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Meet Generation Edge: The Newest Group Of Consumer Spenders by Ian Pierpoint - Presented at Insight Innovation eXchange LATAM 2013

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Meet the post-Millennials, Generation Edge—the children of Gen-X parents who’ve only known a world teetering on the brink of economic, political and environmental collapse. The Edge is reactionary, …

Meet the post-Millennials, Generation Edge—the children of Gen-X parents who’ve only known a world teetering on the brink of economic, political and environmental collapse. The Edge is reactionary, it’s the result of being forced to carve an identity out of uncertainty and complexity. Unlike their Millennial cousins, Generation Edge is more realistic, resilient and resourceful and these characteristics will have a huge impact on your business going forward.

The Sound Research, www.thesoundresearch.com, a strategic research and brand consultancy, has coined the term for those born from 1995 until now – Generation Edge (www.generationedge.com). This newest group of consumers to come of age are the children of Generation X and grandchildren of Boomers. Gen-Edge stands on the edge of political and economic collapse, and the days of the self-entitlement of their older cousins, The Millennials, are no more.
Gen-Edge goals and aspirations are being anchored in a new reality. These young men and women are wise beyond their years to give themselves the edge they need to face the world’s uncertain future.

The Sound experts found that with parents living through a recession and no guarantee of higher education, when it comes to making it, Gen-Edge is not expecting it to be easy. They don’t mind sparing a little elbow grease to make things happen. They are stepping up to the plate and forming a unique identity out of uncertainty and complexity. They have seen 9/11, war, serial natural disasters, foreclosures, celebrity public meltdowns – all live, then again on video on demand – and lived to tweet about it.

Gen-Edge ‘coolness’ comes from their ability to roll with the punches from the get-go. This new generation has got a lot of character – they are realistic, resilient and resourceful. Millennials grew up believing they were going to be the next billionaire or social media founder. Whereas, the world Gen-Edge is growing up in … well, let’s just say optimism is in short supply.
Using a methodology of online engagement, video diaries and experts, The Sound determined that Gen-Edge is fast-tracking their lives – putting them well on their way to becoming one of the largest (*74 million and counting) and most influential group of consumers ever. What does this mean for advertisers and marketers? A specialist in understanding “growing up” at whatever age that happens, Ian Pierpoint of The Sound will tell you.

