top resource for learning about “mindfulness, meditation, and wellness,” according to Ypulse data. (The Guardian)

Lego is being called the “most powerful brand in the world,” beating out Google, Visa, and Nike. Brand Finance’s latest valuation report shows Lego’s brand value increased 68% over last year, looking at metrics like “familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investment, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.” At least some of the lift can be attributed to the successful movie franchise (The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie) and its strategic partnership with Star Wars.

(Business Insider)

“I kind of don't like the commercialization of fandom culture…However, creating licensed products is one way a brand could interact.”

—Male, 24, MO

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