Tag Archives: millennials

Food For Thought: How Millennials Are Changing The Food Industry

Food, and what consumers expect from food manufacturers and grocery stores, is evolving. Case in point: after almost a decade of discussion, the FDA is now requiring restaurants and food chains with 20 or more locations to post calorie counts. One loud voice leading this charge is the millennial generation. Here are 4 ways millennials are changing the way we eat.

EASY MEALS

Millennials are looking for convenience when it comes to buying food, according to the International Food Information Council. A recent report by Alliance Bernstein found that two-thirds of millennials purchase prepared foods from some sort of service every week. Meal kits are no longer limited to subscription services like Blue Apron, however. Grocery stores have jumped on the trend in hopes of retaining millennial customers, partnering with brands like Campbell’s, Barilla and Ro-Tel to offer fresh, easy meals.

HEALTHY EATING

Millennials care about their health, and their meals reflect this. However, their definition of healthy may be different from that of past generations. They’re not necessarily looking for low-fat, low-cal, or low-carb. Instead, you may hear them talk about food that is organic, natural, locally sourced, or sustainable. Which leads us to…

TRANSPARENCY

Consumers are telling food manufacturers what they want, and what they want is transparency. Millennials have been demanding manufacturers show exactly what ingredients and sources create our food by including more informative food labels. In fact, 37% said they are willing to switch brands if their current brand does not provide them with the product information they seek. Intelligent brands who know fostering a relationship with the generation will be beneficial are prioritizing food transparency.

PICKUP OR DELIVERY?

Millennials are skipping traditional grocery stores or spending less on groceriesthan in the past. Stores are evolving their services in an attempt to gain millennials business. Kroger and Walmart, among others, now offer customers the option to order groceries online and then pick them up at their convenience. Customers don’t even have to get out of their cars—workers will load up their groceries for them.

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 22 million active respondents, who are strategically recruited to participate in quantitative research and live discussions. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research. With industry knowledge and innovative tools, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. Contact for your next research project.

2018 Home Renovation Report: Homeowner Trends, Spending and Priority Projects

renovation

Just as fall signals football and cider mills, spring brings the home renovation projects that were set aside for the winter. QuestionPro Audience conducted a survey with 500 homeowners across the United States to gauge homeowner trends, future renovation plans and spending habits for spring 2018. To view our infographic with full report findings, click here.

CURRENT ECONOMIC OUTLOOK

Overall, U.S. homeowners are optimistic about the next twelve months. 60% of homeowners take the state of the economy into consideration before making renovation plans, and 61% feel confident the economy is improving. Additionally, 55% of our respondents think home values will increase as well over the next year. While President Trump can be a controversial topic, only 28% report taking the presidential administration into consideration before making home improvement plans.

FUTURE HOME RENOVATION SPENDING

Homeowners look to be encouraged by today’s stronger housing market, and are making investments in their homes. 55% of homeowners plan to conduct at least one renovation over the next twelve months, up from the 38% who have previously performed improvements. 41% of respondents are initiating a home improvement project to improve their quality of living, while 17% are looking to increase the value of their home, but don’t have current plans to sell, and 16% want a “new look”.

Homeowners are also tackling bigger, more expensive projects this year—15% are planning to remodel their kitchen this year, 13% plan to update a bathroom, and 9% are looking to revamp the bedroom. 42% plan to spend between $3,000 and $10,000 on their upcoming renovation, up 6% from last year. A bit of good news for contractors: 61% plan to hire a professional for their upcoming project, compared to 59% who hired a professional for their past project. 49% of respondents plan to pay with cash or savings, 17% will put it on a credit card, 14% will use financing, 10% plan to use a home equity loan, and 8% are counting on their tax return to finance their project.

MILLENNIALS VS. BABY BOOMERS: WHO IS SPENDING ON HOME IMPROVEMENT?

Baby Boomers and millennials have at least one thing in common when it comes to conducting home projects: 61% of both baby boomers and millennials plan to perform at least one improvement over the next twelve months. That may be where the similarities end, however. The majority of millennials (35%) plan to spend between $1,000-$2,999, while 31% of baby boomers will be spending between $5,000-$9,999. Baby boomers will primarily be paying with cash (67%), financing (13%), or taking out a home equity loan (7%). Millennials will also be paying with cash (42%), but 19% plan to use one or more credit card.

