4 Ways Millennials Have Transformed the Consumer Landscape

By Stacy DeBroff

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From their constant immersion in social media to their deepening reliance on friends and family, Millennials have put their own stamp on the consumer landscape. As this rising generation of Americans in their post-college 20s and early 30s continues to gain purchasing power, they do so with their own blend of digital fluency and experiential engagement.

Influence Central recently conducted an in-depth research study of 1,100 American Millennial Women to get a deeper understanding of what influences this generation as consumers and the effect they have had on the marketplace. As nearly 60% of Millennials consider themselves very engaged in consumerism and pop culture, we’ve identified four ways Millennials have transformed modern consumerism:

1. Millennials See Products as Experiences

For Millennials, products have a far deeper meaning than the actual item – whether it’s a new tote bag, living room sofa, or hiking boots. They see products as a personal experience and as a way to define themselves. More than 80% put a lot of thought into what they buy to make sure they make the best choices.

2. Millennials Share Product Insights to Offer Up Their Personal Take

As part of viewing products as lifestyle choices or experiences, Millennials also have a different take on product recommendations. They focus more on sharing their views on products while in the moment and think of it as sharing a lifestyle recommendation offered up from their specific take on a product. Nearly 60% of Millennials make these recommendations to others to share highly positive or negative experiences.

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3. Millennials View Opinion-Gathering as the Norm

Consumerism surrounds this generation – they seek out insight both online and offline, poll their friends and family for their take on new products or services, and set out on explorations that influence their consumer behavior. Nearly 90% of Millennials trust recommendations from friends, peers, or family members more than from brands, and 87% say that they trust products after gathering research insights from friends.

4. Millennials Want to Own Their Personal Choices

Even though Millennials proactively seek out opinions from friends, 53% see themselves as independent thinkers. As such, they want the opportunity to make their own decisions about what they like and don’t like. For example, 1 in 2 Millennials say that reading a bad review about a restaurant or retail shop wouldn’t deter them from visiting.

To listen to a recent Influence Central Webinar on Millennials, click on the following audio and slide links:



Stacy DeBroff, founder and CEO of Influence Central, is a social media strategist, attorney, and best-selling author. A frequent national and international speaker, she consults with brands on consumer and social media trends. You can reach her at [email protected]

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