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The 8095 Exchange:
Millennials,Their Actions Surrounding
Brands, and the Dynamics of Reverberation
CONTENTS
 Introduction (3)                         8095 Research by Edelman and StrategyOne.
                                          Methodology: Research conducted by StrategyOne
                                          between February 24 - March 8, 2010. Surveyed
 Brand Relationships as a form            3,100 respondent Millennials (those born between
                                          1980 - 1995) in eight countries: Brazil, Canada, China,
 of Self Expression (5 )                  Germany, India, Italy, the United Kingdom and the
                                          United States. Three hundred interviews conducted
                                          per country, U.S. as an exception with 1,000
 Information is a key to Influence (10)   interviews. Online survey. +/- 1.8 margin of error
                                          for the total sample.
                                          For more information on 8095, contact:
 Taking Action is a Core Value (14 )      Christina Smedley
                                          Global Chair, Edelman Consumer Marketing
                                          christina.smedley@edelman.com
 Reverberation is Online, Offline and
                                          Alex Abraham
 increasingly Mobile (18 )                Vice President, Group Head
                                          Edelman Consumer Marketing
                                          alex.abraham@edelman.com
 Not an end, a beginning to               Material may be used with credit given to
 the Exchange (23 )                       Edelman/StrategyOne.




                                                                                                    2
INTRODUCTION
 According to CIA World Factbook, more than 1.7 billion people on         Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. Our focus was on
 earth today are between 15 years and 30 years of age, with an            listening, not judging and to avoid the stereotypes that obscure
 average age of 28. Worldwide, they are known as Gen Y or the             what’s truly distinctive about Millennials and the ways brands fit into
 Millennial generation.                                                   their lives.
 We, however, call this diverse population – born between 1980            We wanted to understand how Millennials:
 and 1995 – the 8095 generation.
                                                                          • connect with brands
 The fact is, as a group, Millennials are now in charge, spending more
                                                                          • form and share their opinions about products
 than any other generation and spending it in ways that a generation
                                                                            and companies
 ago or even a few years ago was unimaginable. To understand
 Millennials is to begin to understand how to connect and interact        • use technology to build their networks and
 with this extraordinary population. Marketers cannot afford to ignore      share information
 Millennials. More importantly, none of us will succeed without them.     • make purchasing decisions
 As Kit Yarrow and Jayne O’Donnell, authors of the bestselling Gen        • are influenced by their families and peers and
 Buy wrote, Millennials are “the largest, most diverse, educated          • influence others
 and influential shoppers on the planet.” An IRI study indicated
 that Millennial women 20 – 30 years of age represent a $54 billion       Feedback from our internal focus group suggested that Millennials
 marketing opportunity, which in the next few years will surpass          don’t trust what research up to now has said about them. In fact,
 baby-boomers in consumer package goods spending.                         those in the focus group were more blunt than that. They said that
                                                                          no one has Millennials figured out yet.
 In this research, we’ve developed a complex point-of-view, truly
 reflective of a diverse generation whose defining life events thus far   Previous studies have defined them as a group rather than
 have included 9/11, the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami, Hurricane          exploring their diversity. We understand that they are far from
 Katrina, the 2008 Sichuan (China) earthquake, the Facebook               a monolithic bloc.
 revolution and the Great Recession.                                      Think about it: Millennials encompass a group that ranges vastly in
 Our journey of discovery included interviews with 3,100 Millennials      age. Consider the fact that the first of them turned 30 this year and
 from eight countries – Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India,            in the U.S., the average age of a new mom is 25. This generation




                                                                                                                                                    3
represents a range of life stages and milestones: from adolescence                 global benchmark, the conversation is continuing even
                                   to adulthood; from high school to college or the workforce; from                   as you read this in an online insights community we call 8095
                                   single to married to parents or, for an increasing number, just single.            Live. In this active, diverse group of Millennials, we can talk in real-
                                   We actually thought this was good news. It means that starting here,               time about breaking news, trends and product launches. Here we
An ongoing dialogue                                                                                                   will also track how Millennials change their opinions through life
    with Millennials               starting now, we will lead the charge to get to know and understand
                                   Millennials in a way no one else has. The 8095 Exchange is just                    stages and milestones – and what that could mean for long-term
          8095 Live is an online                                                                                      brand relationships.
   insights community of 500       the beginning of an ongoing exploration of who they are, what they
U.S. Millennials, representing     aspire to, why they act as they do, and how to reach and connect                   What you will find in these pages are discoveries, observations
     a range of segments, who      with them.                                                                         and revelations; what you won’t find are sweeping generalizations.
    provide real-time opinions                                                                                        After all, while Millennials share many traits and behaviors, they
and insights. Here brands can      This paper, The 8095 Exchange, reflects a conversation with
                                   them about their relationships with brands, their attitudes and                    are more diverse ethnically, economically, and socially than any
  track shifts in perception in
  the midst of breaking news,      perceptions on how companies try to reach and engage them, and                     other generation in history. They are more connected with a sense
competitive environments and       how they prefer to connect and influence each other on products,                   of global network and perspective. They have instant access to one
      life stage advancements.     causes and trends.                                                                 another and to information. They are aware of and believe in their
                                                                                                                      own voice and power.
                                   The idea is to use what we’ve learned here to set a benchmark
                                   of sorts, a starting place from which we can learn more as they                    They are, in a word, different than the rest of us. Want to know how
                                   continue to evolve and their influence continues to grow. From this                different? Read on.



                                                 With Millennials, we have to let go a lot. As a brand, I think we were a company, among
                                                 others, who felt that tight control of the brand and saying what our voice is was
                                                 crucial up until probably a couple of years ago. We’re essentially a brand now that is
                                                 based on co-creation, self-expression and originality. Our Millennial customers are a
                                                 big part of that.
                                                                                                                      -- Michael Perman, Senior Director of Global Marketing, Levi Strauss*


                                                                                *Levis Strauss is an Edelman Client                                                                              4
Brand relationships
as a form of
self-expression
Our 8095 respondents reflected a strong sense of brand awareness and loyalty.
This research suggests a link between the immersive, symbiotic relationship
Millennials have with social networking channels and the likelihood to define their
personal brand by aligning with the brands they favor.
Eight-six percent of Millennials are willing to share information about their brand
preferences online, making it a top personal identifier.
Brand loyalty among them is strong overall. Seventy percent feel that once
they find a company or product they like, they keep coming back. And the more
the brand fits into their lifestyle, the more inclined they are to gain personal     WILL SHARE THEIR
identification with that brand. But after a badWILL SHARE THEIR most THEIR
                                                  experience with a brand, SHARE
                                                                      WILL
                                                                                     BRAND PREFERENCE
Millennials say it’s extremely difficult to win them back. In fact, 14 percentPREFERENCE
                                                 BRAND PREFERENCE
                                                                      BRAND of
                                                                                     ONLINE
                                                                      ONLINE
Millennials in the UK say definitively that once a brand has lost their trust and
                                                 ONLINE

                                         86%
respect, the brand can never regain it back. WILL SHARE THEIR


                               86%
                          WILL SHARE THEIR

                      86%
                                        BRAND PREFERENCE
                          BRAND PREFERENCE
                                        ONLINE
                          ONLINE
Brand preference ranks with religion and                                               GLOBAL AVERAGE

                     86%
                                                                  GLOBAL AVERAGE

            86%
                                              GLOBAL AVERAGE
ethnicity as a top personal identifier online.                                        BRAZIL            CANADA
                                                                BRAZIL                CANADA

                                        81% 82%
                                            BRAZIL              CANADA
                          GLOBAL AVERAGE
                                              GLOBAL AVERAGE
                                            81%                81% 82%
                                                               82%
    WILL SHARE THEIR
                  BRAZIL
                                            BRAZIL
                                            CANADA
                                                                CANADA
                                                                CHINA
                                                                                      CHINA
                                                                                      GERMANY
                                                                                                        GERMANY
    BRAND PREFERENCE
                                           81% 82% 81% 81%
                                           82% 90% 90%
                                            CHINA               GERMANY
    ONLINE              81%                90% 81%
   86%
                                            CHINA               GERMANY               INDIA             ITALY
                        CHINA               GERMANY             INDIA                 ITALY

