Unique Is The New Cool

Thrift StoreWhereas dressing like everyone else was once seen as the way to fit in, Millennials now have a mindset that celebrates individuality. To them, being original is important and they constantly want to curate their own style. Whether that’s through clothes, nail art, or hair trends, they aren’t afraid to stand out. In fact, they embrace it and want to experiment with their fashion. This is in part because Millennials are the most diverse generation and they’ve grown up being surrounded by differences. As a result, they don’t want to be limited to a uniform or logo; rather, they want their fashion to express their identity.

This sentiment is seen through their rejection of branded clothes. While Abercrombie logos were once cool, today, Millennials would rather mix and match pieces and create something new. Why replicate what everyone else is wearing when you can have more influence as an individual? According to Ypulse research among 1,200 13-34-year-olds, 55% say " I don’t follow trends; I like to think I have my own personal style."

Additionally, Millennials have a DIY attitude and are interested in making their own clothes or accessories. There’s a social currency in having a bracelet unlike any other or in telling the story behind an item that you made. Part of this mentality may be shaped by the economy, but we’re also seeing Gen Y place greater emphasis on creativity. One 21-year-old female recently echoed this idea: “I’m seeing the DIY trend everywhere with people making cool accessories, home décor, and clothes, which I think shows how creative my generation is.” Nearly a quarter (22%) of Millennials say they modify/cut up/or embellish their style. While this may not sound like a lot, it’s still noteworthy with upcycling becoming more common. 

Etsy and Modcloth have become…

 
 

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “There's been a resurgence in the home cook, and that's been my biggest interest. There's increasing amounts of high-quality, interesting produce and recipes to use.”—Male, 29 ,NC

Millennial moms are a coveted demographic for marketers, but are ads missing the mark when portraying them? A recent global study found that advertisers “may be overestimating the value women place on appearances during early motherhood:” only 30% of new mothers and pregnant women would use “beautiful” to describe themselves, but 63% say marketers have used the term to described people like them. These “airbrushed version[s] of motherhood,” could cost brands consumers, as six in 10 Millennial moms stating they rather see real moms in ads instead of actors. (Campaign US)

The financial crisis has triggered distrust between Millennials and financial institutions, negatively affecting traditional banks. At first glance the future of banks looks grim: 71% of Millennials would rather go to the dentist than to the bank, 73% are more interested in financial services from Google and Amazon than established banks, and 33% believed they won’t need banks in five years. However, banks have the opportunity to cater to Millennials by putting digital first: 74% say mobile banking is very important to them, and 40% said they rather communicate with banks via email and websites. (Avoka

When we asked Millennials and teens what would make them eat at McDonald’s, customization and variety was one theme we uncovered, and the chain is making changes to give them what they want. The brand’s new “Create Your Taste” effort uses touch-screen kiosks that allow for ordering one-of-kind burgers with “multiple bun options, specialty sauces, and unique toppings.” Presentation and quality are also on par with fast casual restaurants: burgers and fries are served in “trendy metal mesh basket[s],” and the ingredients are reportedly “of shockingly good quality.” The update is a continuation of McDonald’s turnaround plan, which introduced all-day breakfast last year and revived sales. (Business Insider

Brands looking to work with digital influencers should take note: There is actually a possibility of being too popular online. Once social media influencers reach a “critical mass” of followers, audience engagement begins decreasing, and continues to drop as their follower count rises. However, “micro-influencers,” or accounts that have a following between the 10,000-100,000 range, “get an average of two-to-five times more organic engagement per Instagram post, compared to those with more than 100,000 followers.” For these micro-influencers, sponsored posts take a back seat to their personal content, creating a more authentic tone—and they  may present a “sweet spot” for marketers. (Digiday

Obsessee is a media brand with no publication and no website, and it could be the future of magazines for Gen Z. The “fashion-focused digital entity” tailors content to each of the various platforms it lives on, which currently includes Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Spotify, Periscope and Google Plus. This native content multi-platform approach was conceived when research showed 14-22-year-olds avoid websites, prefer content on social media channels, and would rather get information from individuals instead of brands. Obsessee conversational, positive content targets Gen Z values: “approachability, inclusivity and authenticity.” (Fashionista

Quote of the Day: “I like shopping at Trader Joe’s, because it’s a fun alternative to the usual chain supermarkets to pick up specialty items that are tasty.”—Male, 33, MD

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies