Tag Archives: millennials

How Young Professionals Affect The Alcohol Industry [Infographic]

As millennials come to age, numerous sectors such as the alcoholic beverage industry are seeing major consumption changes.The professional millennial cohort is the agent of change in this industry.The social work culture with after hours drinks are the new norm for this non-materialistic generation. The digital natives are constantly sharing their life experiences through social media channels and these experiences are shared with alcoholic beverages, representing a social status. With these factors influencing the drinking choices of millennials, the question remain on what type of alcoholic beverage are they consuming and what drinking establishments are they visiting? qSample conducted a survey to understand millennials’ alcoholic beverage preferences. The survey was deployed to more than 500 respondents on their drinking choices and confirmed the correlation between drinking preferences and the generational mindset.

The data shows that 50% of older professional millennials, ages 27-33 are consuming alcoholic beverages in restaurants. In contrast, only 8% percent of this group is consuming alcoholic beverages at home.This highly sociable age demographic combines their social gathering with alcohol consumption.When visiting restaurant establishments, (74%) of older millennials are often ordering alcoholic beverages when dining out. As this demographic enters the peak of their careers, their disposable income increases, given them the ability to spend their income on luxury items such as alcoholic beverages. Despite having increased purchasing power, (37%) of these groups of millennials are choosing drinking establishments with drink specials and affordable drink prices. Within this affordable drinks trend, (54%) of older millennials indicated that they prefer to visit a BYOB restaurant when dining out.On the other hand, more than 48% of millennials professionals are keeping up with trends by choosing drinking establishments based on knowledgeable bartenders/mixologists, drink presentations, and exclusive in-house cocktails.  

Millennials have a wide range of alcoholic preferences, as a consequence, the alcoholic beverage market has seen several consumption changes within this generation. About (27%) of older millennials are choosing to drink beer when dining out, closely following (26%) drink wine and (24%) drink spirits. When visiting BYOB restaurants, (28%) of older millennial prefer to drink beer while the other millennial cohort (29%) prefer to drink wine.   The consumption preferences of this generation can also be seen within their purchasing selections. When asked if they would consider purchasing a bottle of the drink of their choice at a drinking establishment, (97%) of older millennials responded yes. As this group of millennials is more established within their careers their consumption preferences are shifting between drinking beer and purchasing bottles. The strong economic power of older millennials is also presented in how much they are spending on purchasing a bottle when dining out. About (50%) responded that they spend between $40 – $59 on a bottle when dining out.

The alcoholic beverage industry is exponentially growing both in volume and value.As millennials come to age, with their value-conscious behavior, they are constantly challenging the way this industry markets towards their generation. By paying close attention to millennials drinking habits, especially older millennials, alcoholic beverages companies and drinking establishments have a profitable opportunity. Factors such as knowledgable bartenders, drink exclusives, and drink specials are pivotal for millennials when choosing a drinking establishment. Understanding the shifting drinking preferences of this generation and their constant need for social functions will provide a higher value towards a brand.

Ultimately, marketing tactics that are geared towards lifestyle choices and exclusive experiences will drive millennials’ interest. The ultimate goal for alcoholic beverage companies and drinking establishment is to understand the millennial mindset in order to succeed in sales with this generation.

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You Only Live Once: Millennials’ Travel Spending Habits

Millennials are constantly expressing their interests on social media channels, and travel is not excluded from the trending topics identified by “hashtag goals.”  This desire to travel is not only represented by the stream of photos on their Instagram feeds, but also in their approach to life. This can be seen in the array of benefits that millennials are requesting from their employers that deviate from the normal 401K offerings. This is a major shift from the parents and grandparents of millennials who were more attracted to stability. In contrast, millennials came of  age in a time of financial instability due to the recession in 2008. This arguably bred the “you only live once” and “young, wild, and free” mantras that often circulate on millennials’ social media accounts. These mantras are also reflections of their travel habits.

With access to thousands of travel planning platforms through the web and mobile applications, millennials have more resources than ever before to plan their dream vacations. Since the majority of millennials are single, companies have begun to shift some of their marketing tactics to engage with single travelers by creating different pricing packages. These packages are designed for individuals instead of large groups or families. There also has been an emergence of travel groups on platforms such as Contiki. This travel group is created for adults ages 18 -35 to travel to exotic places with a small group. This group travel platform gives millennials the option to travel to a variety of destinations including Los Angeles, London, Bali, and many more without worrying about navigating a new city alone.

Millennials have both an interest in travel and the resources to plan a trip. However, the questions remain how often are they traveling and how are they spending their money on travel? qSample conducted a survey to understand millennials’ travel spending habits. We surveyed over 400 respondents on their travel spending habits and confirmed that the shifting mindset on travel directly affected how they spend and travel frequencies.

The data shows that majority of millennials(61%) are traveling on vacation between five and seven times a year. This is followed by another group of millennials (25%) that are traveling three to fours times a year. In contrast, roughly 65% of Generation X and 70% of both Baby Boomer cohorts are only going on vacation once or twice a year. Despite being at the begin of their careers, millennials are investing time and money in the travel sector. Millennials are not just traveling more but also longer. Approximately 45% of millennials are taking trips that span between eight and ten days and another 39% are take vacations that range from five to seven days. This is longer than the previous generations, with roughly 60% of Generation X and Baby Boomers taking vacations that are less than seven days. Although millennials are traveling frequently, they are actually taking more time to plan their travel. Unlike the Baby Boomers who mostly are planning trips in less than a month, 46% of millennials are planning their travel for two to three months and 36% are taking four to six months to plan. This is a lengthy planning process for a generation that is often characterized as compulsive.

Millennials are also following trends when booking traveling arrangements. The millennial respondents primarily considered three factors when booking travel arrangements: best time of day to travel(26%), flying/lodging with companies they are familiar with(24%), and direct/nonstop flights(23%). This was a contrast between the previous generations who were mostly dedicated  to finding a great deal, only about 9% of millennials selected this category as one of their considerations. This illustrates that millennials place more value on optimizing their time on vacation than finding a cheaper rate. Millennials are also diverting from tradition when it comes to lodging arrangements. About 33% of millennials are using alternative lodging such as Airbnb rentals; in contrast, less than 10% of Generation X  and Baby Boomers are using this platform. Millennials are staying up-to-date with their options when booking travel. Although these generations contrast in several ways, one similarity is staying with a budget. Roughly 70% of millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers are mindful of their budget when traveling.

Millennials’ travel spending habits can be a tool used to engage with this generation by both established and start-up companies. Since one of the primary considerations for millennials is familiarity with the company, established companies can amend their marketing goals to increase brand loyalty. This can be done by providing a unique and memorable customer service experience for millennials. Subsequently, companies can offer incentives to encourage millennials to talk about the brand via social media. This can possibly earn the brand a spot on the “trending topics” list on Twitter among the millennial cohort. Start-up companies can focus on brand awareness initiative, as well as provide products that help millennials find unique and flexible travel arrangements.

Ultimately, millennials’ travel spending habits provide multiple avenues for companies to gain profit from this generational cohort. Marketing tactics that are geared towards lifestyle choices and autonomous travel would peak millennials’ interest. The goal is for travel companies to align themselves with the millennial mindset in order to make themselves relevant with this generation. When this tactic is executed well, travel companies are satisfied with the results.

Millennials vs. Insurance: How Millennials are Changing the Insurance Industry

The importance of insurance was emphasized to the older generations, but millennials are entering the workforce and insurance is being considered a luxury.  According to a recent study conducted by pewresearch.org, by 2030 millennials are expected to make up 75% of the workforce. As this generation continuous to evolve, they will continue to influence purchasing decisions as well as how companies conduct business. The insurance industry is worth over $1.2 trillion dollars, making it one of the most profitable industries in the world. Despite this financial success, the industry has faced significant challenges when targeting their services towards millennials. Some insurance companies are still using the same marketing tactics such as telemarketing and direct mail to target potential consumers. However, these tactics have not been very effective with the newer generation. Insurance companies need to jump on the millennial bandwagon and implement marketing tactics geared towards the digital natives.

Millennials have shown that they have the purchasing power to dictate new marketing tactics. We have seen the evolution of several companies that have changed their marketing strategies to reach a larger pool of millennial consumers. These companies are not selling products or services- they are selling lifestyles. The millennial generation values experience over tangible assets. They want to travel, see the world, and have access to products without the burden of ownership. Millennials have come of age during a time of innovation, globalization, and economic hardships.  These factors have given millennials a different set of behaviors and experiences than their parents. Millennials are accustomed to inter-connectivity and the immediacy of technological devices. Therefore, millennials do not want the same insurance offerings as their parents. Fewer millennials are purchasing life, auto, travel, and homeowner’s insurance. Insurance companies need to adjust their strategies to enter the millennial mindset. They need to provide personalize products, technology friendly services, and a stellar customer experience.

Insurance companies need to improve on the personalization of their core offerings, since millennials want products that support their lifestyles. For example, when receiving a quote regarding auto insurance, millennials do not want something targeted towards a family of five. They want to feel like an individual and the service offering to be directly targeted towards them. Millennials also expect the pricing to reflect the demands of their lifestyle. Factors such as frequency of driving and mileage could be emphasized more in the pricing than the number of drivers in a household. Insurance companies such as Metromile have built their company on a pay-per-mile pricing system, which allows customers flexibility on pricing depending on how much they drive. This can be a profitable business opportunity for other insurance companies to introduce new services and target a demographic that rewards personalization.

Insurances companies will need to allocate resources to study millennials’ habits and employ effective marketing strategies to sell multiple strands of insurance. According to the Gallup’s panel web study, “Insurance Companies Have a Big Problem With Millennials,” about 69% percent of millennials are either actively disengaged or indifferent with their insurance carriers. Insurance companies will need to increase product awareness to engage this tech-savvy generation. In order to build engagement, insurance companies need to have continuous conversations with millennials on social media platforms. Engagement is key to maintaining loyal customers and attracting new ones. Millennials value companies’ interactions through social media posts asking for feedback on their services. The most successful business are the ones that value customers’ feedback in order to provide a stellar customer experience. However, millennials can be brutally honest on these platforms so companies will have to be prepared to manage criticism as well.

Undoubtedly, millennials have different purchasing behaviors than non-millennials. Consequently, insurance companies have been slow to adapt marketing tactics tailored towards millennial consumers. As the largest generation of Americans enters the workforce, insurance companies have a gold mine in their hands; to succeed, they need to understand how to target their products to the digital natives. Millennials are looking for companies that offer innovation and inter-connectivity within their products. If insurance companies are able to create a story, adapt their online platforms, and keep engaging with the millennial consumers, these companies will continue to succeed in today’s globalized market.

 

E-books: The End Of An Era?

 

It’s been almost a decade since the first e-book reader was introduced to the marketplace, sending publishers into a panic over the future of print. Readers transitioned to new digital devices; e-book sales escalated, and bookstores struggled to stay open. Now, the digital landscape for books has shifted from e-Books back to print. For the first time in history, e-book sales are declining. The Association of American Publishers released a report in June of 2016 that shows e-book sales declining by nearly 25% from January 2015 to January 2016. While the digital landscape continues to evolve, some things are just not catching on. Digital book sales are losing their momentum and the digital trend is not transcending when it comes to how millennials are reading. Unexpectedly, the most technologically savvy generation in the United States is returning to print.

 

Digital reading devices such the Kindle once tried to convert book lovers to digital binge readers. However, digital natives like college students still prefer reading on paper. According to a recent study conducted by American University linguistics professor Noami S. Baron, the study shows that 92% of college students would rather do their reading the old-fashioned way –  with pages and not tablets. The question remains, why have students made such a notorious shift from digital to print? Despite the mobility of the e-book, which would seem appealing to college students, they are still opting to carry around heavy textbooks even with their on-the-go lifestyles. Millennials spend more time in front of screens than previous generations, so e-books would seemingly fit right in; However, numerous studies have shown that when reading digitally, some content is lost due to skimming from screen to screen.  This is where comprehension suffers, since distraction on electronic devices is practically inevitable.

Aside from the increasing distraction on devices, students are relying on paper books because they are less delicate than tablets. Water spills or accidental drops can severely damage devices, or in some cases ruin them forever.The cost of replacing an e-reader like a Kindle or an iPad is much higher than replacing a book.  Print books provide students with the flexibility of having information at hand without constantly worrying about  technological malfunctions. Some students prefer print books because they are able to turn the page in a book; this makes reading more enjoyable for them.

For a moment, e-books provided cost effective alternatives for struggling college students. The minimal discounts on e-book prices in comparison to their print versions have students opting for the paperback version, which can be resold or lent from other students. Another benefit is that students are able to rent textbooks from their campus bookstores that are already highlighted and have notes in the margins. These provide students with additional tools that cannot be found in e-book versions.Unfortunately, technological advances have influenced faculty and publishing houses to push students into digital devices. Around the country, educational institutions are buying millions of digital devices promising lower costs, more textbook updates, and less back pain from heavy backpacks. Despite the versatility and interactivity e-books provide, there has been little considerations for educational consequences.

Nine years later, the technological revolution has decreased in the e-book market. It is interesting to see how e-readers almost changed the publishing landscape and how the introduction of a new device almost vanished the earliest form of mass communication – print. The decline in e-book sales portrays how technological advances follow a product life cycle. A trend can come or go but if there is something substantial it can succeed in the market. It is still early to predict what the future holds for e-books,  but as the digital landscape continues to evolve, the complete end of e-books is not yet to come.

