Gen Ys: Peter Pans Who Refuse To Grow Up (& Why It’s Bad News For Marketers)

Gen Ys: Peter Pans Who Refuse To Grow Up (& Why It’s Bad News For Marketers)
SHARE
THIS



Next in their series of marketing to Gen Ys, B&T’s regular guest posters, Brian Mitchell (PhD) and Evan Mitchell, the directors of Love & Wine and founders of Gen Y brand specialists HOW&Y (howandy.net),argue the Millennials don’t want to grow up and it’s bad news for business…

For most of human history the concept of adolescence didn’t even exist. So in the grand scheme of things, Gen Y is very much an aberration.

From prehistoric times through to the “Greatest Generation”, a period of angst-ridden self-exploration just didn’t fit with reality.

Responsibilities were forced onto young shoulders barely out of childhood – whether slaughtering mastodons to feed the tribe, or surviving two World Wars, and providing for a family in the Great Depression in between.

It’s only with (relative) peace and prosperity that youthful self-indulgence can be seriously indulged.

Social psychologists observed this transitional state with Boomers and Gen X. They termed it “youth”. A brief period – typically dominated by further study and some traipsing around ashrams – before donning the mantles of maturity and responsibility.

With Millennials, however, what started as a Gap Year has extended well beyond a decade. Every analysis of this generation finds one enduring consistency – they stay younger for longer – calling for the coining of terms like “kidult”, “adultlescent” and “rejuvenile.”

How could such a significant generational, psychological change NOT have ramifications for business? And for certain categories distinctly more than others.

While consulting to the wine industry, addressing the disconnect between Gen Y and wine, we constantly encountered the laisse faire and extremely dangerous attitude – “their tastes will eventually just grow into wine.” Because that’s what had always happened with previous generations. Well, those who were saying it are saying it still, and watching while those tastes don’t mature. And the greater risk isn’t even that waiting game, though that’s fraught enough with lost sales by the day, week, month and year. The greater risk is, stuck in a perpetual palate-adolescence, whether a majority of those consumers will ever mature, or be lost to wine forever.

Wine is not unique here, nor uniquely vulnerable.

A whole swathe of service providers – from every stamp of insurance through to banking and financial advice and planning – have long been able to rely on the inevitable onset of maturity and responsibility. And with it, appreciation of the assurance and peace of mind that comes from looking ahead.

To continue the same assumption for Gen Y would be risky to say the least. This generation chooses to stay longer in the present.

Even worse, for those selling protection and soundness of mind, a dominant characteristic of Gen Y is “omnipotentiality” – simply expressed as I can be/do anything. The implications of this generational mindset can be perilous. The sense of rose-tinted, high-flying optimism it engenders, flies in the face of traditional, cautionary advertising themes.

“There-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I” brand messages just don’t cut it.

This presents a two-fold problem. These seemingly logical likely consumers may not even perceive the relevance of such protection to themselves. And worse, if the message that attempts to persuade them strikes the wrong chord, it’ll serve to alienate them instead. And with Gen Y this kind of instinctive rejection can damn a brand permanently.

Of course there’s a serious upside for those organisations who can thread the needle with this demographic. Getting the message and delivery right means stealing a huge march on competitors, both in terms of immediate incremental business, and the opportunity to maintain these consumers within the brand for other products or services.

Peter Pan didn’t want to grow up until it was too late. With this Peter Pan generation, it pays to get the balance right between opportunity and strategy – or suffer the same fate.

 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

“Young Talent Need Time For More ‘Blue Sky’ Thinking”: NewsMediaWorks CEO
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Technology

“Young Talent Need Time For More ‘Blue Sky’ Thinking”: NewsMediaWorks CEO

NewsMediaWorks has come on board once again to sponsor B&T’s 30 Under 30 Awards, and we caught up recently with CEO Peter Miller (pictured above) to talk all about young talent in the industry, and what can be done better to foster and preserve it. Why has NewsMediaWorks decided to partner with the 30 Under […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Readers Look Twice As Victoria Beckham Looks Starkers In Latest Vogue Cover
  • Media

Readers Look Twice As Victoria Beckham Looks Starkers In Latest Vogue Cover

Despite saying she was too old to do magazine covers anymore, 43-year-old Victoria Beckham has done yet another magazine cover, this time for the Spanish edition of fashion bible Vogue. Proving she may well have found the elixir of youth, the former Spice Girl stuns in a beige bodysuit that, on first glance, actually makes the […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
H&M Racist “Monkey” Hoodies Now Selling For $2500 On eBay
  • Marketing

H&M Racist “Monkey” Hoodies Now Selling For $2500 On eBay

H&M’s now infamous “coolest monkey in the jungle” kid’s hoodie is now selling on eBay for a reported $2500 following its global notoriety. Last week the budget fashion chain made world headlines when it showed a young lad of African origins modelling the jumper in an online campaign for its UK outlets. There was universal […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Former News Corp Corporate Affairs Chief Joins Seven West Media
  • Media

