Unicorns, Minimalism, & 3 More of 2017’s Top Trends

These five Millennial trends of 2017 fueled young consumer interests, marketing, products, and impacted multiple industries this year…

We constantly keep tabs on the trends that young consumers are fueling, some brief and some lasting. Here are five that made a lasting impression this year, impacting multiple industries, marketing, and interests:

INSTAGRAMMABILITY

It was the year of the  Unicorn Frappuccino, when food, places, products, even colors had the potential to become viral phenomena—and moneymakers—thanks to the power of the perfect social media shot. This year, Instagrammability became a currency for brands, and finding the perfectly picturesque an increasing motivator for young consumers, influencing the places they visit and the brands that they buy. More brands began facilitating Instagrammable moments, with events, products, and campaigns focused on providing the best post possible—and our research on the trend found that 56% of 13-34-year-olds like it when brands create things designed to be shared on social media. We saw brands like La Croix and Halo Top credit Instagram for their success, and the trend of restaurants designed with Instagrammability in mind took off as well, creating photograph-worthy dishes, and installing details like neon signs and tile floors with hidden messages as “Instagram bait” to earn some free press. Disney cashed in on the trend, producing a continuous stream of Instagrammable products at their parks that went on to become social media hits, including Baby Groot bread and sparkly rose gold Minnie ears. Experiences like the Museum of Ice Cream and The Color Factory became hits thanks to their “selfie factory” design. Creating products and spaces with the end photograph in mind became more important than ever as social media and the pursuit…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “I actively avoid discussions of TV shows.”—Male, 31, MI

Networks are launching an onslaught of new streaming services to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu. CBS, Disney, and now Warner Media are hopping on the bandwagon to compete for young cord-cutters' viewing time. The digital switch makes sense, considering 74% of 13-36-year-olds told Ypulse they watch Netflix weekly, versus 33% who watch cable weekly. But one eMarketer analyst predicts this over-saturation in the streaming wars will lead to “a shakeout," in which companies will be weeded out unless they consolidate their offerings. (THR)

Macy’s is putting virtual reality in 90 stores, with the “largest VR rollout in retail history.” Shoppers can don HTC Vive VR headsets to create 3D floor plans, design their living spaces, deck them out with Macy’s furniture, and then take a step inside of the room. The retail tech enables smaller Macy’s stores to offer a lot more inventory to shoppers, and follows in the footsteps of other reality-bending home décor brands. And, according to Macy’s, VR sales were 60% higher than regular sales in their three pilot stores. (MediaPost)

Prada is plotting a comeback among young consumers. They’ve been slow to adapt to digital, but now the luxury company is emphasizing Instagram and aiming to grow their online sales, which were just 5% in early 2018. While investors applaud Prada’s dive into digital, they also believe the brand needs to shutter several stores—not just to increase “profitability” but to create “the illusion of scarcity.” Prada also has to recover from being late to the luxury streetwear game. (Bloomberg)

Some teens are opting for technical school over four-year universities. At Queens Tech, high schoolers are trained to take on non-desk jobs, like being an electrical engineer or working for public transit companies. Earning a high paycheck that isn’t chipped away by student debt is helping to overcome the societal stigma of skipping college. According to one Queens Tech student, “If you’re a construction worker, you may get paid the same as a doctor, but you don’t look as good.” (Vice)

Don't expect to see macho men and swooning women in grooming brands' latest ads. Instead, companies across the industry are toning down the machismo for Millennial & Gen Z males. Some are blurring gender lines, like Dollar Shave Club, whose “Get Ready” spots debunked stereotypes by not just casting straight, cis males. Other brands are betting modern men are more in touch with their emotions, like Gillette, who shared the touching story of a man’s son becoming an NFL linebacker, despite missing one hand.
(Ad Age)

Quote of the Day: “[Zendaya] is such a beautiful human being and I grew up watching her on the Disney Channel.”—Female, 18, TX

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