What’s the One Tech Item Gen Z & Millennials Would Buy Next?

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

We asked 1000 13-34-year-olds to tell us what one device they would buy next, if they could…

Have you heard that the hype over wearables may be ahead of its time? A new AYTM Market Research poll revealed that about three-quarters of consumers over 18-years-old in the U.S. have never purchased a wearable, though nearly half say they are likely to buy a wearable or smart clothing within the next five years. More than a quarter say they aren’t sure if they plan to do so, while another 27.6% say they most likely won’t. The market has clearly not lived up to expectations, with data showing that sales and shipments are slowing.

Wearables aren’t the only hyped-tech-item. We all know what happened to Google Glasses, and though year after year we’re told that virtual reality is going to be big “this year,” the reality is that adoption has been slow. We’ve commented before that young consumers have a bit of tech malaise—used to tech developing at lightning speed, they've been blown away by some of the innovations they’ve seen in their lifetime. But after decades of purchasing life-altering devices, nothing seems able to surprise and amaze them all that much these days; or at least, not much seems to be getting them to buy en masse. So what new (or not so new) devices are they actually interested in owning? In Ypulse’s recent Tech Device Use & Ownership survey, we asked 1000 13-34-year-olds, “What is the one tech item you would buy next if you could?” Here are their top responses:

*These were open-end response questions to allow us to capture the full range of tech items that 13-34-year-olds are interested in owning. As with any qualitative question, the responses include those that are top of mind and those that are most desired. The lists are ordered according to number of responses…

 
 

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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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