By Megan Kamitsuka, SEO Specialist
For marketers, it can often be baffling how the fickle Youth and Young Adult (YAYA) segment spends their cold, hard cash. Admittedly, we’re pretty confusing: we’ll spend a lot more on a t-shirt from American Apparel just so we can feel like we don’t have to wear a similar looking one from Walmart. But, we’ll spend as few pennies as we can at the same super-store for off-brand products like granola bars and pasta. In short, we’re pretty strategic when it comes to saving and spending money. U.S. millennials, all 50 million of us, want to feel like we’re living in luxury while at the same time striving to pay our tuition and rent. Unpredictable as we may be, smart marketers are paying attention to us because we’re expected to spend $65 billion on packaged goods in the next decade.
We can be impulsive shoppers at times. Maybe that’s why 71% of us are more likely to be influenced by in-store kiosks when choosing brands. Forty-two percent of us take into consideration whether your store provides a fun shopping experience. But the large majority of us, 82%, look for a store with the lowest prices every day—perhaps a big indicator why Walmart is doing just fine.
Similarly, YAYAs have become a generation of do-it-yourselfers, where one out of every three YAYAs is opting for at-home beauty treatments instead of making an appointment at the salon. The reason is simple: it’s just cheaper. Brand loyalty? It’s more like price loyalty. Eighty-seven percent of millennials choose a brand based on price. This percentage shows that we are less brand-loyal than our parents—(sorry, marketers, right now we’re young and poor).
But what about that American Apparel t-shirt that costs five times as much as Hanes? Well, millennial college students spend over $780 per month on discretionary expenses. We’re still the demographic most likely to shell out for new gadgets like iPhones. The underlying reason, experts say, is linked to the fact that we grew up in insecure times—terrorist attacks, banks cheating people out of money, to list a few. We think, “who knows what will happen tomorrow, so better treat myself today.”
One other factor: social media and reality TV are putting the pressure on millennials to keep up and live just like the infamous, yet wealthy personalities on screen. The same idiom that has haunted generations before us, “keeping up with the Joneses,” is still ingrained and exacerbated by these new social technologies and entertainment.
Yes, our spending habits are a little bipolar, but we’re keeping up with a new family now, the Kardashians, and the competition began in an economic recession. What do you think? Is this the new normal? Will millennial spending habits ever become more predictable?
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This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 at 2:24 pm
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