Millennials are focused on renovating their kitchen (14%), bathroom (10%), and living room (9%), while 23% of baby boomers will be updating their bathroom, kitchen (19%), or replacing windows (9%). The majority of both age groups will be hiring a professional to do the work, but 39% of millennials plan to conduct the renovation themself, compared to 27% of baby boomers. Millennial respondents get a sense of satisfaction from performing the work themselves (40%), while baby boomers are more focused on keeping the project cost effective (59%). Baby boomer DIY-ers are also very specific about where they purchase their materials, with 85% shopping at building supply stores such as Home Depot, Lowe’s or Menards, hardware stores like Ace Hardware or True Value (8%) or Walmart (8%). Millennials also shop at supply stores (64%), Walmart (14%), and hardware stores (7%), but they frequent warehouse clubs like Costco or Sam’s Club (7%) and high-end specialty stores like Kohler (4%) as well.

WOMEN TAKING CHARGE OF HOME PROJECTS

While home improvement has stereotypically been thought of as a male-dominated industry, women are picking up power tools and narrowing the margins. Of our respondents, 55% of women are planning to conduct a home improvement project over the next twelve months, compared to 57% of men. The majority of men (33%) intend to spend between $5,000 and $9,999, while 29% of women are looking to spend $1,000-$2,999. Cash is king for women funding their project; 54% of women are using cash, whereas men will be using cash (40%) or financing (21%). The genders are focused on improving different areas of the house as well; men will be remodeling the bathroom, while women plan to update the kitchen.

The majority of both sexes—63% of women and 58% of men—intend to hire a professional for their upcoming project. 56% of women feel they do not have the skills or equipment necessary for their planned project, while men value the expertise that comes with hiring a professional (47%). Another dissimilarity between the genders is how they find professionals to hire. Women prefer to ask a friend for a referral (40%), look on a review website such as Yelp.com (18%), or ask a contractor for a referral (17%). Men also ask friends for referrals (30%), but would rather use a search engine like Google.com (24%), or look on Yellowpages.com (21%).

The motivated women who plan to DIY prefer it because it gives them a sense of personal satisfaction (41%), whereas DIY men like that it’s more cost effective (53%). The majority of both men (74%) and women (75%) plan to purchase materials at a building supply store like Menards, Home Depot or Lowe’s, but that’s where the congruity ends. 10% of men intend to shop at Sears or IKEA (6%), while women will head to warehouse clubs like Costco (8%) or Walmart (8%).

THE YEAR AHEAD

The current housing market inventory is very competitive, so it is logical that many homeowners are choosing to invest in remodeling their current home, rather than get into a bidding war. Additionally, with the economy and housing market more stable, homeowners now have more income—and equity—so they’re making renovations to create their dream homes. Our study found that the majority of homeowners are focusing on discretionary projects such as kitchens and bathrooms, which may have been put off after the housing crisis. Judging from our report, it looks like 2018 will be a profitable year for homeowners, contractors, and material suppliers alike.

Download the full infographic report here.

Millennials Are Saying Sayonara to the Big Beer Industry

Millennials are saying sayonara to the big beer industry. Core big domestic beer brands like Budweiser, Miller, and Coors were down 3% in 2017, and have been declining every year since 2011. In fact, for the first time since the 1970s, Budweiser has fallen out of the top 3 best-selling beers. While millennials are passing on big beer brands such as Budweiser, that doesn’t mean they’re drinking less. We take a look into why millennials are moving away from big beer, where they’re headed, and what it means for the future.

WINE-NOT?

Wine used to be considered the go-to drink for a stuffy adult dinner party. Not anymore. According to a new by Wine Market Council, millennials drink 42% of the wine in the U.S., even though they comprise only one-quarter of adults over 21 in the U.S. It’s hip, comes in cans, boxes and single serving packages, and millennials love the variety and ease.

CRAFTY BEER

A study of 10,000 drinkers in the U.S. found that 57% of millennials are weekly craft beer drinkers. Domestic beer brand sales have been declining since 2011, which is when craft beer sales grew by an unprecedented 17.9%. Why is this generation so passionate about craft beer? Millennials are very value-conscious, and want to support brands they trust and relate to. Compared to craft beer’s small breweries, the big brands feel inauthentic and corporate.

ROSÉ ALL DAY

The light pink wine is definitely having a moment, thanks to millennials. Rosé reached a valuation of $389 million last year, and grew by 53% over 52 weeks. While consumers purchase rose year-round, rosé outpaces all other wines as consumer’s drink of choice for the summer.

MILLENNIALS, PART II

MillerCoors is focusing on a new demographic that’s younger than millennials, but old enough to legally drink. The 21-to 24-year-old targets are technically part of the millennial generation, but MillerCoors says there are big differences between millennials and this new generation. “There’s just this more openness versus what we’ve seen with millennials,” said Sofia Colucci, senior director of innovation at MillerCoors. “They’re curious and while they’re pragmatic, they still have this genuine openness to discovering and trying new things.”

THE FUTURE WITH GEN Z

A report from Berenberg Research suggests that Generation Z will continue to drive the beer slump down even further. In the study of 6,000 people ages 16-22 across the U.S., they found that Gen Z is drinking 20% less alcohol than the generations before it, and the first generation to prefer spirits to beer. The report says they gravitate toward wine and liquor because they view them as quality products, while beer is seen as inauthentic and unappealing.

QuestionPro Audience provides our clients with access to more than 22 million active respondents, including Millennials, who are strategically recruited to participate in quantitative research and live discussions. By implementing various recruitment methodologies, we make sure to provide the right kinds of respondents for your research. With industry knowledge and innovative tools, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients. Contact us for your next research project: sample-projects@questionpro.com

 

Inside the Mind of the Millennial Pet Owner

pet owners-millennials

Do you consider your pet to be part of your family? Or even, your “fur child”? Then you’re in good company. It’s no secret that millennials are putting off marriage and starting families later in life, and that may be in part due to their “starter children”. A recent study conducted by Gale found that 44% of millennials see their pets as “practice” for the real thing, with 21% citing that as the main reason for getting a pet, and 23% saying it was at least partially the reason. In an industry that topped $66.75 billion in 2016, millennials own more than 35% of pets in the U.S., according to the American Pet Products Association. Pet brands are realizing this demographic has been largely untapped thus far, and are conducting research to gain insight into the buying habits of the Millennial pet owner. We break it down below.

BRAND INTEGRITY Millennial pet owners are more conscientious when making purchases for their furry loved one than other generations. 86% of millennials prefer to buy items at smaller, locally-owned pet shops, and 73% are willing to splurge on a product if the company shows that they are giving back to the community in some way.  

QUALITY 68% of millennial pet owners report reading the nutrition labels on pet treats and foods. They expect high quality products for their pets, and are willing to pay more for it.  According to a report from Wakefield, 81% of millennials say BPA-free is essential in pet products. Furthermore, 78% say natural or organic materials are crucial, and 77% say the same for hypoallergenic shampoo.

VET GUIDANCE At $15.95 billion, veterinary care was the second largest category, behind pet food ($28.23 billion), of the $66.75 billion Americans spent on pets in 2016. Pet owners in the 18-39 age group are far more likely to depend on their veterinarian for advice about pet products. They are also more likely to use veterinary products and visits preventatively, rather than just treatment.

SPLURGING Studies show that 76% of millennials are more likely to splurge on an item for their pet than they would for themselves, including for expensive treats (44%) or a custom bed (38%). They will purchase discretionary products or services under the guise that they are nondiscretionary. Services such as dog walking or pet daycare are seen as essential, and these owners are more likely to cut something out for themselves than limit their pet.  

QuestionPro Audience has more than 10 niche panels, including our veterinarian panel. Our vet panel is one of a handful in the continental U.S. and consists of more than 40,000 highly engaged, pre-screened veterinarians who provide critical insights. With industry knowledge, innovative tools, and purchasing power, QuestionPro Audience always meets the rigorous demands of our clients.

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.