Former News Corp Corporate Affairs Chief Joins Seven West Media

Seven West Media (SWM) may have found a replacement for its recently-departed corporate affairs boss Simon Francis. Stephen Browning, who was previously News Corp’s corporate affairs chief, is now working as a communications consultant at SWM, according to The Australian. It’s understood that SWM chief executive Tim Worner will work closely with Browning in the […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Bohemia Hires Rebecca Hamilton As Media Director
  • Advertising
  • Media

Bohemia Hires Rebecca Hamilton As Media Director

M&C Saatchi Group-owned media agency Bohemia has announced the appointment of Rebecca Hamilton as its media director to lead the Freedom Furniture and Michael Hill accounts. Hamilton joins Bohemia from Disney Theatrical Productions, where she played an integral role in the success of The Lion King and Aladdin the Musical. Prior to that, Hamilton was […]

Zenith’s Shaun Harmor Joins Posterscope As Group Business Director
  • Advertising
  • Media

Zenith’s Shaun Harmor Joins Posterscope As Group Business Director

Out-of-home agency Posterscope has announced it has welcomed Shaun Harmor to its Melbourne team as group business director. Reporting to national general manager David Campbell, Harmor joins Posterscope’s national leadership team and assumes responsibility for driving the pioneering and service delivery in the Melbourne market. With an investment and trading background across a number of […]

Compare The Market Hires New Chief Marketing Officer
  • Marketing

Compare The Market Hires New Chief Marketing Officer

Finance comparison website Compare the Market has announced the appointment of Jenny Williams as its chief marketing officer. Williams brings with her more than 30 years’ experience in technology-driven marketing to the role, and is well-known for her digital expertise. She joins Compare the Market from Ideagarden, where he led brand, digital and marketing transformations. […]

Emirates Tells Travellers ‘Don’t Upgrade Your Seat, Upgrade Your Airline’ In Funny New Ads
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Emirates Tells Travellers ‘Don’t Upgrade Your Seat, Upgrade Your Airline’ In Funny New Ads

Emirates has released its latest marketing campaign to promote travel on its award-winning Economy class. Emirates’ latest ads feature a series of characters who try to wrangle a seat upgrade at an unnamed airline’s check-in counter. Each spot ends with the ultimate tip for travellers: “Don’t upgrade your seat, upgrade your airline. Fly Emirates.” Seasoned […]

Victorian Government Launches VR Bushfire Experience Via The Fuel Agency
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

Victorian Government Launches VR Bushfire Experience Via The Fuel Agency

As part of its summer fire campaign, the Victorian government has launched a virtual reality (VR) bushfire experience and content series via The Fuel Agency. The VR experience places the user in the midst of a large bushfire, and is designed to encourage people to leave early on high-risk days before it’s too late. The […]

Local Ad Tech Company VeNA Partners With RugbyPass
  • Advertising
  • Media
  • Technology

Local Ad Tech Company VeNA Partners With RugbyPass

ad tech company VeNA has signed an exclusive reseller partnership covering Australia and New Zealand with digital rugby network RugbyPass. Across Asia and parts of Europe, RugbyPass is the exclusive digital rights holder and over-the-top broadcaster for live rugby, including the Super Rugby, the Rugby Championship and autumn internationals, the Six Nations, the Aviva Premiership, […]

SpotX Appoints Gavin Buxton As Asia MD
  • Advertising

SpotX Appoints Gavin Buxton As Asia MD

Video advertising platform SpotX has announced it has appointed Gavin Buxton as managing director of Asia to lead the company’s expansion in the region. Buxton has over 17 years’ global experience in the digital advertising space, having worked in leadership roles at tech and publishing companies, including Microsoft, Turner Broadcasting, and LinkedIn, with the last […]

Big Mobile Doubles Down On Ad Tech & Rebrands
  • Advertising
  • Technology

Big Mobile Doubles Down On Ad Tech & Rebrands

B&T Awards 2017 finalist Big Mobile has unveiled a fresh look to reflect its new ad tech credentials. The company successfully pivoted its business from ad network to mobile ad tech vendor when it announced a joint venture (JV) with Widespace in October last year. As a result of the business changes, Big Mobile wanted […]

March One Appoints New Senior Account Manager
  • Advertising

March One Appoints New Senior Account Manager

Independent ad agency March One has appointed a fresh face to the team, with Melanie Tozer to reinforce its mission to put humans first as a senior account manager. Tozer (pictured above), an up-and-coming talent from New Zealand, will align her extensive experience in FMCG marketing with March One, having worked on accounts for Bunnings […]

What To Expect From The App Economy In 2018
  • Opinion
  • Technology

What To Expect From The App Economy In 2018

Here's an insightful, authoritative synopsis of the app economy. So, you're right, it wasn't written by a B&T journo.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine