What’s Being Said About the Next Generation

Born after 2004, post-Millennials are nine-years-old and under. Some may believe the next generation is too young to pay attention to, but the reality is that post-Millennials are already being studied and examined, and the effect their generation will have on culture and brands is already being hypothesized. We watch fascinated as two-year-olds take up playing with iPads as if it were natural to them. We fret about the under-ten set’s health and the child obesity epidemic, and look on in wonder as a nine-year-old takes a fast-food CEO to task. We debate what it means for the future when some parents today embrace their sons’ decision to wear pink, or sport a tutu in public. When we say that it is time to name the next generation, we do so because the conversation about the next generation has already started and post-Millennials are already living through a unique experience; and because every generation deserves to have a name that reflects that unique experience. In preparation for our Naming the Next Generation event, we’ve taken a look at some of the recent headlines about post-Millennials to collect some of the hypotheses about the generation so far:

 

1. They’re Homebodies In Training

According to a post by generational expert (and namer of the Millennials) Neil Howe, the post-Millennial generation is spending more time than ever at home, and less time than previous generations playing outside. Howe, who will be joining us on June 26th to name the next gen, cites a study that finds that from 1997 to 2003 participation in sports and outdoor activities dropped sharply for 6-to-12-year-olds. If this trend continues for post-Millennials, we could see a generation who are not just unprecedentedly comfortable using tech, but are less comfortable with the world outside their…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Bojack Horseman was my favorite show last year because it was funny and real. Maybe too real, just beautiful.”–Male, 23, AZ

Binge drinking in college is common, and suggested reasons for the behaviors range from boredom to helicopter parenting—but it’s also possible they’re drinking to extremes to escape extreme stress. Today’s college students can have an “intense preoccupation with success” thanks to the competition it takes to get into schools, fear of the tough job market, and looming loan debt. In this context, “blacking out has become so normal that even if you don’t personally do it, you understand why others do. It’s a mutually recognized method of stress relief. To treat it as anything else would be judgmental." (NYTimes)

Once again, Millennials’ food preferences are “killing” a major product. Young consumers’ preoccupation with health have caused a yogurt problem for General Mills, where sales in the category have nosedived 15%. The downturn is likely due to the new perspective that sugar, not fat, is the real diet evil, a shift that has caused low-fat and low-cal foods to “fall out of vogue.”(As we predicted.) In more positive, related, news for the brand, organic and natural products have seen “immense growth.” (MediaPostMSN)

More teens are on YouTube than on the biggest social networks, according to research from the National Cyber Security Alliance and Microsoft. Their poll of 13-17-year-old internet users found that 91% say they use YouTube, compared to 66% who use Snapchat, 65% who use Instagram, and 61% who use Facebook. Their heavy use of the site is one of the reasons that YouTube creators have more influence over their purchase intent than traditional TV and movie celebs. Interestingly, the second most-used platform was actually Gmail, with 75% of teens reporting they use the email app. (eMarketer)

Millennials have been called out as a threat to the diamond industry, causing Twitter to offer their own blunt explanationsfor why the generation isn’t buying the “sparkly status symbols.” But hold up: De Beer’s annual report has declared, “Millennials spent nearly $26 billion on diamond jewelry [in 2015]…acquiring more than any other generation.” So why is everyone saying they aren’t buying diamonds when they reportedly purchased 45% of retail sales in four major markets? It might be another case of a narrative about the generation being more click-worthy than the reality. (Forbes)

This month, the Generation Beauty event brought together Instagram beauty influencers, beauty brands, and their loyal teen fans for a weekend of meet-and-greets and product samples. Young consumers are undoubtedly looking to their favorite digital personalities for product recommendations, and say it’s best “when they give their honest opinion,” trusting those posts more than those where copy is read directly off a package—“a dead giveaway that it’s sponsored.” Collaborations between brands and social influencers are reportedly especially popular with fans. (Racked)

Quote of the Day: “Jane the Virgin was my favorite show to watch last year because it was dramatic, yet relatable and hilarious. I also love the fact that it features many women actors and actors of color.” –Female, 17, Guam

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