                                           90% 81% 90% 90%
                                           81% 87% 87%
                                            INDIA               ITALY

     90%                                   87% 90%
    GLOBAL AVERAGE
                                            INDIA               ITALY                 UK                USA
                        INDIA               ITALY               UK                    USA


                      87% 87% 90% 90% 90%
                          90% 86% 86%
                                            UK                  USA
  BRAZIL              CANADA


  81%                 82% 86% 90%           UK                  USA
                        UK                  USA


                      86% 86% 90%
                          90%
  CHINA               GERMANY
                                                                                                                  6
Millennials and brand trust
                               Expressing support for a brand, especially when it’s      respect: in that regard, 30 percent cared more about
Brand loyalty is strong        a personal statement, can be precarious, so nothing       product quality and 20 percent the range of products
for Millennials overall.       matters more to Millennials than authenticity,            offered. One in three said they looked for brands to
                               integrity, and an ability to deliver. It all comes down   make a positive impact on the world. One in five said it
                               to trust and brands must recognize that the 2010          was important that brands helped them achieve their
                               version of trust is much more dynamic than in years       personal goals.
                               past. It’s deeper and more intense, but the greater       More than half of our 8095 respondents are willing
    ONCE I FIND A COMPANY      availability of information can also destroy it faster.   to share more information about themselves with a
    OR PRODUCT I LIKE,         As a result, a company’s reputation can matter as         trusted brand in exchange for greater access or more
    I KEEP COMING BACK         much as the performance of its products. While            relevant content such as coupons, free samples, and
                               30 percent of Millennials cited product quality and       sneak peeks at new products.


    70%
    GLOBAL AVERAGE
                               reliability as the factors that led them to trust and
                               respect a brand, nearly one-quarter indicated that
                               they would lose respect for a company because of
                               concerns about its operating practices or services.
                                                                                         This type of sharing has limits. A majority of
                                                                                         Millennials weren’t likely to share their personal
                                                                                         phone numbers or addresses online, and at least 4 in
                                                                                         10 are not willing to share incomes, the name of their
                               Furthermore, nearly one in five Millennials in the UK
                               indicated that they would lose respect for a company
   BRAZIL            CANADA    because of its treatment of employees.

   65% 69%                     Purchase and affiliation
                               as self-expression
   CHINA             GERMANY   A Pew Research survey found that 34 percent of
                               Millennials bought a certain product or service they
   72% 62%                     like because of the social or political values of the
                               company that provides it. The converse was also true:
                               an equal number will not buy for the same reasons.
   INDIA             ITALY
                               When a Millennial loses trust or respect in a brand,
   73% 74%                     the majority will tell their family and friends not to
                               purchase the company’s products.

   UK                USA
                               While 55 percent of respondents said that price was
                               the most important attribute in making purchasing
   67% 80%                     decisions, Millennials told us that price was the
                               least important factor in building a brand’s trust and


                                                                                                                                                    7
Some brands
                                                                                                         help me to create
                                                                                                         my image. Some
Six in ten Millennials will share                                                                        help me to gain
more personal information                                                                                knowledge. Any
with trusted brands.                                                                                     of the brands that I
                                                                                                         prefer play a role in
                                                                                                         my achievements,
  WILLING TO SHARE MORE
  PERSONAL INFORMATION                                                                                   though this role is
  WITH TRUSTED BRANDS MORE
           WILLING TO SHARE                                                                              supporting.
           PERSONAL INFORMATION
             WITH TRUSTED BRANDS


 58%
                                                                                                         - Female, 21, Russia

  58%
 GLOBAL AVERAGE AVERAGE
           GLOBAL


                                                             employer or even their photos online. Pew Research revealed that
           BRAZIL           CANADA      CHINA   GERMANY
BRAZIL                CANADA          CHINA       GERMANY    Millennials believe “you can’t be too careful with the people you deal
           62%             47%         62%      38%          with,” and just 28 percent feel that most people can be trusted.
62%        INDIA
                      47%   ITALY
                                      62%
                                        UK
                                                 38%A 2010 Pewadults tofoundstepspeople aged 18 from accessinglikely
                                                USA than older
                                                               survey
                                                                        take
                                                                             that
                                                                                  to limit others
                                                                                                  to 29 are more
                                                                                                                 their
INDIA      58% 55%
              ITALY                    46%
                                      UK        64%
                                                 USA
                                                             personal information online. Study results showed that 44 percent
                                                             of younger adults try to protect their information, compared to

58%        MEN
                      55%   WOMEN
                                      46%
                                        DADS
                                                 64%
                                                MOMS
                                                             33 percent of users between 30 and 49, and 25 percent of those
                                                             between 50 and 64. Seventy-one percent of younger social
           57%             60%          72%     69%          network users have changed the privacy settings on their profiles
MEN                   WOMEN           DADS        MOMS       to limit what is shared with others, while only 55 percent of social
           STUDENTS        EMPLOYED                          networkers between the ages of 50 and 64 have changed their
57%57% 71% 72%
      60%                                        69%         default settings.


STUDENTS              EMPLOYED
                                                                                                                                      8
MILLENNIAL MOM, 29
Dallas, TX, USA
Born 1981, Married, one child
Part-time educator
Active on: Facebook
Favorite websites, newspapers, magazines or TV shows:
Starfall.com, babycenter.com, mamapedia.com, Parenting
(The Early Years), Baby Talk, In Style, Mad Men, Gossip
Girl, Parenthood

What, if any role, do you think brands play in helping you achieve your
personal goals? Currently, I feel that brands I pay most attention to are
those that impact my daughter. This current generation is very focused
on providing safe, organic alternatives for the well-being of future
generations, as well as our planet.
Who do you trust most for brand and product recommendations?
Friends that have utilized particular products, bloggers that document
their experience with products, and consumers who write reviews on-
line about the products.
Why do you trust them? Because they have already had personal
experience with the product or brand of interest.
What’s the one misconception that you think companies have about
you and other moms your age? I think some companies assume that
by stamping the word “natural” on a product, mothers will assume
that it is organic and not bother reading what the product is made of.
Unfortunately, although I do believe there are definitely many people that
would unknowingly do so, there is a growing segment of the population
that now knows better.
What advice can you share with companies who want to truly
reach you and your friends? A mother’s top concern is always
regarding safety.


                                                                             9
Information is
A Key to Influence
Millennials are subjected to a massive flow of information, and each piece has
the potential to influence how they make their purchasing decisions. Many of
                                                                                       1 in 5
them have become active contributors to the volume of information about brands
through blogs, product reviews and online forums.
                                                                                       Millennials have posted
Adopting new technology has become a way of life for many Millennials. As Mike
Walsh described in Futuretainment, “They are not trying to change the world; they
                                                                                       a video of themselves online.
have simply never known any other.” In fact, 74 percent of Millennials believe that
new technology makes their lives easier, with more than half saying that it helps
them be closer with their friends.
The constant flow of data feeds Millennials’ thoughts and conversations. Sixty-five
percent of respondents told us they are disconnected for one hour or less each day.
So what distinguishes the truly distinctive and influential sources of information
from the background noise? The answer is the key to making inroads with this
perpetually evolving group.
Millennials seek information beyond
their peer network
While social networks, sharing and collaboration all empower Millennials to make
personal decisions, our research found that they often extend well beyond their
peer network to glean information, opinions and knowledge.
Pew data shows that 75 percent have created a profile on a social networking
site, with 55 percent visiting those sites at least once a day. More than 60 percent
connect to the Internet wirelessly when they are away from work or home and 88
percent text each other.




65% of Millennials are
disconnected one hour
or less per day.