College Students And Their Views On The Future [Infographic]

College graduates celebrating by throwing hats in the air

 

Comedian George Burns famously said, “I look to the future because that’s where I’m going to spend the rest of my life.”

College students are taking Burn’s advice, it seems, focusing on the future with an attentive, pragmatic yet positive eye. They want successful careers more than anything, care little about popularity, and social media is not the great democratizer but just another neutral avenue in life.

These are the findings from qSample’s latest study, presented here in an infographic. The study was conducted using our college student sample, surveying more than 200 participants on a range of social and economic topics. Respondents were accessed from our Campus Universe initiative—regularly utilized for varied studies for both academics and businesses by clients. The findings can also be found in our post College Students Optimistic About Economic Future.

The qSample research should give hope for the country’s future (and certainly relevant with graduation season around the corner). Millennials spend $600 million a year in the U.S. alone, with some estimates having them reach $3 billion in a decade as they dominate the labor force. Therefore, the economy should be in good hands, unless these graduates are hamstrung with student debt and not enough salary growth.

Please enjoy our infographic and please enjoy spending the rest of your life in the future:

 

Colleget Students and their view of the future

 

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A Practical Visionary: Success Insights From Netflix Founder Reed Hastings

 

Netflix is undoubtedly one of the premier brands today. The Los Gatos, California company is so culturally revolutionary it’s even made the action of abusing television something cool. The phenomenon of “binge watching” has become a clarion call for Millennials and often a mating call for Hipsters. The vast wasteland that was television is now a vast paradise of streaming on mobile devices.

Netflix has changed many perceptions as well as overcome many societal and economic shifts—remaining at the top of the brand food chain.

Much of the success of Netflix can be attributed to founder and CEO, Reed Hastings. The essence of this former vacuum cleaner salesperson and Peace Corps volunteer can be found in Scott Smith’s book, Extraordinary People. The work uses primary and secondary interviews to mine the synergetic history of Netflix and Hastings. It showcases Hastings as a complex visionary, yet at his core with a practical approach to improving the lives and experiences of those around him.

 

A Common Sense Visionary

 

 

In his book, Smith reveals that the conception of Netflix didn’t begin so much with market research but a mixture of common sense and anger—the kind many of us perhaps felt decades ago when being wallet-raped by video companies like Blockbuster. A Smith writes:

The genesis of Netflix came in 1997, when Hastings misplaced a rented videotape, Apollo 13, and was hit with a late fine of $40. Afterwards, on his way to the gym, he wondered why a rental service couldn’t work like the gym: a flat fee for members to use it as much as they wanted with no late fees.

This thought-process led to the creation of Netflix. In May 1998, Hastings offered a free trial to initial adopters of DVDs for $4 rental and $2 postage. Few signed up to pay. However, a year later, he experimented with a flat monthly subscription with no late fees. The tweak worked. By the end of 2000, Netflix boasted 239,000 customers.

The company exploded, but still needed to overcome many hurdles in those early years such as:

–  The dot-com bubble bust.
–  9/11 and the ensuing soft economy.
–  Fierce competition from giants like Amazon, Blockbuster, and Walmart.

Nevertheless, in 2002 Netflix started setting up regional warehouses to speed up DVD distribution and went public after reaching 857,000 members by the end of the year. By 2004, membership ballooned to 2.6 million.

Eventually and not too long ago, Blockbuster went out of business. In retrospect, that Apollo 13 video Hastings rented might be the most expensive video in history.

 

A Daring Visionary

 

 

In 2007, inspired by the rise of YouTube videos, Hastings made a concerted effort to make Netflix into a streaming service. He saw the writing on the proverbial wall, but unfortunately missed a step when it came to execution, and the fall was hard. To this day, many Millennials and Hipsters must shudder when thinking of the disaster, which happened as follows:

Soon after being hailed the 2010 Company of the Year, being the U.S. Postal Service’s biggest customer, and being the largest source of Internet traffic in the evening—Netflix announced it was going to restructure its DVD business as a subsidiary called Qwikster. Customers who had been receiving disks and streaming movies under the same subscription would be forced to buy the services separately with higher prices. This business shift was done to accelerate the transition of Netflix from a company renting DVDs to a streaming service.

The reaction was vastly negative. The company’s stock dropped from its all-time high of $305 the day before to $64 in November of 2011. Close to a million customers cancelled subscriptions.

“I screwed up,” Hastings admitted soon after in a blog post. “If our business is about making people happy, then I made a big mistake. I slid into arrogance based on past success.”

