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…

 
 

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“Art is basically my job and I enjoy it so much.”—Female, 15, MD

Snap is making its “biggest move” in scripted original content, teaming up with NBCUniversal and the Duplass brothers for their next series. The Duplass-owned creative studio Donut will produce original series for Snap shot in vertical video. NBCU and Snap will also be opening a joint digital content studio focused completely on mobile-first entertainment, “formaliz[ing] their partnership” and putting Snap firmly in the producing/original content creation camp. Snap’s mobile-only approach is part of a movement to shake up how we view videos—in fact, they’re calling their offering “a fundamentally new medium.” (THRTechCrunch)

Eggo frozen waffles are capitalizing on their unexpected Stranger Things’ fame. The brand has seized the marketing opportunity of being a part of one of Millennials & Gen Z’s favorite shows, tying themselves into Netflix’s Super Bowl ad, creating a special toaster for select fans, and swarming New York Comic Con with people dressed up like Eleven armed with “watch party kits” (aka “waffles and a microwavable syrup server”). To prep for the premiere of season two of the show, Eggo is sending out a fully-loaded food truck for the red carpet premiere, and going all out on social media to connect with fans. (MediaPost)

More teens than ever have severe anxiety, but why? The American College Health Association found a 12% increase in undergrads reporting “overwhelming anxiety” from 2011 to 2016, and several studies concur that “there’s just been a steady increase of severely anxious students.” Social media is part of the problem—constant like-monitoring and cyber bullying isn’t helping the most stressed generation to date. There’s also an increasing (and constant) perceived need to over-achieve. One psychology professor observes, “There’s always one more activity, one more A.P. class, one more thing to do in order to get into a top college.” (NYTimes)

Ypulse research has shown that 88% of Millennial parents are trying to avoid helicopter parenting—but they might not be able to help it. The constant media storm of global atrocities and everyday stories of parenting gone wrong combined with advertisers’ willingness to fear-monger, results in a generation of (understandably) anxious parents. It doesn’t help that the tech to constantly monitor kids is easily available (albeit pricey)—from drone surveillance meant for the military to devices that track “blood-oxygen levels all night long.” One relationship therapist sums up, “Everyone is having a hard time drawing a line and just figuring out what’s reasonable versus what’s over-protective.” (Refinery29)

Brands are turning college students into mini-sales forces. Aerie, Victoria’s Secret Pink, and Express are just a few of the many brands that have a program for college campus reps where students receive swag, experience, and other perks for helping bring brand awareness to their colleges. Though brands don’t always require social posts, most ambassadors do share their swag on social, bringing organic ads to their friends’ feeds. The biggest draw is that social posts from reps “[come] across as natural, authentic, a product that they would normally use or want to talk about.” (Racked)

“[Celebrity] can mean anything nowadays and it's a rather diluted term; from YouTube star, to someone on Instagram with millions of followers, to reality TV dopes, etc.”—Male, 30, WI

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