8095: A Generation Centered On Action And Reverberation About, And With, Brands
October 14, 2010
A staggering 1.7 billion people in the world today are aged between 15 and 30 years of age. This generation encompasses the ‘largest, most diverse, educated and influential shoppers on the planet.’ Yet, when you think about the generation born between 1980 and 1995, we call them “8095-ers”, it often seems that marketers and communication professionals define Millennial as a homogenous ‘youth/student’ group rather than exploring their diversity.
Consider this: the first of this group turned 30 this year, they have mortgages, children and careers. And yes, the use of technology is also a way of life for them. In fact, 65% of global 8095-ers in our study said that they are only to be disconnected for one hour a day, if at all. While technology makes this constant connection possible, it brings with it such a significant amount of background noise. As they build their own filters for this, to sort out what’s important to them, it is important for us to remember that their digital media is only one part of the way in which they learn about, respond to and engage with brands.
Our Edelman and StrategyOne team is today launching Edelman 8095, a global Millennial consultancy. We are also releasing 8095, The Exchange: a worldwide benchmark study meant to be a starting place from which we can learn more as 8095-ers continue to evolve and their influence grows. With research undertaken in eight countries (Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States), it is a global look at a generation with instant access to one another and to information, and one that has true awareness of and belief in their own voice and power. And let’s be clear, this group will only continue to get more powerful. Their dynamics more important to understand as brands reach out to them, the old playbook no longer applies and we need to build an ongoing dialogue with participation at its core.
Fundamentally we see four key areas of interest for those of us thinking about this group:
Brands as Form of Self Expression: Brand preference is the No. 1 identifier that 8095-ers are willing to share online; in some places they preferred to share a brand preference more than their name. 82% of 8095-ers have joined a brand sponsored online community, and one in four is members of seven. That’s a lot of identifiers. And nothing matters more than quality, authenticity and integrity. Also, one in three 8095-ers depend on brands to learn about new trends – in some places brands are more powerful than celebrities- and many depend on brands to be real catalysts in their life.
Information is a Key to Influence: Brand purchasing decisions are not made in silos. Even when considering some of the most basic purchases, over 50 percent of 8095-ers use four or more sources of information to help them make their purchase decision and a third use seven or more sources.
Action is Intrinsic: Worldwide eight in ten 8095-ers take action every week on behalf of a trusted brand. More importantly, this action is, on average, more positive than it is negative. Nearly half will share positive brand experiences.
Reverberation Rules: By reverberation we mean the cross influence that this group has on each other and their friends and family. En masse, 8095-ers think they are influencers with, 76% believing they are highly depended upon for their opinions, and if their friends don’t approve over a third won’t make that purchase. More than one third of global 8095-ers actually admitted to us that they won’t likely make a purchase that their friends don’t approve of.
Over the next several days, we will be sharing insights and implications from each of the four sections we’ve outlined in a post here on PSFK. We’ve turned the insights over to strategists in our Edelman network who are themselves, a part of this generation.
Before signing off and turning this over to our Edelman 8095ers, let me leave you with this. For marketers, here’s the real opportunity:
- Help 8095-ers engage with your brand and enable them to be part of your marketing team (in all categories) by investing in them.
- Be a credible source of relevant information that matters and enables 8095-ers in their everyday lives.
- Maximize reverberation. 8095-ers don’t make brand decisions without reaching out to multiple sources and this is not just online.
Christina Smedley, is not a not an 8095er, and is Global Chair of Consumer Marketing at Edelman, the world’s largest independent public relations firm.
By Dan Gould