He also called off the plan.

We all know how the story ends, of course (binge-watching reigns supreme). Fast Company called the turnaround “the biggest comeback in entertainment history.” And here we are, with Netflix being one of the most innovating, expanding and successful companies in the world.

 

A Company Culture Visionary

 

 

Beyond good ideas and reputation management, Hastings’ other achievement is creating a “culture of entrepreneurship” in his company. Netflix is notorious for paying and treating its employees well.

As Smith writes in his book, Netflix emphasizes the qualities it seeks in employees upfront in the hiring process:

1. Judgment—You identify root causes and get beyond treating symptoms.
2. Innovation—You keep us nimble by keeping things simple.
3. Impact—You focus on great results, rather than the process.
4. Curiosity—You contribute effectively outside of your specialty.
5. Communication—You listen well so that you understand before reacting.
6. Courage—You make tough decisions without excessive agonizing.
7. Honesty—You only say things about fellow employees you would say to their face.
8. Selflessness—You share information proactively.
9. Passion—You inspire others with your thirst for excellence.

Lastly, Extraordinary People presents real life lessons for all us lesser mortals who never swore revenge on a video store:

–  Imagine your industry in 10 years and work towards that vision.
–  Deliver a high-quality customer experience no matter what. For most companies, that’s a slogan on a wall trumped by political infighting and treating front line workers as the least important.
–  Screen recruits for personality and values, not resume and technical skills. The specifics of a business can be learned by smart outsiders.
–  Don’t be afraid to admit mistakes quickly and learn lessons to prevent future errors.
–  Have a passion for whatever you do—making money is not a sufficient motive to get you through tough times.

 

Conclusion

 

 

Not everyone can be Hastings, and not everyone will work for a company like Netflix. However, everyone can use common sense marketing to find the needs of customers; and every company should understand that treating employees exceptionally more often than not fosters exceptional employees.

Stream that, Blockbuster.

 

New Study Shows College Students Optimistic About Economic Future

Smiling college students during graduation

 

It is said youth is wasted on the young. According to a new qSample study, could it also mean that optimism is wasted on the young?

The answer is probably no, for college students have a focused, sober eye on economic issues and their incoming position in the workplace. Regardless of relatively uncertain economic and political times—that include student debt and soaring tuition—University students are mostly hopeful for their financial future.

The study was conducted using qSample’s college student sample, surveying more than 200 respondents on a range of social and economic topics. We surveyed respondents from our Campus Universe initiative—regularly utilized for varied studies for both academics and businesses.

 

College Student Views on Careers and the Economy

 

 

When asked about the future of the economy, 34% of college students held a positive view. Twenty-eight percent expressed a negative view, with 27% stating they were undecided. When asked how they would fare economically in comparison to their parents, 35% of respondents felt they would do better—with 29% feeling they would do worse and 12% not sure.

When asked about the most important issues of their times, here is how they responded:

1.  The economy/job growth – 29%
2.  Education reform/college debt relief – 25%
3.  Climate change – 23%
4.  Freedom/individual rights -14%
5.  Terrorism – 6%

College students also view the economy as the key issue when it comes to the upcoming presidential election:

1.  The economy – 43%
2.  Racial/equality issues – 26%
3.  National security – 13%
4.  Abortion/reproductive rights – 8%

 

Whatisyourviewontheeconomy

 

College Student and Debt

 

 

One might think that college debt would be more at the forefront of the minds of college students. After all, the study revealed that a majority (25%) would owe between $50,001 and $75,000 once they graduated. Eighteen percent say they will owe less than $25,000 after graduating while 24% claimed they would owe no debt. Ten percent of college students stated they would owe more than $100,000 after graduation.

In a past qSample study, more than 30% of college students anticipated their loans to be paid off in 5-10 years, while 27% were unsure. Sixty-seven percent considered their amount of debt manageable, with the remaining students worried that their debt would become unmanageable amount.

In fact, 31% of participants indicated they worry “all the time” about the amount of debt are incurring while pursuing a higher education. Forty-eight percent of the college students worry “sometimes” and 21% “never” worry about their ability to repay their student loans.

One could surmise that college students are fixated on making enough money to show their debt was an investment. After all, it’s all business after graduation, according to the qSample findings. An overwhelming 71% of college students said their priority after graduation is finding work. Activism, relationship, traveling and other post-university goals all registered below ten percent in interest.