                                                                                                                       11
ng life decisions which of the
mation sources do you reach out to in
       Friends and family are the
ur decision? of information
       top sources
       Millennials seek in making
       major decisions.
                                                                                                Millennials look for more
           77 %                  FAMILY                                                         information about a
                                                                                                product an average of
           64 %                  FRIENDS                                                        7.4 times per month;
           21 %                  SEARCH ENGINE                                                  Millennial moms led the
           21 %                  EXPERT WEBSITE                                                 way, seeking additional
           20 %                  CO-WORKER                                                      information 9.2 times
                                                                                                per month.
           13 %                  SOCIAL NETWORKS
           8 %                   NOBODY, I DO IT ALONE
           2 %                   OTHER
         Eighty-seven percent of Millennials indicated that they consult   This eruption in available data points means that brand-marketing
         at least one to three information sources before selecting new    efforts make up an increasingly small sliver of available information.
         technology such as mobile phones, with 31 percent consulting      Rather than relying solely on sanctioned marketing and product
         seven or more sources. When choosing which brand of product       information, Millennials can tap the whole world of data—not just
         or service to buy, that total dipped slightly to 86 percent.      a pithy catchphrase or celebrity endorsement—to form opinions
                                                                           about brands.



                                                                                                                                                    12
Information empowers action
and influence                                              CONSULT 4 OR MORE
As Gen Buy noted, the “democratization” of
                                                           SOURCES WHEN CHOOSING
information and opinion enabled by the Web has             WHICH PRODUCT OR
led Millennials to be more self-reliant in making          SERVICE TO PURCHASE
purchasing decisions. Our research clearly supports
the notion that Millennials educate themselves on
brands with information from a variety of channels.
The majority of 8095 respondents use up to six
sources of information to help make their final
decisions on everything from clothes and electronics
                                                          51%
                                                           GLOBAL AVERAGE
to grooming products.
These trends have far-reaching implications. With so
many potential sources of influence—from family and       BRAZIL                    CANADA
friends to online peer groups, social communities and
vast arrays of product information—how can brands
ensure that they are part of the conversation when
                                                          56% 51%
it matters?
Similarly, since Millennials have increased access to     CHINA                     GERMANY
product information, brands will have to find different
ways to communicate with them, both directly and
indirectly through their colleagues and influencers
                                                          58% 48%
who transcend personal networks.
                                                          INDIA                     ITALY          “The same tried and true
                                                                                                    ways of marketing do not
                                                          55%                       56%             hold. The old playbook is
                                                          UK                        USA
                                                                                                    out. We need to understand
                                                                                                    where we can fit into
                                                          47%                       42%            (Millennials’) lives.”
                                                                                                             Kirsten Lynch, CMO, Quaker*
                                                                   StrategyOne/Edelman


                                                                    *Quaker is an Edelman Client                                      13
FULL TIME STUDENT, 20
Tokyo, JAPAN
  Born 1990, Single
  Full-time employed/Full-time graduate student
  Active on: Facebook, Twitter
  Favorite websites, newspapers, magazines or TV shows:
  Twitter and a Japanese historical TV drama, Ryomaden (NHK)

What is a brand? I think a brand is a perception of consumers over a company or a
product/product group. It is something that becomes complete only when consumers
recognize it and evaluate it. Even if a company plans to create a specific brand, that
brand cannot be established unless consumer agrees/perceives in that way. For a
company, a brand is company’s identity and pride.
What’s the one misconception you think companies have about you and other students
your age? My generation is typically called a “Yutori-sedai.” It is a name to call my
generation who went through a period when the government reduced the mandatory
educational hour around 2000. However, the government quickly reverted back to
the previous required hours due to the evaluation that people did not get sufficient
education. People, in general, say that my generation is “Yarukinai,” that is, we do not
have a sense of “achievement” or “Atsukunai,” we do not have passion.” I think we have
passion, it is just that we have much more options in our lives that our attention and
interests are diversified. I think my generation is a “diversification generation.”
What advice can you share with companies who want to truly reach you and your friends?
Do not persuade consumers of my generation with explanations such as: ‘Having this/
owning this shows your status’ or ‘owning this is a must.’
What is the biggest concern for you and your friends? Employment. Overly frustrated
to get a job. In Japan, people start becoming serious about “employment” from the
winter of their third year at college. I think the pressure is coming down to first/second
year people lately.



                                                                                             14
Taking action is
  a core value
With a group as diverse as Millennials, action can take many       engaged, complex because, as a result of extended exposure to
   different forms, but the nearly ever-present connection to their   brands and marketing, they can be very sophisticated consumers.
   peers plays a pivotal role. From joining online communities        A Mintel study reported that Millennials “have more involvement
   sponsored by brands to viewing and recommending videos or news     in pop culture and activities that would compel them to try new
   stories, action has moved beyond commerce to become part of the    products and services and recommend them to friends.” The looming
   very fabric of social interaction and living.                      question for companies then is how to develop the right tools and
   This connection makes Millennials an extremely desirable but       strategies to reach Millennials—not just to sell products, but to
   complex group: desirable because they spend so much time           inspire action.




Nine-in-ten 8095 Live respondents
take action weekly on behalf of a brand.




                                                                                                                                          16
An array of actions for preferred brands
                                                     Eighty-two percent of Millennials have joined a
A majority of Millennials have                       brand-sponsored online community. Nearly half (47
joined multiple brand-sponsored                      percent) have joined more than three. Chinese and
online communities.                                  U.S. respondents were the most likely to engage in
                                                     this activity, while German and Italian members were
                                                     less active.
                                                     Beyond the social aspects of online groups, studies
            PERCENTAGE WHO HAVE                      suggest that Millennials expect to be rewarded for
            JOINED SEVEN OR MORE
                                                     their loyalty and engagement. Recent Facebook
            BRAND-SPONSORED
                                                     research found that 42 percent of its members
            ONLINE COMMUNITIES
                                                     fan pages in search of insider tips or information.

           25%
                                                     Clearly, companies have the opportunity to create a
                                                     strong presence among Millennials—if they can craft
                                                     compelling offerings and invitations to reward their
            GLOBAL AVERAGE                           followers.
                                                     Nearly 70 percent of Millennials indicated that they
          BRAZIL                  CANADA


          24%                     28%
                                                     recommend their favorite brands to family or friends.
                                                     A significant number, 47 percent, write about good        Nearly 20%
                                                     experiences online, with respondents from Brazil and
                                                     China the most likely to take the time to do so. Yet,
                                                                                                              of 8095 Live respondents
                                                                                                              have attended a brand-
          CHINA                   GERMANY
                                                     negative brand experiences also spark this kind of
          14%                     26%                action, with nearly 40 percent of respondents saying     sponsored event in the
                                                     they have criticized a brand on a social network.
          INDIA                   ITALY
                                                     Moreover, a total of 57 percent—and 70 percent in
                                                                                                              last 30 days. Of those who
          25%                     38%                the United States—said they would volunteer to try       attended, more than
          UK                      USA
                                                     new products, with those willing to create a video and
                                                     post it online or write an online review close behind.
                                                                                                              65% purchased a
          27%                      15%               What factors should companies focus on to persuade       product that was
          MEN          WOMEN              DADS
                                                     Millennials to try their brands? Our research            featured at the event.
          27%          20%                30%        provides some insight. Millennials said they would
                                          EMPLOYED
                                                     consider trying brands based on offerings such as
          MOMS         STUDENTS
                                                     discounts and free products (36 percent), additional
           21%         26%                24%        information about the product (26 percent), tools
                   StrategyOne/Edelman




                                                                                                                                           17
and resources to improve other aspects of their lives (18 percent), and access to
exclusive events and unique brand experiences (14 percent).
While discounts and free products would seem to be an obvious draw, nearly              Though they lean toward positive
one in five Millennials would consider switching to a brand that plays an active
catalyst role in their life. In China, this was the number one reason why Millennials
                                                                                        reviews, good or bad, more
would switch brands. Our respondents also exhibited a growing desire to support         Millennials will write about their
environmental causes and local vendors. Four of ten Millennials indicated that they
would buy products that are made or grown locally, even if those goods are
                                                                                        brand experiences online.
more expensive.
It’s worth noting that brand loyalty can rise and fall depending on life stage, and
since the age range of our sample encompasses so many important milestones,
these fluctuations are more pronounced. While this dynamic can create challenges          WRITE ABOUT POSITIVE         WRITE ABOUT NEGATIVE
for brands, going forward we’ll also explore how companies can connect with               EXPERIENCES WITH PRODUCTS    EXPERIENCES WITH PRODUCTS
Millennials when they are their most curious, open, and passionate to establish           OR COMPANIES ONLINE          OR COMPANIES ONLINE
a relationship that endures across life stages.


