Friends of Retail!
It’s your favorite retail blogger here again to provide the scoop. As someone of young blood in the marketing industry I am still learning the ropes when it comes to identifying a target market. However, I do know a lot about what I like and what others in my demographic prefer. So basically that makes me a resident expert here on Generation Y.
Generation Y for those of you who don’t know are those born in the late 80’s through the late 90’s. My boss over here at Retailbound tried to age me 10 years and throw me in with Generation X [1960’s-1980’s] but when it comes down to it, I fall into the hot commodity generation that so many retailers and businesses are trying to tap into.
So what makes Generation Y tick? What is it that separates our group from the Millennials and Generation X? I’ve compiled a quick list of characteristics and traits that will help your business to target to this mysterious generation.
Now some people would interpret feedback oriented as “needy” and “attention seeking.” I might be a smidgen biased because I am from the generation we’re discussing but at the end of the day I don’t see how being feedback oriented is a bad thing. Generation Y isn’t complacent, they are constantly on the go and sometimes they require a little confirmation that they are moving in the right direction.
This is why Generation Y loves social media. We love being able to share our opinions with the world, even if we always are not the most opinionated. We are more drawn to companies with a larger social media following and companies with interactive websites.
Generation Y often gets the rap for being a generation raised on technology but for most of us we still remember the days before the media age. As a kid I remember my mom pushing me out the front door and spending hours outside playing house, chalking up the driveway, and riding my bike round and round the block. Millennials and kids these days know more about ipads and cell phones then I ever did. Not to age me too much, but I didn’t even get my first cell phone until I was a sophomore and I didn’t get texting until I was a senior, jeeeeeze.
The point of my rant being, yes our generation is technologically oriented, we can tweet all day and Pinterest with the best of them but we appreciate a throw back, and no we’re not old enough to start needing cell phones from somewhere like www.fanmisenior.com, but yet some people would believe that we are indeed the ones that aren’t technologically savvy as some of the millennials. My friends and I are constantly reminiscing about the good ol’ days and our product choices still reflect that. Just the other day, a couple of my friends and I went out and bought Catch-Phrase and Jenga so we could have a game night together. We want products that are tech oriented but don’t ignore us when advertising products from the past. I could think of one or two products I would love to see make a comeback. Beanie babies anyone??
Recognition of Achievement
Maybe it’s our blind optimism or extreme work ethic but either way, Generation Y is extremely achievement oriented. Some can say that this is because we were the first kids to deal with “No Child Left Behind” and Club sports but we want some validation for our hard work. This ties into our need for feedback but to me achievement oriented means not just getting a thumbs up but getting tangible recognition of our hard work. Whether it be a certificate or a promotion, we don’t care, we just want it. We’ll leave it up to you, the businessmen and women, to decide.
Tolerance for the Unusual
You say apathetic like it’s a bad thing. But I’m putting a positive spin on the a-word. We’re not apathetic in the sense that nothing makes our blood boil, but our generation is just incredibly accepting. We’re not opposed to funky hair colors, same-sex relationships, or trying new things. We’re just incredibly apathetic to the unusual. Maybe it’s all of the time we spend online but it has to be extremely radical or suited to our personal desires to get out attention.
So next time you’re thinking of marketing a product to someone in this allusive generation. Remember this blog post and do some extra research. There’s a lot more to Generation Y then the normal stereotypes! So until next time folks, this is Sam signing off!
Also a kind soul brought to my attention that my social media links were not working correctly! So until we get the kinks worked out, the full links are below!