Ypulse’s Predictions for 2017

We told you what other experts are predicting for 2017, now here's the Ypulse team's forecast for what the next 12 months might hold in media, spending, entertainment, technology, and more... 

RETAIL/SPENDING

More Millennials Will See the Green Light

We predicted that Millennials would begin to flex their financial force in 2016, and we saw it happen: they’re outspending older shoppers in dining, experiences, and more. But it’s no secret they have a fraught relationship with money: young adults during the recession have seen the U.S. financial system at its worst, and have been forced to live out its consequences. But as the recession slowly fades from memory, we’re primed for a money revolution. In 2017, Millennials are looking to take control of their finances: 22% of all 13-34 year olds say becoming financially independent is their New Year’s resolution–and the number is higher for those over 25 [46%]. And while 29% are still nervous and overwhelmed when they think about money, an increasing number of Millennials are optimistic [33%] and confident [25%]. We think this is the year that more of the Millennial generation moves out from Mom and Dad’s house and starts seeing green: they’re going to save more, spend smarter, and learn how to maximize their spending power. It helps that they’re advancing in their careers, but they’re also finally seeing and using financial tools that reflect their behaviors and attitudes. As financial apps like Venmo grow in popularity and replace traditional banking institutions, their agency over their own finances will only increase, and money will become less a source of anxiety and more a tool for empowerment that helps them get what they want. Don’t expect this to mean a bounce-back to a mirror of the Boomer-era economy: this generation spends…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“My work schedule can be hectic, so I snack on nuts, berries, or other non-deadly foods during any downtime.”

—Male, 32, KY

AwesomenessTV and fashion/beauty brands are coming together to make branded series for Gen Z. In the past, AwesomenessTV has worked with numerous brands to produce original content, including CoverGirl and Kohl’s. Now they’re planning a 24-part docu-series with Hollister called “This is Summer,” following teens’ high school journeys—while they’re clad in shoppable Hollister clothing of course. Our own Chief Content Officer explains that Ypulse has “found Gen Z to be fairly open to watching sponsored entertainment,” with 77% of 13-17-year-olds agreeing, "As long as the story is interesting, I don't mind that it is sponsored." (Glossy)

Fullscreen agrees that Gen Z is the generation that’s most receptive to branded content. Their survey found over half of Gen Z doesn’t mind even undisclosed branded content, and significantly more Gen Z teens than Millennials have engaged with social branded content (viewing photos, liking and sharing content and tagging friends) in the past six months. Influencer marketing wins out with the group, with over half of teens preferring influencer content to pre-roll, sponsored posts, banners, and traditional TV commercials. The sweet spot for advertisers may be branded video, especially when influencers are involved. (TubefilterAdweek)

Graduation spending is expected to reach a record $5.6 billion for the Class of 2017. Over half of the graduation gifts given will be cash, followed by greeting cards, gift cards, apparel, and electronic devices. Another trend for the year is more and more peers giving each other gifts, with a 6% lift year over year. Younger consumers will spend an average of $78.42 ,compared to 45-54-year-olds’ $119.84 and 65-and-over’s $112.34, and while greeting cards are also most popular, they’re also almost twice as likely to gift clothing. (ConsumerAffairs)

Instagram has the “most negative impact on young people’s mental wellbeing,” followed by Snapchat, according to a recent study. The image-centric platforms could “driv[e] feelings of inadequacy and anxiety,” and were rated the most poorly for their impacts on sleep, FOMO, and body image. Out of the top five most popular social media platforms, YouTube was the only one that earned a positive score. The silver lining? Some argue the evaluation is “blaming the medium for the message,” and social media/online communities are also Gen Z and Millennials’ top resource for learning about “mindfulness, meditation, and wellness,” according to Ypulse data. (The Guardian)

Lego is being called the “most powerful brand in the world,” beating out Google, Visa, and Nike. Brand Finance’s latest valuation report shows Lego’s brand value increased 68% over last year, looking at metrics like “familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investment, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.” At least some of the lift can be attributed to the successful movie franchise (The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie) and its strategic partnership with Star Wars.

(Business Insider)

“I kind of don't like the commercialization of fandom culture…However, creating licensed products is one way a brand could interact.”

—Male, 24, MO

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