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

“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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