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  • 1. THE WORLD IS ABOUT TO GET UNDERSTANDING A NEW GENERATION MARCH, 2013
  • 2. THE YOUNGEST MILLENNIAL IS NOW 19…A NEW GENERATION ARE COMING AND WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THEM WHAT MAKESLIVING IN AMILLENNIAL WORLD… THE SOUND HEADED TO UK, CANADA, ANDUSA TO EXPLORE THE NEXT GENERATION OF CONSUMERS…
  • 3. MILLENNIALS RULED THE WORLD... A LARGE & INFLUENTIAL GENERATIONAL COHORT, MILLENNIALS ARE DEFINED BY CRISES AND OPPORTUNITY... AND BOOMER PARENTSBORNBETWEEN1980 AND1994& 76 MILLIONSTRONG ACHIEVEMENT EXTENDED CONFORMIST COLLABORATIVE OBSESSED ADOLESCENCE FUTURE TECHNOLOGY IDEALISTIC OPTIMISTIC FOCUSED ASPIRANTS
  • 4. INTRODUCINGGENERATION EDGE..BORN FROM 75 MILLION 1995 TO & COUNTING PRESENT BUYING POWER OF $312.3 BILLION & INFLUENCE $600 1BILLION IN FAMILY SPENDING AND A GENERATION VERYDIFFERENT TO MILLENNIALS...THE WORLD OF MARKETING,INNOVATION & RESEARCH IS ABOUT TO CHANGE. 1. WILLIAMS K. (2010) Marketing to the generations
  • 5. WHAT’S GIVEN THIS GENERATION EDGE? CONTEXT SHAPED A NEW GENERATIONS VALUES AND ASPIRATIONSA GENERATIONBORN INTO AWORLD ON ECONOMY SOCIALTHE EDGE OFCOLLAPSE...THEY IN TURNNEED EDGE TOSURVIVE POLITICAL TECHNOLOGY
  • 6. WHAT MAKESEDGE?THE ECONOMY
  • 7. IT’S THE ECONOMY STUPID GENERATION EDGE TEENS HAVE ONLY KNOWN RECESSION & BLEAK GROWTH… 4 POSITIVE GROWTH 2 0 NEGATIVE GROWTH -2 -4 MILLENNIAL FORMATIVE YEARS VS. GENERATION EDGE FORMATIVE YEARS1987 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 REAL GDP GROWTH // US ECONOMY SOURCE: IMF “IT’S REALLY HARD FOR PEOPLE IN MY GENERATION NOT TO FEEL COMPLETELY DEFEATED BY THIS ECONOMY.” UNEMPLOYED COLLEGE GRAD// BLOGGER LANCE FULLER, 26 NEW YORK TIMES // 18 DECEMBER 2012
  • 8. IT’S THE ECONOMY STUPIDGENERATION EDGE ARE HAVING TO GROW UP FAST ANDBE REALISTIC ABOUT THEIR FUTURE A COFFEE SHOP IN THE UK HAD 1,700 APPLICANTS FOR EIGHT JOBS—OR 212 APPLICATIONS FOR EACH POSITION Daily Mail // February 19, 2012 "AFTER 16 YEARS OF ECONOMIC PROSPERITY, THE PROBABILITY IS THIS GENERATION WILL HAVE EXPERIENCED QUITE SIGNIFICANT ECONOMIC TURMOIL BEFORE THEY GET TO ADULTHOOD AND IT’S GOING TO MAKE THEM A LITTLE MORE MEASURED, RESERVED AND CONSERVATIVE." BERNARD SALT, KPMG DEMOGRAPHER
  • 9. ECONOMIC IMPACT ON EDGEUNLIKE MILLENNIALS, GENERATION EDGE ARE BEINGFORCED TO THINK OF ALTERNATIVE WAYS OF MAKING IT INTHE WORLD… MAKING THEM RESOURCEFUL “WHERE PREVIOUS GENERATIONS HAD TO RELY ON A PARENT OR TEACHER OR SUPERVISOR TO EXPLAIN SOMETHING, THIS GENERATION ISNT BOUND BY THOSE CONSTRAINTS AND CAN ACCESS THE INFO THEY NEED WHEN THEY NEED IT AND GET TO WORK.” MARKETING TO THE GENERATIONS // K.WILLIAMS // 2010
  • 10. WHAT MAKESEDGE? &UNIQUE PARENTINGEDUCATIONAL CONTEXT
  • 11. PARENTING MATTERSUNLIKE MILLENNIALS AND THEIR OPTIMISTIC BOOMERPARENTS, GENERATION EDGE ARE BEING RAISED BY GEN-X“I WANT MY CHILDREN TOBELIEVE IN THEMSELVES, GEN-XACHIEVE GREAT THINGS... PARENTS ARE AND I‟LL BE THERE TO CYNICAL,HELP THEM ALL THE WAY” CHALLENGING, BOOMER PARENT & PREPARING VS. BOOMER PARENTS ARE OPTIMISTIC, “I DON‟T EXPECT LIFE TO EMPOWERING, & BE EASY FOR HIM, BUT I HELICOPERTING THINK I‟VE GIVEN HIM THE TOOLS; THE REST IS UP TO HIM” GEN-X PARENTS
  • 12. SCHOOLING FOR LIFEGEN-EDGE HAVE BEEN BROUGHT UP IN AN EDUCATIONALSYSTEM THAT EMPHASIZES THE PRACTICAL VS.THEORETICAL. EXPECT CALLS FOR EVEN MORE REFORMTO READY THEM FOR THE ‘REAL’ WORLD… “IT IS NO SECRET THIS SYSTEM OF STANDARDIZED TESTING IS TURNING US INTO MINDLESS DRONES. A STUDENT CAN BE VERY BOOK SMART AND PASS THEIR MCAT. BUT DOES THIS MEAN THEY HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO SAVE A LIFE?AND NO, THROWING A FEW iPADS IN THE MIX ISN’T GOING TO CUT IT“ BEHSHID BEHROUZI, Gr. 10 Student, TEDX WINCHESTER TEACHERS, 2013
  • 13. WHAT MAKESEDGE?COLLAPSEINSTITUTIONAL
  • 14. INSTITUTIONAL TRUST COLLAPSE “THEM” VS “US” THE TARP BILL SAW $475 BILLION OVER 25 MILLION HOMES PAID TO BANKS, INSURANCE REPOSSESSED OR FORECLOSED COMPANIES AND CORPORATIONS ON SINCE 2007US CAR INDUSTRY RECEIVED $24.9 7 MILLION JOBS LOST DURING BILLION DOLLAR BAILOUT RECESSION (US) BILLIONS PAID IN BONUSES TO BANKERS SINCE BAILOUT MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME HAS DROPPED 8.2% SINCE 2009 FACEBOOK PAID NO INCOME & FEDERAL TAXES IN 2012 DESPITE GLOBAL INCOME TAX RATESHUGE PROFITS AND RECEIVED $429 HAVE BEEN INCREASING SINCE MILLION REFUND 2008 “I THINK WHAT PEOPLE OFTEN FORGET IS THIS ALLHAPPENED BEFORE. MY GENERATION [GEN-X] NEVER HAD IT EASY—WE GREW UP IN TOUGH TIMES TOO ... BUT WE SURVIVED AND SO WILL OUR KIDS. Parent OF GEN-EDGE // CHICAGO // Ethnography Interview
  • 15. INSTITUTIONAL TRUST COLLAPSE IMPACT ON EDGE UNLIKE MILLENNIALS, GENERATION EDGE AREN’T CONFORMIST AND ACTIVELY CHALLENGE INSTITUTIONS & BRANDS … THEY’RE FOCUSED REFORMISTS “DURING OCCUPY WALL STREET A BROOKLYNMOTHER ORGANIZED A SLEEPOVER FOR MORE THAN 80PARENTS AND THEIR CHILDREN. MANY BELIEVED THEYMUST SEIZE THIS "TEACHABLE MOMENT" TO EDUCATE THEIR KIDS ON INCOME EQUALITY AND THE RIGHT TO PROTEST.” CNN BLOG // APRIL, 2012
  • 16. WHAT MAKESEDGE?TECHNOLOGY
  • 17. TECHNOLOGY IS A TOOLFOR GENERATION EDGE, TECHNOLOGY JUST IS…THEY‘VE NEVER KNOWN A WORLD WITHOUT IT ANDINNOVATION IS EXPECTED "TECHNOLOGY DOESNT MAKE ME WHO I AM, IT LETS ME BE WHO I AM." JILL // 16, CHICAGO // SOUNDING BOARD PARTICIPANT“I AM BETTING THAT THE POST-MILLENNIALS WILL NOT BE AS ENAMOURED WITH TECHNOLOGY, MULTI-TASKING, COLLABORATION, SELF-PROMOTION AND OTHER TRAITS WE IDENTIFY WITH KIDS TODAY.” ROB SALKOWITZ, AUTHOR OF GENERATION BLEND & YOUNG WORLD RISING
  • 18. WHAT’SCOMING?
  • 19. A NEW & DIFFERENT GENERATION MILLENNIAL GENERATION EDGE VS. ACCELERATED ADULTHOOD EXTENDED ADOLESCENCE IDEALISTIC REALISTIC ACHIEVEMENT OBSESSED ACHIEVEMENT REDEFINED FUTURE FOCUSED NOW FOCUSED CONFORMIST REFORMIST HARD WORKING ENTITLED TECHNOLOGY ASPIRANTS TECHNOLOGY USERS COLLABORATIVE INDIVIDUAL
  • 20. WHAT DOESTHIS MEANFORBRANDS?
  • 21. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR BRANDSCONNECTING WITH GENERATION EDGE WILL BE VERYDIFFERENT TO MILLENNIALS... DOES YOUR POSITIONING ALIGN WITH THE BRANDS EDGE‟S ALTERNATIVE ASPIRATIONS? THAT WILL THRIVE WILL BE DOES YOUR INNOVATION STRATEGY THE BRANDS THAT APPLY EDGE MEET EDGE‟S NEED TO SURVIVE? TO THEIR STRATEGY. DOES YOUR COMMUNICATION HAVE ENOUGH EDGE TO GET NOTICED? THE WORLD IS ABOUT TO CHANGE… “MARKETING TO MILLENNIALS RESULTED IN AN ENDLESS QUEST FOR BRAND AUTHENTICITY. GENERATION EDGE WILL BE ENGAGED BY ANOTHER „A‟ WORD. The ALTERNATIVE.” IAN PIERPOINT, PRESIDENT THE SOUND
  • 22. THE WORLD IS ABOUT TO GET EDGE:UNDERSTANDING A NEW GENERATIONTHE SOUND PARTNERSHIP STUDY // MARCH 2013 www.thesoundresearch.com