                                                                                         47%                          39%
57% – 70% in                                                                              GLOBAL AVERAGE               GLOBAL AVERAGE


the U.S. – would                                                                         BRAZIL            CANADA     BRAZIL            CANADA


volunteer to try                                                                         57%               41%        44% 38%
a new product                                                                            CHINA             GERMANY    CHINA             GERMANY

from a trusted                                                                           60% 39%                      53% 38%
brand and most
testers would post                                                                       INDIA             ITALY      INDIA             ITALY



a review online                                                                          46% 49%                      35% 42%
to promote the                                                                           UK                USA        UK                USA


experience.                                                                              44% 35%                      36% 29%
                                                                                                                                                   18
EMPLOYED STUDENT, 30
Beijing, CHINA
  Born 1980, Single
  Full-time professional/Part-time university student
  Active on: Twitter, Tumblr
  Favorite websites, newspapers, magazines or TV shows:
  Gossip Girl, Heroes, Desperate Housewives

Why do you trust friends for brand recommendations? Friends won’t
cheat you. You can see how the brand influences their life and can judge
whether it suits me or not.
Why do they trust you? I introduce brands in a neutral way, using my
positive experiences to impress them.
How do you typically share experiences and preferences with them?
Via social media chat and text. MSN or other tools to chat with them. We
don’t really give direct advice but I will use my own experience and other
reference information.
What advice can you share with companies who want to truly reach
you and your friends? Treat Chinese consumers the same way as in
other countries. No discriminations. No cheating and be honest if you
have a quality problem. When you use social media to outreach to us,
please pay attention to our conversations instead of feeding us with
propaganda information. Be innovative and creative.
Will you post negative content online about a brand? Definitely yes. I
will post the negative content online if the brand fails to provide quality
products. This will save more people from wasting money.




                                                                              19
Reverberation is online,
offline and
increasingly mobile
A company with a well-considered approach to building a brand that appeals to
Millennials, establishing trust among consumers, and inspiring action from its most
                                                                                              74%
loyal followers still faces a serious, ever-present challenge: how to harness the             of our 8095 Live
energy and influence of Millennials while avoiding the pitfalls inherent in engaging
with such a diverse group that communicates through rapidly evolving channels
                                                                                              insights community
and technology.                                                                               indicated that they
Imagine, for instance, that a Millennial customer has a negative interaction with a           had talked to a
company’s customer service. Instead of escalating the issue to a supervisor, the
customer texts five friends to tell them of the incident. The friends in turn share the       friend about a
story with their peer group, and a single event has quickly been spread to dozens of
people. For good measure, the customer also vents on Facebook. Friends comment
                                                                                              favorite brand in
on the incident and share their own stories of bad service.                                   the past week, and
                                                                                              54% had talked
                                                                                              to a friend about a
       Within the past 30 days, 8095 Live                                                     product they don’t like.
       respondents have recommended
      within the lastor family member
       that a friend 30 days, 8095 respondents have
                                                As another example let’s say a Millennial is cooking dinner at home and tries a new
       purchase a specific product in
      recommended...                            recipe with a specific brand of tomato sauce and sends a round of excited texts
       the following categories:                inviting friends to stop by to taste the amazing dish. The tasters send their own
                                                rounds of texts praising the dish and following the recipe to the letter.
                                                                                          Welcome to reverberation—the impact that Millennials can have on brands by
                                                                                          communicating with their extended peer groups in real time.
                     FOOD                                   54%
                                                                                          Reverberation is a more recent phenomenon, enabled and fueled by technology
              ELECTRONICS                          39%
                                                                                          and how it’s altering peer interaction. Our research revealed that 76 percent of
   PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS                         37%                                     Millennials believe they are highly depended on for their opinions among friends
                 CLOTHING                        35%                                      and family.
          BEAUTY PRODUCTS                        35%                                      And they’re not just talking about their phones and laptops. When asked what
        CLEANING PRODUCTS                 24%                                             products they tend to share with friends, replies from our 8095 Live insights
         COOKING PRODUCTS              19%                                                community were wide ranging: 32 percent electronics, 19 percent personal care
                                                                                          products such as toothpaste and deodorant, 15 percent food, 8 percent clothing,
             PET PRODUCTS              19%
                                                                                          5 percent cookware, 4 percent personal beauty such as cologne or makeup, and
                    OTHER          13%
                                                                                          4 percent housewares, furniture, or décor.


                                                                                                                                                                             21
62%
                                                                               of Millennials
                                                                               connect to
                                                                               the Internet
           It’s no longer just about online and offline—
           mobile is its own subculture.                                       wirelessly when
           An important element of reverberation is the nearly constant        they are away
           connection that Millennials have with their peer group.             from work or
           Social media has garnered the bulk of the attention, as companies
           craft integrated marketing campaigns that seek to tap into this     home, and
           active, expansive network. But beyond social media lies the         88% text
           uncharted territory of personal communication via text messages
           and BBM*: it’s instantaneous, potentially global, and currently     each other.
           totally below the radar.
                                                                                                    Pew Research



                                                                               This form of communication has become a subculture in its own
Focus on making an excellent product. If you do so,                            right, with the ability to inspire action and in the process boost or
then all of your marketing will be true and most of the                        destroy a brand on its own. Incidents that are communicated outside
                                                                               of traditional media channels, riding at breakneck speed on the
marketing will be done by us. We are all looking for                           backs of text messages and Facebook posts sent from smartphones,
great products and brands to share with our friends.                           can build a brand or do lasting damage.
The best way to help us spread the word is by first                            The speed at which a brand can gain or lose trust is increasingly
creating a great product.”                                                     more rapid, aided by the ease of spreading news and ideas through
                                                                               text messages. Mobile devices have become like an appendage,
                                                       -Male, 29, US           texting is a driving word-of-mouth force.
                                                                               Since there’s no longer a delay between a thought or experience
                                                                               and the ability to communicate it, anyone who has an opinion is able
                                                                               to voice it instantly. And, unlike most digital interactions, mobile-
                                                                               platform conversations are private and untrackable, yet even more
                                                                               personal and powerful.



