For more than 16 years, Buzz Marketing Group has been a leader in identifying Millennials’ trends and insights. Each January, we publish our trend predictions for the coming year. Our biggest trends in the past have included Wharholism, Instanity, Massclusivity, and Conscious Consumption.
Below is our list of trends in 2013 -- and what each might mean to your brand this year:
1. Social Voice. When it comes to their privacy, Millennials will demand to be heard even more in 2013. SOPA, PIPA, and other grassroots campaigns against privacy policies at companies like Facebook are only the beginning. As it becomes easier for individuals to rally against big companies, they will continue to do so.
2. Single Minglers. In a recent relationship study, 46 percent of our Millennial respondents said they were in a relationship. However, of this 46 percent, 94 percent said their relationships did not hold them back in their careers, in any way. In other words, even Millennials in relationships operate like single people.
3. Spirit Junkies. Gabrielle Bernstein, known as the “Dalai Lama for the Gossip Girl set,” is leading a new generation in all things spiritual. In our annual faith and religion study, 43 percent of respondents indicated that they worship alone, whereas 50 percent still attend some sort of worship experience. Look for Millennials to engage even more with their spiritual side in 2013 through online churches and social media.
4. Center Wingers. Can’t we all just get along? Millennials are fed up with both political parties and are most interested in bipartisan government. They’re more likely to define themselves as “centrist” or “moderate” than previous generations. In our recent politics study, only 47 percent of Millennials defined themselves as Democrats. This is a generation that is demanding change by working together.
5. Edutainment. Millennials still believe in the value of a traditional education, but that’s not the only vehicle in which they’re interested. Online learning through companies like 2U and interesting talks from sources like TED are expanding the traditional definition of education. What Millennials really want is TED-style "edutainment." This trend is already evident among tweens and their younger siblings, who grew up being entertained by Dora the Explorer’s reading and writing games.
6. Quality Controllers. Millennials are looking for quality and value, not just the best price, and they are well aware of how to get everything they want. With tweens listing eBay and Amazon as their favorite shopping destinations, it’s evident that this is a trend that is only getting younger. Retailers must continue to address these trends as well as Massclusivity (a mass produced item that is customized). Is there really even a “last call” anymore? Sites like Gilt and Rue La La have taken the idea of a final sale to a whole new level.
7. Entrepreneurment. Millennials are still fighting the idea of traditional employment. They don’t believe that “safe jobs” exist, and this generation has been taught that they’re good at everything and that everyone wins. They are going to define a new hybrid of entrepreneurship and traditional employment even more in 2013.
8. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). While Gen Xers and Boomers rotate between work and home devices, Millennials are more focused on combining the best of both worlds in one work environment. At times, their personal technology might be more advanced than what they have at work or school. In 2013 we’ll see more apps that help you separate work and play—on the same device.
9. Brand-ish. Brand still matter to Millennials, just not as much as they used to. In our recent brand study, 79 percent of Millennial respondents ranked Amazon.com as their favorite retailer. The site offers thousands of brands -- both known and unknown -- at all kinds of prices. What matters most to Millennials is choice and a recognizable place to get the value they want.
10. Tabbies (Tabloid Celebrities). In our celebrity study, 88 percent of Millennials admitted to following every celebrity’s move in weeklies and online. However, they don’t want to be these celebrities; they only want to be entertained by them. Brands must understand the role of celebrities with Millennials. They’re not just the ones to watch, they’re the ones to watch come tumbling down.
Tabloids represent both the worst of celebrity culture and a roadmap for Millennials, who believe that they too can be stars (Wharholism). Tabloids and weeklies present just the right mix of consumer products and entertaining info to keep Millennials happy. They also cater to Instanity (our insane obsession with having everything now) by providing weekly editions and daily downloads.
About this report: Buzz Marketing Group’s Top 10 Trends of 2013 are based on qualitative and quantitative research conducted with more than 9,000 buzzSpotters throughout 2012. Reports mentioned in this trend briefing are available for download at http://buzzmg.com/buzz_reports/.
Tina Wells, founder and CEO of Buzz Marketing Group earned her B.A. in Communication Arts graduating with honors from Hood College in 2002. She is the author of the tween series Mackenzie Blue, published by HarperCollins Childrens Books.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.