Influential generation calls for more attention

Today we launched the companion blog of How Cool Brands Stay Hot, my new Branding book on Generation Y (written together with Mattias Behrer, SVP, General Manager MTV North Europe & MTV International Property Marketing). To support the release, InSites Consulting has conducted a new global study delving into the emotions and needs of the young and future generation of consumers. We have interviewed 4,065 respondents aged 15 to 25 (Gen Y generation) in 16 countries: USA, Brazil, Russia, India, China, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Romania, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Most (8 out of 10) ‘Millennials’ across the globe feel they do receive enough attention from their parents, family and friends. But politicians, government and companies should become more aware of the needs and wants of this upcoming generation. Fifty-five per cent of Gen Yers thinks politicians aren’t paying any attention to them and for 43% the government should concentrate more on youth’s demands. For 3 out of 10, the private sector and specifically employers should follow their generation more carefully. But it’s not only the job market that lacks interest. Contrary to a popular belief that youngsters are heavily targeted as consumers, one out of five Gen Yers around the world think they deserve more atttention from brands as well. Not only because they are spending money themselves but also because they have a strong influence on their parents’ expenditures. They are the most empowered generation of consumers ever. For many parents of Gen Yers, getting their teen’s and twenty-something’s approval is the most important thing in their lives. They treat their children as friends rather than subordinates. The reason behind this is that the average number of children per female has drastically dropped, while the divorce rate has gone up. Most parents ask the opinion of their children before making purchase decisions.

The biggest influence that global Millennials report, is found in the technologies that their parents are adapting (52%) and the products that they are buying (44%). But they also affect the programs that Babyboomers watch and even the holiday destinations (36%) and shops (34%) they visit. The 15- to 25-year-olds did report they only have a limited impact on their parents’ music choice (37% no influence at all) and political preferences (39% no influence). Although the latter was different in Brasil, India and China where at least 30% of Gen Yers reported they did have influence on political choices of their parents.

Everyone had expected the strong opinion leadership of this digital natives in technology categories of course. But the influence of this generation on consumer markets is much bigger than just the known impact on mobile devices or social media. Parents and adults want to stay young forever and so they are turning their heads towards youth to decide which clothes to wear, brands to use or places to visit.
Want to find out more about the book? Visit

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