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:


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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Quote of the Day: “I like playing and talking about [Animal Crossing] with other people. It's nostalgic for me since I've been playing games from the series from a young age.”—Female, 22, PA

Which brands had the most YouTube subscribers in 2018? In media, Warner Bros. topped the list with 6.4 million subscribers, followed by BBC and ESPN. Apple beat out last year’s winner for tech PlayStation, while Red Bull and Ford remained the reigning champs of food and beverage and automotive, respectively. Finally, Nike was first place in the clothing category for the second year running, with 30,000 more subscribers than their closest competitor, Adidas. (Tubefilter)

A “Little League for esports” is fostering future esports stars—and fans for life. Super League Gaming is bringing some much-needed organization to youth competitive gaming, building teams of young Minecraft, League of Legends, and Clash Royal players, helping them train and compete. But the program isn’t just for the next Ninja; just like traditional sports, kids get a sense of community among like-minded friends. (AP News)

Nielsen reports that Millennials actually consume less media than older demos, but more of it is digital. While the average adult consumes over ten hours of content a day, 18-34-year-olds spend less than eight hours with media. And the heaviest smartphone users are 35-49-year-olds, who spend 20 minutes more each day on average with their phones than Millennials. However, the younger demo does spend 44% of their media time with digital devices, more than older demos that spend more time with TV as they age up. (THR)

Vitaminwater is wagering $100,000 that you can’t give up your smartphone for a year. Contestants have to disconnect from internet-enabled devices where “texting is a pleasant experience” for 365 days and post a pic to Twitter or Instagram explaining why they need the digital detox. And when the year’s up, they have to prove it. Considering that 65% of 13-36-year-olds told Ypulse they would be unable to unplug from their smartphones for a week, earning that $100,000 may be harder than they know. (Fortune)

Hard seltzer revenue skyrocketed over 400% over the past 18 months. White Claw leads the way for the category with top-of-the-results organic search (they’re the number one Google result for “hard seltzer”) and a social media presence that focuses on health and wellness-related imagery. Sparkling water is already one of Millennials’ favorite things to drink, and its hard version could rise through the ranks of their top alcoholic beverages. (Gartner)

Quote of the Day: “People call [video game culture] nerdy but I see nerdy as a positive connotation.”—Female, 28, MA

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