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Young Adult | Generation Y marketing
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Getting to Know Generation Y

Get ready for a new generation of consumers: Generation Y. More than 60 million youngsters range from elementary school students to young adults in their early 20s. We love to name groups...and this group has attracted names such as Echo Boomers, Millennials, Gen Tech and Baby Boomlet.

60 million is a big group!

Trend House, a marketing and design consultancy in New York City anticipates that this group will have more discretionary income than earlier generations. A Harris Interactive online study found that young shoppers spend like this:

  • 8-21 years old are spending at a rate of $170 billion in 2003 .
  • Preteens between ages 8-12 will spend about $946 per capita this year.
  • Teens will spend about $3,309. Young adults between 20-21 will spend $7,390 per person
Who are the Generation Y consumers?

  • Sophisticated shoppers who are particular about which brands they purchase.
  • The are very good shoppers -- with an eye for value.
  • They do a lot of research before they buy.
  • They have a style all their own.
  • They are optimistic, pragmatic and enjoy working together in groups.
  • They are high-tech, mobile, novelty oriented and very independent and confident group.
  • They also have a traditional side.
  • A majority say they believe in God. They are idealistic.
  • They enjoy knitting, scrapbooking and other crafts. Hands-on stuff is really interesting for them.
  • They, like generations before them, are coming into their own, discovering who they are and want to express themselves.
  • They express themselves by decorating their living space.
  • 23% of Gen Yers are homeowners and that number is expectd too increase every year as more members graduate college and enter the workforce.

    Traditionally those under 30 put off buying homes until they are married -- not this new generation.

    Consider establishing an advisory group of teens to give ideas and rate products. Look at teen magazines and Web sites. Know your competition -- check what the big stores are doing.

  • Ask: Where do you shop?
  • What things do you like?
  • Where do you like to go?
  • Know your customer and do your research.

Build a relationship with these no-nonsense, give-it-to-me-straight approach to advertising. They like the warmth of relationships and this is something small retailers can excel at.

Offer how-to information to both current customers and younger buyers. Post a sign that invites your customer to bring their problems for review.

  • Send newsletters
  • Provide special showings.
  • Offer classes
  • Create special interest sections (by age)
  • Customize merchandise
  • Listen.
  • Get them involved.
From "Marketing to Generation Y" in Country Business Journal, January 2004