                                                                                 *RIM is an Edelman Client                                             22
Shopping
  A more extensive network of friends                                                      is a social
  The innovative ways that Millennials communicate with one another has altered            experience
  the makeup of their peer groups—as well as what they expect from their friends.
  Mindshare’s 2009 poll of 18- to 24-year-olds in the United States found that 51
                                                                                           for Millennials
  percent agreed with the statement that “social networking sites like Facebook are        where brand
  diluting the quality of relationships.” While some have responded by curbing the         recommendations
  time they spend on social networking sites, these defections pale in comparison to
  the growth in new users.                                                                 happen in real-time.
  Our research found that, on average, Millennials have twice as many core friends         An 8095 Live survey
  online as they do offline. When asked what they typically depend on their friends        found that nearly
  for, our respondents selected general advice, entertainment, and encouragement,
  all at around 60 percent; perspective on life was significantly lower, at just
                                                                                           two-thirds go to the
  37 percent.                                                                              store for groceries,
  Only 35 percent indicated that they seek camaraderie from their peer group,              electronics and
  perhaps highlighting the limits of online friendships. Around 60 percent of
  respondents—and more than 80 percent of Chinese participants—said that they
                                                                                           clothing with
  would make a purchasing decision or life choice that their friends didn’t approve        someone else.
  of. Yet, globally, 36 percent of respondents said that they would not likely make a
  purchase that their friends don’t approve, showing the incredible complexity of
  the new influence dynamic.
                                                                  What is your first source of information on customer service?
                                                                                        My first source of information for customer service is
                               When seeking customer service on a product                       COMPANY WEBSITE                        50%
                               issue, less than one percent of 8095ers                            SEARCH ENGINE                       46%
When seeking customer service on a product                                                        STORE LOCATION                      45%

issue, less than one percent of Millennials                                                             FRIENDS                 30%

would actually call customer service.                                                                     FAMILY          22%
                                                                                                SOCIAL NETWORKS           20%
                                                                                           CALL CUSTOMER SERVICE   < 1%




                                                                                                                                                 23
Avoiding the potential downside of reverberation
                                                                          However, loyalty can also pose real risks for companies that don’t
                                                                          deliver on their promises, and the impact is rarely easily contained or
                                                                          reversed. According to our research, once Millennials lose faith in a
                                                                          brand, it’s nearly impossible to win them back.
                                                                          Almost 40 percent of respondents revealed that they had written
                                                                          about bad experiences online, possibly representing a large
                                                                          percentage that had turned away from a brand but didn’t register
                                                                          their disappointment. In fact, fully 71 percent of our sample said they
                                                                          would express their negative feelings about brands in some way,

       In the past week,              36%                                 from telling a friend not to purchase the brand and boycotting the
                                                                          company to posting a video online.
       of 8095 Live respondents have                                      For companies, recognizing the impact of reverberation and the
       purchased a product that was                                       factors that drive it is just the first step. Next, they must move
                                                                          beyond the framework of online and offline to include all modes of
       introduced to them by a friend.                                    communication. To do so requires a deeper understanding of how
                                                                          specific segments of Millennials use them to interact—a topic we’ll
                                                                          explore in depth in our ongoing 8095 conversation.

A greater emphasis on collaboration
Our research indicates that Millennials have a strong commitment to
                                                                            When asked what makes
collaboration and their choices, actions and brand preferences are          them recommend products,
amplified by sharing. Indeed, seven out of 10 depend on their friends       one 8095 Live respondent
to learn about new trends, achieve their personal goals, make life          stated, “Quality of the
decisions and have a positive impact on the world.
                                                                            product and reputation
Consequently, the transition from brand awareness to appreciation
to active engagement can occur rapidly, as exposure to a brand
                                                                            of the company. Not the
spawns a conversation that results in texting friends or “Liking” a         kind of reputation where
page on Facebook.                                                           they are hip and they’re
If they are having a customer service issue with a brand, one-third         so cool and so I must
of Millennials will turn to their friends for support as their first
course of action. One in five will turn to their family and one in five
                                                                            purchase their products,
will turn to their social networks for help. Less than one percent          but companies that have a
of the respondents in our survey said they would actually take the          long history of caring for
traditional means of calling customer support.                              their customers.”
                                                                                                                                                    24
GRAD STUDENT, 26
Chicago, ILLINOIS
Born 1984, Single
Full-time employed/Full-time graduate student
Active on: Facebook, Twitter, Flavors.me
Favorite websites, newspapers, magazines or TV shows:
The Economist, The Onion, Slate.com, Theoatmeal.com,
Xkcd.com, Dexter

Who do you trust for brand recommendations? Friends and family
whose tastes I know match mine, and whose view on life and morality
is similar to mine.
How do you discover and research new brands and products? Usually
word of mouth and social media. Also at work and through trustworthy
news sources.
How do you typically give them advice on brands? As it comes up in
conversation. We also discuss via text, email or social media.
What’s the one misconception that you think companies have about
you and other graduate students your age? That we are ADD internet
junkies who need everything handed to us in 140 characters or less.
While this might be true for some, many of us still want thoughtful,
thorough content and will take the time to read/watch something if
it’s meaningful.
What advice can you share with companies who want to truly reach
you and your friends? Take the time to engage your audience: Don’t just
push your message, but listen as well. Social media channels make this a
lot easier, and they’re oftentimes misused and underused by companies.
Prompt a response, discussion, and relate your company to someone’s
life—don’t be afraid to step outside of your specific product and go for
the bigger message to which your audience can relate and participate.


                                                                           25
Not an end,
a beginning to the Exchange
Millennials have come of age alongside technology and have               Research shows that Millennials are open to new experiences
absorbed it into their lives. Their relationship with technology         and new brands. They are excited by interacting with brands and
has completely changed their relationship with brands and                interested in building relationships with them. They have the
services. In fact, like the Baby Boomers several generations before      confidence to stand up for what they believe but also the confidence,
them, Millennials have upended what had become the traditional           technology and network to voice their opinions when they feel
marketing model and now marketers are playing catch up, trying to        they’ve been mistreated. With Millennials, brands know where they
understand who they are, what they want, how to reach them, how          stand (sometimes minute-to-minute).
to satisfy them.                                                         The 8095 Exchange isn’t the end of a conversation, but the
Brand loyal in a way that brands and services crave, yet with a          beginning. We still have much to learn. But what we do know, what
what-have-you-done-for-me-lately attitude they fear, Millennials         you’ve just read in these pages, is that the future is here. Brands and
are forcing marketers to reconsider everything. What used to be a        marketers who continue to live in the present (let alone in the past)
one-way conversation (which isn’t much of a conversation at all) is      will miss out on opportunities that are just too good to pass up.
now a multifaceted, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week dialogue           All of this means that this new world – one in which Millennials play
between brands and their customers, between their customers              a central role – is rife with extraordinary opportunity. Marketers
and those customers’ entire circles of friends and families. And         and brands that understand who Millennials are, how they behave,
that’s dicey, too, given the different types of relationships research   what they want and how they communicate, will be able to thrive
suggests people have with everyday in-person friends and,                and flourish.
separately, online friends, who may number in the tens of
thousands for an especially popular Twitterer.                           The 8095 Exchange kicks off an ongoing conversation about the
                                                                         future of brands and the people who will make or break them. These
Yet, the opportunity for brands is now more clearly defined.             are exciting times, indeed.




                                                                                                                                                   27
Welcome To 8095 Live
  8095              8095

To build on our initial survey results, Edelman and StrategyOne created
8095 Live, an online insights community where brands can have an


           8095                          8095                         8095
open dialogue with Millennials about their beliefs, connections,
and perceptions. Made up of 500 U.S. Millennials, 8095 Live includes a
representative sample of major segments, ages, life stages, locations, and
ethnicities. We are engaging with this group through weekly online
conversations and have already begun to compile further insights,
many of which have appeared in this paper. In an era where communication
channels are multiplying and attitudes are constantly
evolving, research is more crucial than ever to shape marketing efforts.
We believe 8095 Live presents a powerful tool to capture the thoughts and


           8095                         8095                          8095
insights necessary to formulate effective brand strategy.

                                                                             28
REFERENCES
 “Facebook Teens,” Facebook Market Research, January 2010

 “Gen Y Likes Talking About Brands,” Keller Fay Group, August 2007

 “Marketing to Millennials,” Mintel Research, March 2010

 Steve McClellan, “Is Facebook getting uncool for 18-24s?” AdWeek, November 16, 2009

 “Millennials: A portrait of Generation Next,” Pew Research Center, February 2010

 Riva Richmond, “A guide to Facebook’s new privacy policies,” New York Times, May 27, 2010

 Mike Walsh, Futuretainment: Yesterday the World Changed, Now It’s Your Turn, London: Phaidon Press, 2009

 Kit Yarrow and Jayne O’Donnell, Gen Buy: How Tweens, Teens, and Twenty-Somethings Are Revolutionizing Retail,
 San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2009

 The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, Funded by Pew Charitable Trusts, “The 2006
 civic and political health of the nation,” October 2006

 Pew Research Center’s study on “Americans and Social Trust, Who, Where, Why,” February 2007

 Pew Research Center’s study on “Millennials: Confident, Connected, Open to Change,” February 2010

 Mindshare survey of 1,200 consumers about their social-networking habits, August 2009


                                                www.edelman.com | www.strategyone.net
                                      Material may be used with credit given to Edelman/StrategyOne.


