Self Expression Fueled By Consumerism

As millennials start forming a bulk of the current workforce, their influence in the products/services available in the market is far ranging. In order to understand their consumption patterns, it’s important to understand the choices they make and the impact these choices have in how they spend their money.

The millennials, like everyone else use their choices as means of self expression. Here are three buckets of how they are expressing themselves.


I AM DIFFERENT
This is a statement we make by the product/service/lifestyle we choose to adopt. Today, more than ever we have the choice to customize our lives according to our tastes and preferences. It is this power of choices that establishes our arrival. Veganism is now a lifestyle, while on the other hand individuals from traditional vegetarian families decide to opt away and consume meat. More people have developed an environmental conscience, while an equal majority of “outdoorsy” individuals continue buying SUVs. Broadly the statement everyone seems to be making goes something like this: “I know the individual I want to be, and I will make sure the world sees me like that.”
WE ARE EFFORTLESSLY SUCCESSFUL
No one wants to be seen as someone who “tries too hard”. The decline for traditional formal wear and rise of casual in work place is a testament to this. Why wear a shirt and pant if I can do the same job in my jeans? Asking someone out is not a long drawn process but a simple swipe of fingers-here are five of my best photos, if you like them, let’s go on a date. “Not try to hard” has already started influencing how advertising works. Native advertising that effortlessly blends with the publishers content is fast replacing the traditional more salesy  advertising we are used to.WE ARE SMART
Sharing economy is the buzz word in the internet. There’s no point in booking a hotel room, if we can easily sleep at someone’s place using Airbnb. Cab services like Lyft are encouraging people to make a smarter choice by hopping into cars that are heading in the direction you are headed. More individuals are asking themselves, “If there is a more efficient way of doing it, why do it the existing way?” . While the Baby Boomers fueled the auto industry, the millennials are questioning the whole logic of purchasing a car.Brands that match how the young are expressing themselves (individualistic, effortless and smart) naturally appeal more easily.

Brands should ask themselves if using their product will help the audience in expressing any of these three characteristics.
GE is one of my favourite examples how how a traditional brand changes to keep the communication relevant to today’s audience. Associating themselves with a website like Quirky- an online market for individual inventors to post their smart products for purchase is a marketing genius. Beats Music with their effortless product placements is another example of this. In India, Indigo airlines seems to be doing it right by building on the “smart” and “effortless” association.

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