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?


The Newsfeed

“Most of the role models and leaders in my life have been Gen Xers so far."

–Male, 16, WI

Instagram has reached 700 million active users, and its growth has been speeding up. The app hit the new user mark just four months after reaching 600 million, and the introduction of Instagram stories in August may be a major contributor to its accelerated growth. The feature has a reported 200 million daily active users compared to Snapchat’s 161 million. Overall, Instagram now has twice the user base of Twitter and is quickly approaching the coveted 1 billion user mark that Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger have reached. (TechCrunch)

Millennials are using social media and YouTube to decide what to buy. A U.K. study found 32% of 18-24-year-olds are using social media to research their purchase decisions before checking out, and 25% are using video platforms like YouTube. There are also signs they’d like to search for products on social media: 25% of U.K. 18-24-year-olds reported the desire to search media based on their lifestyle and 23% would like search to understand their current mood. These findings, paired with the detailed targeting available to advertisers, are changing the consumer journey from search query to cart. (AdvertisingWeek)

Millennials are keeping 70% of their money in cash, reluctant to invest in anything, from stocks to their own retirement plans—according to new BlackRock research. Clearly impacted by the Great Recession, Millennials are most likely to agree, "What you might earn investing isn't worth the risk of losing your money," and a third say “they learned what not to do with their money” from watching their parents. They also tend to undervalue the potential returns of investments by millions of dollars, which is not good news for their futures—at their current rate, most Millennials will have less than $1 million saved for retirement. (TheStreet)

Influencer marketing is proving its worth. Though marketers have worried about determining ROI with the approach, one report is claiming it’s more effective than advertising alone, showing a direct lift in results rates of up to 30%. Across 450 influencers and 11 campaigns, the expansive research compared results from consumers exposed to ads featuring influencers versus control groups, overwhelmingly showing increased action when an influencer was involved. Good news for marketers, who spent $570 million on influencer marketing on Instagram alone last year. (Adweek)

The Amazon Echo can now help pick your outfit—and tell you when you don’t look good. LED lights and a depth-sensing camera will let the new Echo Look take pictures of any look, and “Style Check” software “combines machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists” to evaluate which outfit is best, and lets you compare pictures of multiple outfits, from multiple angles. Amazon’s already extensive product recommendations could feasibly be a part of this product’s future—and, if all goes well, a drone will ship the recommended new clothes to your door. (Quartz)

“I want to work for myself so that I can have more flexibility and be my own boss. I have an online business.”
—Female, 16, FL

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