                                                                                                                      29

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The 8095 Exchange Millenials, Their Actions Surrounding Brands, and the Dynamics of Reverberation

  • 1. The 8095 Exchange: Millennials,Their Actions Surrounding Brands, and the Dynamics of Reverberation
  • 2. CONTENTS Introduction (3) 8095 Research by Edelman and StrategyOne. Methodology: Research conducted by StrategyOne between February 24 - March 8, 2010. Surveyed Brand Relationships as a form 3,100 respondent Millennials (those born between 1980 - 1995) in eight countries: Brazil, Canada, China, of Self Expression (5 ) Germany, India, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. Three hundred interviews conducted per country, U.S. as an exception with 1,000 Information is a key to Influence (10) interviews. Online survey. +/- 1.8 margin of error for the total sample. For more information on 8095, contact: Taking Action is a Core Value (14 ) Christina Smedley Global Chair, Edelman Consumer Marketing christina.smedley@edelman.com Reverberation is Online, Offline and Alex Abraham increasingly Mobile (18 ) Vice President, Group Head Edelman Consumer Marketing alex.abraham@edelman.com Not an end, a beginning to Material may be used with credit given to the Exchange (23 ) Edelman/StrategyOne. 2
  • 3. INTRODUCTION According to CIA World Factbook, more than 1.7 billion people on Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. Our focus was on earth today are between 15 years and 30 years of age, with an listening, not judging and to avoid the stereotypes that obscure average age of 28. Worldwide, they are known as Gen Y or the what’s truly distinctive about Millennials and the ways brands fit into Millennial generation. their lives. We, however, call this diverse population – born between 1980 We wanted to understand how Millennials: and 1995 – the 8095 generation. • connect with brands The fact is, as a group, Millennials are now in charge, spending more • form and share their opinions about products than any other generation and spending it in ways that a generation and companies ago or even a few years ago was unimaginable. To understand Millennials is to begin to understand how to connect and interact • use technology to build their networks and with this extraordinary population. Marketers cannot afford to ignore share information Millennials. More importantly, none of us will succeed without them. • make purchasing decisions As Kit Yarrow and Jayne O’Donnell, authors of the bestselling Gen • are influenced by their families and peers and Buy wrote, Millennials are “the largest, most diverse, educated • influence others and influential shoppers on the planet.” An IRI study indicated that Millennial women 20 – 30 years of age represent a $54 billion Feedback from our internal focus group suggested that Millennials marketing opportunity, which in the next few years will surpass don’t trust what research up to now has said about them. In fact, baby-boomers in consumer package goods spending. those in the focus group were more blunt than that. They said that no one has Millennials figured out yet. In this research, we’ve developed a complex point-of-view, truly reflective of a diverse generation whose defining life events thus far Previous studies have defined them as a group rather than have included 9/11, the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami, Hurricane exploring their diversity. We understand that they are far from Katrina, the 2008 Sichuan (China) earthquake, the Facebook a monolithic bloc. revolution and the Great Recession. Think about it: Millennials encompass a group that ranges vastly in Our journey of discovery included interviews with 3,100 Millennials age. Consider the fact that the first of them turned 30 this year and from eight countries – Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, in the U.S., the average age of a new mom is 25. This generation 3
  • 4. represents a range of life stages and milestones: from adolescence global benchmark, the conversation is continuing even to adulthood; from high school to college or the workforce; from as you read this in an online insights community we call 8095 single to married to parents or, for an increasing number, just single. Live. In this active, diverse group of Millennials, we can talk in real- We actually thought this was good news. It means that starting here, time about breaking news, trends and product launches. Here we An ongoing dialogue will also track how Millennials change their opinions through life with Millennials starting now, we will lead the charge to get to know and understand Millennials in a way no one else has. The 8095 Exchange is just stages and milestones – and what that could mean for long-term 8095 Live is an online brand relationships. insights community of 500 the beginning of an ongoing exploration of who they are, what they U.S. Millennials, representing aspire to, why they act as they do, and how to reach and connect What you will find in these pages are discoveries, observations a range of segments, who with them. and revelations; what you won’t find are sweeping generalizations. provide real-time opinions After all, while Millennials share many traits and behaviors, they and insights. Here brands can This paper, The 8095 Exchange, reflects a conversation with them about their relationships with brands, their attitudes and are more diverse ethnically, economically, and socially than any track shifts in perception in the midst of breaking news, perceptions on how companies try to reach and engage them, and other generation in history. They are more connected with a sense competitive environments and how they prefer to connect and influence each other on products, of global network and perspective. They have instant access to one life stage advancements. causes and trends. another and to information. They are aware of and believe in their own voice and power. The idea is to use what we’ve learned here to set a benchmark of sorts, a starting place from which we can learn more as they They are, in a word, different than the rest of us. Want to know how continue to evolve and their influence continues to grow. From this different? Read on. With Millennials, we have to let go a lot. As a brand, I think we were a company, among others, who felt that tight control of the brand and saying what our voice is was crucial up until probably a couple of years ago. We’re essentially a brand now that is based on co-creation, self-expression and originality. Our Millennial customers are a big part of that. -- Michael Perman, Senior Director of Global Marketing, Levi Strauss* *Levis Strauss is an Edelman Client 4
  • 5. Brand relationships as a form of self-expression
  • 6. Our 8095 respondents reflected a strong sense of brand awareness and loyalty. This research suggests a link between the immersive, symbiotic relationship Millennials have with social networking channels and the likelihood to define their personal brand by aligning with the brands they favor. Eight-six percent of Millennials are willing to share information about their brand preferences online, making it a top personal identifier. Brand loyalty among them is strong overall. Seventy percent feel that once they find a company or product they like, they keep coming back. And the more the brand fits into their lifestyle, the more inclined they are to gain personal WILL SHARE THEIR identification with that brand. But after a badWILL SHARE THEIR most THEIR experience with a brand, SHARE WILL BRAND PREFERENCE Millennials say it’s extremely difficult to win them back. In fact, 14 percentPREFERENCE BRAND PREFERENCE BRAND of ONLINE ONLINE Millennials in the UK say definitively that once a brand has lost their trust and ONLINE 86% respect, the brand can never regain it back. WILL SHARE THEIR 86% WILL SHARE THEIR 86% BRAND PREFERENCE BRAND PREFERENCE ONLINE ONLINE Brand preference ranks with religion and GLOBAL AVERAGE 86% GLOBAL AVERAGE 86% GLOBAL AVERAGE ethnicity as a top personal identifier online. BRAZIL CANADA BRAZIL CANADA 81% 82% BRAZIL CANADA GLOBAL AVERAGE GLOBAL AVERAGE 81% 81% 82% 82% WILL SHARE THEIR BRAZIL BRAZIL CANADA CANADA CHINA CHINA GERMANY GERMANY BRAND PREFERENCE 81% 82% 81% 81% 82% 90% 90% CHINA GERMANY ONLINE 81% 90% 81% 86% CHINA GERMANY INDIA ITALY CHINA GERMANY INDIA ITALY 90% 81% 90% 90% 81% 87% 87% INDIA ITALY 90% 87% 90% GLOBAL AVERAGE INDIA ITALY UK USA INDIA ITALY UK USA 87% 87% 90% 90% 90% 90% 86% 86% UK USA BRAZIL CANADA 81% 82% 86% 90% UK USA UK USA 86% 86% 90% 90% CHINA GERMANY 6
  • 7. Millennials and brand trust Expressing support for a brand, especially when it’s respect: in that regard, 30 percent cared more about Brand loyalty is strong a personal statement, can be precarious, so nothing product quality and 20 percent the range of products for Millennials overall. matters more to Millennials than authenticity, offered. One in three said they looked for brands to integrity, and an ability to deliver. It all comes down make a positive impact on the world. One in five said it to trust and brands must recognize that the 2010 was important that brands helped them achieve their version of trust is much more dynamic than in years personal goals. past. It’s deeper and more intense, but the greater More than half of our 8095 respondents are willing ONCE I FIND A COMPANY availability of information can also destroy it faster. to share more information about themselves with a OR PRODUCT I LIKE, As a result, a company’s reputation can matter as trusted brand in exchange for greater access or more I KEEP COMING BACK much as the performance of its products. While relevant content such as coupons, free samples, and 30 percent of Millennials cited product quality and sneak peeks at new products. 70% GLOBAL AVERAGE reliability as the factors that led them to trust and respect a brand, nearly one-quarter indicated that they would lose respect for a company because of concerns about its operating practices or services. This type of sharing has limits. A majority of Millennials weren’t likely to share their personal phone numbers or addresses online, and at least 4 in 10 are not willing to share incomes, the name of their Furthermore, nearly one in five Millennials in the UK indicated that they would lose respect for a company BRAZIL CANADA because of its treatment of employees. 65% 69% Purchase and affiliation as self-expression CHINA GERMANY A Pew Research survey found that 34 percent of Millennials bought a certain product or service they 72% 62% like because of the social or political values of the company that provides it. The converse was also true: an equal number will not buy for the same reasons. INDIA ITALY When a Millennial loses trust or respect in a brand, 73% 74% the majority will tell their family and friends not to purchase the company’s products. UK USA While 55 percent of respondents said that price was the most important attribute in making purchasing 67% 80% decisions, Millennials told us that price was the least important factor in building a brand’s trust and 7
  • 8. Some brands help me to create my image. Some Six in ten Millennials will share help me to gain more personal information knowledge. Any with trusted brands. of the brands that I prefer play a role in my achievements, WILLING TO SHARE MORE PERSONAL INFORMATION though this role is WITH TRUSTED BRANDS MORE WILLING TO SHARE supporting. PERSONAL INFORMATION WITH TRUSTED BRANDS 58% - Female, 21, Russia 58% GLOBAL AVERAGE AVERAGE GLOBAL employer or even their photos online. Pew Research revealed that BRAZIL CANADA CHINA GERMANY BRAZIL CANADA CHINA GERMANY Millennials believe “you can’t be too careful with the people you deal 62% 47% 62% 38% with,” and just 28 percent feel that most people can be trusted. 62% INDIA 47% ITALY 62% UK 38%A 2010 Pewadults tofoundstepspeople aged 18 from accessinglikely USA than older survey take that to limit others to 29 are more their INDIA 58% 55% ITALY 46% UK 64% USA personal information online. Study results showed that 44 percent of younger adults try to protect their information, compared to 58% MEN 55% WOMEN 46% DADS 64% MOMS 33 percent of users between 30 and 49, and 25 percent of those between 50 and 64. Seventy-one percent of younger social 57% 60% 72% 69% network users have changed the privacy settings on their profiles MEN WOMEN DADS MOMS to limit what is shared with others, while only 55 percent of social STUDENTS EMPLOYED networkers between the ages of 50 and 64 have changed their 57%57% 71% 72% 60% 69% default settings. STUDENTS EMPLOYED 8
  • 9. MILLENNIAL MOM, 29 Dallas, TX, USA Born 1981, Married, one child Part-time educator Active on: Facebook Favorite websites, newspapers, magazines or TV shows: Starfall.com, babycenter.com, mamapedia.com, Parenting (The Early Years), Baby Talk, In Style, Mad Men, Gossip Girl, Parenthood What, if any role, do you think brands play in helping you achieve your personal goals? Currently, I feel that brands I pay most attention to are those that impact my daughter. This current generation is very focused on providing safe, organic alternatives for the well-being of future generations, as well as our planet. Who do you trust most for brand and product recommendations? Friends that have utilized particular products, bloggers that document their experience with products, and consumers who write reviews on- line about the products. Why do you trust them? Because they have already had personal experience with the product or brand of interest. What’s the one misconception that you think companies have about you and other moms your age? I think some companies assume that by stamping the word “natural” on a product, mothers will assume that it is organic and not bother reading what the product is made of. Unfortunately, although I do believe there are definitely many people that would unknowingly do so, there is a growing segment of the population that now knows better. What advice can you share with companies who want to truly reach you and your friends? A mother’s top concern is always regarding safety. 9
  • 10. Information is A Key to Influence
  • 11. Millennials are subjected to a massive flow of information, and each piece has the potential to influence how they make their purchasing decisions. Many of 1 in 5 them have become active contributors to the volume of information about brands through blogs, product reviews and online forums. Millennials have posted Adopting new technology has become a way of life for many Millennials. As Mike Walsh described in Futuretainment, “They are not trying to change the world; they a video of themselves online. have simply never known any other.” In fact, 74 percent of Millennials believe that new technology makes their lives easier, with more than half saying that it helps them be closer with their friends. The constant flow of data feeds Millennials’ thoughts and conversations. Sixty-five percent of respondents told us they are disconnected for one hour or less each day. So what distinguishes the truly distinctive and influential sources of information from the background noise? The answer is the key to making inroads with this perpetually evolving group. Millennials seek information beyond their peer network While social networks, sharing and collaboration all empower Millennials to make personal decisions, our research found that they often extend well beyond their peer network to glean information, opinions and knowledge. Pew data shows that 75 percent have created a profile on a social networking site, with 55 percent visiting those sites at least once a day. More than 60 percent connect to the Internet wirelessly when they are away from work or home and 88 percent text each other. 65% of Millennials are disconnected one hour or less per day. 11
  • 12. ng life decisions which of the mation sources do you reach out to in Friends and family are the ur decision? of information top sources Millennials seek in making major decisions. Millennials look for more 77 % FAMILY information about a product an average of 64 % FRIENDS 7.4 times per month; 21 % SEARCH ENGINE Millennial moms led the 21 % EXPERT WEBSITE way, seeking additional 20 % CO-WORKER information 9.2 times per month. 13 % SOCIAL NETWORKS 8 % NOBODY, I DO IT ALONE 2 % OTHER Eighty-seven percent of Millennials indicated that they consult This eruption in available data points means that brand-marketing at least one to three information sources before selecting new efforts make up an increasingly small sliver of available information. technology such as mobile phones, with 31 percent consulting Rather than relying solely on sanctioned marketing and product seven or more sources. When choosing which brand of product information, Millennials can tap the whole world of data—not just or service to buy, that total dipped slightly to 86 percent. a pithy catchphrase or celebrity endorsement—to form opinions about brands. 12
  • 13. Information empowers action and influence CONSULT 4 OR MORE As Gen Buy noted, the “democratization” of SOURCES WHEN CHOOSING information and opinion enabled by the Web has WHICH PRODUCT OR led Millennials to be more self-reliant in making SERVICE TO PURCHASE purchasing decisions. Our research clearly supports the notion that Millennials educate themselves on brands with information from a variety of channels. The majority of 8095 respondents use up to six sources of information to help make their final decisions on everything from clothes and electronics 51% GLOBAL AVERAGE to grooming products. These trends have far-reaching implications. With so many potential sources of influence—from family and BRAZIL CANADA friends to online peer groups, social communities and vast arrays of product information—how can brands ensure that they are part of the conversation when 56% 51% it matters? Similarly, since Millennials have increased access to CHINA GERMANY product information, brands will have to find different ways to communicate with them, both directly and indirectly through their colleagues and influencers 58% 48% who transcend personal networks. INDIA ITALY “The same tried and true ways of marketing do not 55% 56% hold. The old playbook is UK USA out. We need to understand where we can fit into 47% 42% (Millennials’) lives.” Kirsten Lynch, CMO, Quaker* StrategyOne/Edelman *Quaker is an Edelman Client 13
