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Marketing executives Joeri Van den Bergh and Mattias Behrer conducted quantitative and qualitative research on generation Y and generation Z consumers to learn how to entice their vast numbers to buy your products and services. They control a global youth-market consumer base that accounts for an estimated $200 billion in annual purchasing power.

Born between 1980 and 1996, gen Yers, also known as millennials, constitute an important worldwide demographic because of their huge numbers, purchasing power and outsized influence on other generations. Pay attention to what they buy and why they buy it. Their purchasing patterns reveal a specific mindset. To understand potential gen Y consumers, consider these general characteristics:

  • They use the Internet and technology to communicate with their peers and to stay in constant touch with their friends.
  • They like to rate products online and trust only their peers’ opinions.
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  • They are cynical about brands and rely on social networks to investigate them.
  • They prefer brands with “Facebook pages and mobile websites.”
  • They value “speed, ease, efficiency and convenience in all of their transactions.”
  • They identify with “cause marketing” and respond to “ethical, green and charity issues.”
  • They are hooked on being stimulated.


  • C — They must see your product as cool.
  • R — They must regard it as real.
  • U — They must recognize it as unique.
  • S — They must self-identify with your product.
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  • H — They must feel happy when they use it.
  • To engage and excite fickle young consumers of both generations, update your brand.

Originally published at on November 28, 2016.

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Marketing contrarian with over 15 years of developing leading edge and award winning digital marketing initiatives.

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