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

“I honestly wouldn't like to communicate with brands, unless it is to solve problems their brand is causing.”—Female, 27, MI

Why don’t people seem to care as much about fake followers on Instagram as on other platforms? Because while Facebook and Twitter are bashed for feeds full of fake news, no one holds Instagram to the same standard. The image-centric platform is inherently “a hyperreality,” where no one’s candid shot is truly spontaneous, and photo-shop freely fills feeds. Where does it get tricky? With Influencers, who are expected to garner true engagements for brands. (Real Life)

Influencer marketing faced another tricky situation this week when PopSugar replaced influencers’ affiliate links with their own. RewardStyle and its Instagram product LikeToKnow.it’s network of content creators’ photos and sometimes entire feeds “were copied to the site via “thousands of ‘falsified vanity pages’ containing millions of images belonging to the network’s content creators.” The group is planning on seeking a class-action lawsuit on their intellectual property and for the lost revenue that PopSugar made each time a customer clicked to purchase. (Racked)

Colleges are giving out more merit-based aid to win over top students. Tuition discount rates have risen to a record 49.1% for first-time, full-time freshman attending private universities, up over 10% from ten years prior—according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. By using data-driven analysis to calculate just how much aid is likely to lure a top student in, colleges are seeing success upping their prestige. However, the practice has also “created a closing of the doors for low-income students,” according to one policy analyst. (WSJ)

Apple is betting that young consumers could bring back magazines via a magazine subscription service. The tech company took a gamble by buying Texture, a subscription service for over 200 titles that’s been dubbed the “Netflix of Magazine Publishing.” The app aggregates articles into a single browsing experience, rather than being separated by title, and pays the included publications. Apple has announced plans to integrate the service into their Apple News app, the latest incarnation of their less-than-successful Newsstand app. (Bloomberg)

Function of Beauty is customizing hair care, blending up shampoo and conditioner for each customer based off a five-question quiz. Beauty companies big and small have hopped on the Customization Nation trend, and Function of Beauty takes that to the next level with their hyper-personalized hair care set. They're customizing everything from the fragrance to the chemical components, and even going so far as to print the purchaser’s name on each product. The founder explains, "Every single person is unique and different...why negate that instead of catering to it?" (Paper)

“[Allison Raskin] is open about her struggles with mental health, and she is also funny.”—Female, 19, CA

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