 

College Students and Social Issues

 

 

It’s not all Yuppiedom for college students. These are the rankings on how they would like to be viewed once leaving higher education:

1.  A good moral/ethical person – 37%
2.  Ability to make money – 29%
3.  An activist for social change – 13%
4.  A good spouse – 6%
5.  A social person with close friends – 5%
6.  A good father/mother – 3%

But who do college students look up to as they migrate into the workforce? When it comes to public figures, President Obama comes in first (35%) and Pope Francis in second (17%). All other public figures or celebrities scored less than ten percent, with the exception of Steve Jobs at 11% (who is no longer alive).

As for social media, the below graphic reveals college student attitudes towards social media in relation to society:

Whatisyourviewonsocialmedia

 

Conclusion

 

 

With a mind on money and a positive heart, the research should give hope to the country’s future. Millennials spend $600 million a year in the U.S. alone, with some estimates having them reach $3 billion in a decade as they begin to dominate the workforce. Thus, the economy should be in good hands, unless these graduates are hamstrung with the student debt and not enough salary growth.

 

Please enjoy our infographic below, based on our syndicated research on College Students and Stress:

 

College students and stress

 

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Millennials And Boomers: Two Sides Of The Same Marketing Coin

 

Millennials and Boomers. Two demographics separated by an ocean of time and the icebergs of Generation X. No way in this or any galaxy far away they could be similar.

Think again. Beyond the reality that both groups have a population nearing 77 million, they are oddly very similar. In fact, think hard again since Millennials and Boomers are two powerful consumer groups (as will be shown) whom deciphering could be a millennium boom for marketers.

As a company that manages both Millennial and Boomer panels for online research, we’ve noticed their similarities, and we are not alone.

 

Social Media and Technology

 

 

For starters, it’s no secret that Millennials are the sultans of social media. Yet qSample’s primary research reveals that Boomers are becoming extremely passionate about their Facebook or LinkedIn accounts. They may not dig Snapchat like Millennials, but more than 27 million Boomers possess a social media account (and other data claims that 65% of Boomers have a Facebook account). When it comes to smartphones, Millennials win this game, as approximately 85% own a mobile device (only 47% of Baby Boomers own a smartphone, but they’re catching up).

 

diblert comic strip

 

Someone who has extensively analyzed both Millennials and Boomers is Sara Bamossy, a strategic planning director for Saatchi & Saatchi LA. She explains, “Both generations value technology. Sure there’s been a delay in Boomers adapting, but they are.”

The difference, according to Bamossy, is that Boomers are more careful and less organic when it comes to technology, but in the end just as embracing.

 

Social Issues and Transformation

 

 

Where Millennials and Boomers truly connect is in their altruism. Yes, both generations are lambasted for being egotistical, hence the titles of the “Me” and “Selfie” generations. That’s more of a myth, though. Our research has shown that Baby Boomers are extremely socially-conscious. As an illustration, 89% of Baby Boomers want to improve energy dependence while 84% feel it’s important to use green energy. As we’ve also reported, Millennials are just as socially-conscious, to the point it deeply influences their buying decisions.

Here is more information on Boomers and green technology:

boomers & green4

Beyond our data, here are some other similarities between Millennials and Boomers:

–  Both are deeply informed by the opinions of their family and friends (unlike Gen Xers, who just don’t care).
–  Both are loyal to the brands of their parents or family.
–  Both tend to be frugal, enjoying the thrill of bargain hunting and showrooming.

As for politics and civics, Millennials and Boomers are somewhat different (beyond the fact that one demographic looks like Bernie Sanders while the other supports him). This chart from the National Conference of Citizenship offers their differences when it comes to civic engagement:

 

millennial baby boomer political engagement

 

Why The Similarities?

 

 

One could draw parallels of Millennials and Boomers from the societal events in their respective times:

–  Both grew up in strong economic times (the 50s for Boomers, early 2000s for Millennials).
–  Both grew up during questionable wars and shadowy enemies (Vietnam War/Communism for Boomers, the Iraq War/Terrorism for Millennials).
–  Both face seemingly corrupt governments and financial institutions (too many to mention here).
–  Both, for some reason, possess nicknames that originate with the counterculture movement of underground Jazz and drugs, the beatnik worlds of Kerouac and Ginsberg (Hippy for Boomers and Hipster for Millennials). Yet both have a strong tendency to act more like Yuppies when it comes to careers.

These reasons are just speculation. In the end, this is subject for anthropologists and social scientists. When it comes to marketing research, what is most relevant is that both Millennials and Boomers are powerful consumer blocs. Boomers annually spend $3 trillion in the U.S. alone, while Millennials spend $600 million (but some estimates have them matching Boomers within the next decade). Both groups dominate 70% of disposable income.

