What Millennials & Gen Z Want to Do in 2017

What do young consumers have planned for the year ahead? We asked 1000 13-34-year-olds what milestones and life events they're hoping to accomplish in 2017...

We’ve looked back at the year behind us, and yesterday we laid out some of the big trends that brands should be aware of for 2017—but the most powerful force that could impact multiple brands are young consumers’ plans. More and more Millennials are tackling the major life milestones they’ve been known to avoid—from home ownership to starting a family. Home building company Toll Brothers reports seeing strong growth from Millennial buyers, stating that "with the Millennial generation now entering their thirties and forming families, we are starting to benefit from the desire for home ownership from the affluent leading edge of this huge demographic wave." Meanwhile, recently released data from the National Center for Health Statistics, revealed that 1.3 million 19-35-year-old women gave birth for the first time in 2015, bringing the total number of Millennial moms in the U.S. to more than 16 million. At the same time, the next generation is increasingly showing their influence, and approaching the end of their teen years. The plans that all of these young consumers have for the next year have the power to shift some major industries, so we asked 1000 13-34-year-old exactly what they’re hoping to do in 2017. Here’s what we learned: 

We should note that about 30% said they don’t plan to do any of these things this year—which means that roughly seven in ten have some sort of milestone in their sights for 2017. As we saw last year, many young consumers have their careers on their minds, and getting a new job is at the top of the list of their 2017 plans with almost three in ten saying they hope to get a new gig, and roughly one…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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