 

Conclusion

 

 

Perhaps it would be wise for qualitative researchers to find out why Boomers and Millennials are similar in their spending habits. This would go a long way in streamlining marketing efforts, provide rich Venn Diagrams that could save budgets in advertising campaigns.

Hopefully, as the world caters to the dollars of Millennials and Boomers, someone will leave Gen Xers with some crumbs, like a few Nirvana albums or plaid shirts.

 

All About Millennials

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How Virtual Reality Is Transforming Market Research

 

Certain trends seem to surge and sputter, and then surge and sputter. Two examples might be 3D movies and Ska. The most recent instance is virtual reality, which surged at times in the 90s and 2000s but then sputtered without adhering to mass culture. Virtual reality is back again, with somewhat of a vengeance, highlighted by such technologies as Facebook’s Oculus and Samsung’s Gear VR.

Will virtual reality stick this time? Only time will tell, but it’s already influencing market research and could potentially inform survey research.

In a GreenBook article, editor-in-chief Leonard Murphy makes a strong case that virtual reality is now valuable for market research. Some companies are presently investing heavily on its benefits. Murphy’s findings are largely based on research by Rutgers, and here are his main takeaways:

Approximately 70% of brand decisions occur when consumers are already inside a store. Many consumers wait until the last minute to make a decision. Therefore, no amount of market research preparation can fully overcome the mentioned percentage, except for virtual reality, which can simulate buyer’s journeys in a store in real-time and in-depth behavior.

–  Virtual reality seamlessly incorporates into already-proven technologies like eye tracking and heat maps, in order to gain a comprehensive view of the consumer subconscious desires. As an example, Cadbury has combined these technologies with virtual reality to decipher product shelf placing.
–  In virtual reality shopper simulation, multiple scenarios can be executed. This ultimately may be cost effective for businesses in research projects.
–  Virtual reality focus groups cost 50% less than traditional focus groups, and yield the same accuracy of data.

The pixel-sky is the limit. Virtual reality can be employed beyond just the shopping experience— such as new product concept testing, customer experience model testing and restaurant menu optimization/pricing.

Contrary to some market research Luddites, it should be mentioned that being placed in a virtual world (or The Matrix) is not detrimental to providing accurate responses. As a recent report from a market research company explained, nearly a quarter of consumers feel that virtual interactions are as good as “being there.” The numbers are higher for millennials. Thus, the future implies that virtual scenarios do not pose a problem for researchers.

Nevertheless, could virtual reality pertain to quantitative research? Of course. Google Glass may have been a failure, but it taught that individuals are capable of inputting data while simultaneously interacting with the “real world.” Questionnaires, then, can flash before respondents in virtual settings and completed in real-time. Moreover, the trending issue with widespread consumer rejection of surveys (which we reported on) could also be solved as surveys become far more entertaining and engaging at the same time.

Virtual reality surveys are basically an actual reality, as seen by this graphic from the Lieberman Research Institute:

virtual reality in online surveys

Again, the pixel-sky is the limit. The question remains on whether virtual reality will remain as more than an ephemeral fashion. One figure who is publicly skeptic about virtual reality is computer genius and tech entrepreneur Walter O’Brien (television show Scorpion is based on him). During a recent interview on the Tim Ferris podcast, O’Brien bemoaned the fact that virtual reality has not evolved that much from its 90s incarnation. The technology still needs much more of a “wow” factor, according to him.

Even the buzz on virtual reality appears nonexistent, perhaps due to the past incarnations of the technology. As recent Horizon Media study found that two-thirds of Americans are either unaware of uncaring about having virtual reality.

Following the money trail says otherwise, though. As Murphy explains in the GreenBook article, virtual reality is estimated to generate $30 billion in revenues by 2020. Much of this is due to the increasing reliance of market research projects for this technology.

In essence, market research has time to embrace virtual reality, and those in survey research can get excited at presenting some exciting surveys that improve overall data quality.

Even Ska could be played in the background…

The Train Wreck Reason Trump And Sanders Are So Insanely Popular

Smoky train crash with Sanders and Trump floating in smoke

 

As the political primaries heat up, little doubt exists on the public’s captivation with presidential candidates Donald Trump (Republican) and Bernie Sanders (Democrat). Trump has kindled a feverish right-wing populism never seen before in this nation, while Sanders “berns” the passion of millennials and staunch progressives. Although both individuals are galaxies apart in their ideology, a major reason for their attention is shared in a quality as American as apple pie:

The love for the outlaw and antihero.

How could this be? After all, the two candidates are as establishment as one can get. Trump is a seasoned businessperson entrenched in extroverted capitalism; Sanders is a senator with decades of political experience in Washington DC. Perception is reality, though, and the reality is that the two men have carefully marketed themselves as unadulterated outsiders. It makes sense. According to Gallup, 65% of Americans are dissatisfied with the government—the highest rate ever polled.

However, simply branding oneself as antiestablishment would make a Tea Party darling like Ted Cruz a shoe in for the Republican candidacy. The same could be said for any Libertarian/Green candidate out there. That hasn’t happened.

It has to be more than the current bad political mood of voters, then. Trump and Sanders aren’t just perceived as foreigners to politics as usual, but outlaws and antiheroes in all their romance, as will be demonstrated.

 

What do you mean by outlaws and antiheroes?

 

 

By outlaw, I don’t mean a criminal—but certainly an individual that stands on the fringes of societal norms, near the borders of amoral deserts. America was founded on gritty pioneers and explorers, wily figures that forged their way to new frontiers at any cost, legal or illegal. In the bestselling book, Everyone Loves a Train Wreck, Eric Wilson describes our infatuation for the outlaw:

Think of our vexed cultural relationship to the cowboy. We might disapprove of his lawless gun slinging and Indian killing, but we laud his indifference to the East Coast status quo and his fearless trekking into the Western wilds.

The outlaw, in all of his or her dangerous curiosity and individualism, is just an archetype that Americans relate to, even if they don’t consciously embrace. Furthermore, knowing that the outlaw’s ending will likely be memorable (but perhaps not positive) arrests our attention…like stopping to see a train wreck. Edward Snowden or your classic country music protagonist are two obvious American examples. This reminds me of a quote by Tom Robbins, “Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules.”

Then there is the antihero. Medical Daily defines the antihero as “Someone who straddles the line between deviant morality and a justified cause, reminding us of the flaws inherent in our own behavior.”

The attraction is easy to see: We simultaneously escape and test our moral principles through the narrative of the antihero. It’s cathartic and educational at the same time. We project our darkest desires onto the antihero in order to reflect upon them. We love their shooting from the hip, their bravado, and their continual emigration from constricting community constructs. As illustrations, one just has to think of Walter White in Breaking Bad or Don Draper in Mad Men.

 

But does all of this apply to Trump and Sanders?

 

 

With Trump, it seems obvious. His career has been one of taming cattle in the Wild West that is the real estate world and verbal gun fighting in corporate boardrooms. His policies tap into the dark corners of many voters’ psyches: the concern with immigration, the fear of terrorism, the seemingly dusk of an empire. Thus, in a deeply symbolical way, Trump is both an outlaw and antihero. His political incorrectness is liberating for many in a social media inquisition climate, while his policies are purgative to others.

What about Sanders? How can an affable, patriotic and polite senior citizen fall outside the rubric of the mainstream? Ironically, an anti-American quality makes him so American in his outlaw and antihero characteristics: socialism. Sanders heavily leans towards socialistic policies; and according to a Gallup poll socialism is the least popular quality of any political candidate (50% of voters say they would not vote for a socialist). That makes him an outlaw of sorts, an antihero to the American consciousness—and of course attractive to younger, more rebellious demographics.

Also, Sanders’ message and persona harken to some of the classic fringe elements of recent American history: the hippie, the beatnik, the pacifist. He is an individual who also wants to bring more European elements to government (importing Danish economics, for example), just as the original explorers brought European elements to North America. Despite his calm reputation, Sanders, like Trump, is notorious for shouting down those who confront him publicly (even constituents). Lastly, his campaign has made a huge effort in leveraging perhaps the most lawless and perilous frontier today: the internet.

 

Conclusion

 

 

Machiavelli famously mused on whether an individual benefited more from being loved or hated. In these short-attention-span, information-overload times, I would say that fascination is the ultimate benefit. Fascination earns zealous attention without needing the soul-commitment of either love or hate. Trump and Sanders are swimming in oceans of fascination, partly because of the uniting streams of American folklore and psychology. This means that many enthusiasts assume their candidacies will end in a train wreck, with more establishment candidates taking the party nominations.

Regardless, the outlaw and antihero motifs have served Trump and Sanders well. They served past candidates such as Obama or Reagan, both who early in their candidacies branded themselves as outsiders ready to gun duel established government systems. Neither Obama nor Reagan was as radical as Trump or Sanders, mind you. Yet these are radical times when a restless electorate seeks more for a gun-slinging attitude than an apple pie mentality.

 

qSample VOTER PANEL