  • 14. FULL TIME STUDENT, 20 Tokyo, JAPAN Born 1990, Single Full-time employed/Full-time graduate student Active on: Facebook, Twitter Favorite websites, newspapers, magazines or TV shows: Twitter and a Japanese historical TV drama, Ryomaden (NHK) What is a brand? I think a brand is a perception of consumers over a company or a product/product group. It is something that becomes complete only when consumers recognize it and evaluate it. Even if a company plans to create a specific brand, that brand cannot be established unless consumer agrees/perceives in that way. For a company, a brand is company’s identity and pride. What’s the one misconception you think companies have about you and other students your age? My generation is typically called a “Yutori-sedai.” It is a name to call my generation who went through a period when the government reduced the mandatory educational hour around 2000. However, the government quickly reverted back to the previous required hours due to the evaluation that people did not get sufficient education. People, in general, say that my generation is “Yarukinai,” that is, we do not have a sense of “achievement” or “Atsukunai,” we do not have passion.” I think we have passion, it is just that we have much more options in our lives that our attention and interests are diversified. I think my generation is a “diversification generation.” What advice can you share with companies who want to truly reach you and your friends? Do not persuade consumers of my generation with explanations such as: ‘Having this/ owning this shows your status’ or ‘owning this is a must.’ What is the biggest concern for you and your friends? Employment. Overly frustrated to get a job. In Japan, people start becoming serious about “employment” from the winter of their third year at college. I think the pressure is coming down to first/second year people lately. 14
  • 15. Taking action is a core value
  • 16. With a group as diverse as Millennials, action can take many engaged, complex because, as a result of extended exposure to different forms, but the nearly ever-present connection to their brands and marketing, they can be very sophisticated consumers. peers plays a pivotal role. From joining online communities A Mintel study reported that Millennials “have more involvement sponsored by brands to viewing and recommending videos or news in pop culture and activities that would compel them to try new stories, action has moved beyond commerce to become part of the products and services and recommend them to friends.” The looming very fabric of social interaction and living. question for companies then is how to develop the right tools and This connection makes Millennials an extremely desirable but strategies to reach Millennials—not just to sell products, but to complex group: desirable because they spend so much time inspire action. Nine-in-ten 8095 Live respondents take action weekly on behalf of a brand. 16
  • 17. An array of actions for preferred brands Eighty-two percent of Millennials have joined a A majority of Millennials have brand-sponsored online community. Nearly half (47 joined multiple brand-sponsored percent) have joined more than three. Chinese and online communities. U.S. respondents were the most likely to engage in this activity, while German and Italian members were less active. Beyond the social aspects of online groups, studies PERCENTAGE WHO HAVE suggest that Millennials expect to be rewarded for JOINED SEVEN OR MORE their loyalty and engagement. Recent Facebook BRAND-SPONSORED research found that 42 percent of its members ONLINE COMMUNITIES fan pages in search of insider tips or information. 25% Clearly, companies have the opportunity to create a strong presence among Millennials—if they can craft compelling offerings and invitations to reward their GLOBAL AVERAGE followers. Nearly 70 percent of Millennials indicated that they BRAZIL CANADA 24% 28% recommend their favorite brands to family or friends. A significant number, 47 percent, write about good Nearly 20% experiences online, with respondents from Brazil and China the most likely to take the time to do so. Yet, of 8095 Live respondents have attended a brand- CHINA GERMANY negative brand experiences also spark this kind of 14% 26% action, with nearly 40 percent of respondents saying sponsored event in the they have criticized a brand on a social network. INDIA ITALY Moreover, a total of 57 percent—and 70 percent in last 30 days. Of those who 25% 38% the United States—said they would volunteer to try attended, more than UK USA new products, with those willing to create a video and post it online or write an online review close behind. 65% purchased a 27% 15% What factors should companies focus on to persuade product that was MEN WOMEN DADS Millennials to try their brands? Our research featured at the event. 27% 20% 30% provides some insight. Millennials said they would EMPLOYED consider trying brands based on offerings such as MOMS STUDENTS discounts and free products (36 percent), additional 21% 26% 24% information about the product (26 percent), tools StrategyOne/Edelman 17
  • 18. and resources to improve other aspects of their lives (18 percent), and access to exclusive events and unique brand experiences (14 percent). While discounts and free products would seem to be an obvious draw, nearly Though they lean toward positive one in five Millennials would consider switching to a brand that plays an active catalyst role in their life. In China, this was the number one reason why Millennials reviews, good or bad, more would switch brands. Our respondents also exhibited a growing desire to support Millennials will write about their environmental causes and local vendors. Four of ten Millennials indicated that they would buy products that are made or grown locally, even if those goods are brand experiences online. more expensive. It’s worth noting that brand loyalty can rise and fall depending on life stage, and since the age range of our sample encompasses so many important milestones, these fluctuations are more pronounced. While this dynamic can create challenges WRITE ABOUT POSITIVE WRITE ABOUT NEGATIVE for brands, going forward we’ll also explore how companies can connect with EXPERIENCES WITH PRODUCTS EXPERIENCES WITH PRODUCTS Millennials when they are their most curious, open, and passionate to establish OR COMPANIES ONLINE OR COMPANIES ONLINE a relationship that endures across life stages. 47% 39% 57% – 70% in GLOBAL AVERAGE GLOBAL AVERAGE the U.S. – would BRAZIL CANADA BRAZIL CANADA volunteer to try 57% 41% 44% 38% a new product CHINA GERMANY CHINA GERMANY from a trusted 60% 39% 53% 38% brand and most testers would post INDIA ITALY INDIA ITALY a review online 46% 49% 35% 42% to promote the UK USA UK USA experience. 44% 35% 36% 29% 18
  • 19. EMPLOYED STUDENT, 30 Beijing, CHINA Born 1980, Single Full-time professional/Part-time university student Active on: Twitter, Tumblr Favorite websites, newspapers, magazines or TV shows: Gossip Girl, Heroes, Desperate Housewives Why do you trust friends for brand recommendations? Friends won’t cheat you. You can see how the brand influences their life and can judge whether it suits me or not. Why do they trust you? I introduce brands in a neutral way, using my positive experiences to impress them. How do you typically share experiences and preferences with them? Via social media chat and text. MSN or other tools to chat with them. We don’t really give direct advice but I will use my own experience and other reference information. What advice can you share with companies who want to truly reach you and your friends? Treat Chinese consumers the same way as in other countries. No discriminations. No cheating and be honest if you have a quality problem. When you use social media to outreach to us, please pay attention to our conversations instead of feeding us with propaganda information. Be innovative and creative. Will you post negative content online about a brand? Definitely yes. I will post the negative content online if the brand fails to provide quality products. This will save more people from wasting money. 19
  • 20. Reverberation is online, offline and increasingly mobile
  • 21. A company with a well-considered approach to building a brand that appeals to Millennials, establishing trust among consumers, and inspiring action from its most 74% loyal followers still faces a serious, ever-present challenge: how to harness the of our 8095 Live energy and influence of Millennials while avoiding the pitfalls inherent in engaging with such a diverse group that communicates through rapidly evolving channels insights community and technology. indicated that they Imagine, for instance, that a Millennial customer has a negative interaction with a had talked to a company’s customer service. Instead of escalating the issue to a supervisor, the customer texts five friends to tell them of the incident. The friends in turn share the friend about a story with their peer group, and a single event has quickly been spread to dozens of people. For good measure, the customer also vents on Facebook. Friends comment favorite brand in on the incident and share their own stories of bad service. the past week, and 54% had talked to a friend about a Within the past 30 days, 8095 Live product they don’t like. respondents have recommended within the lastor family member that a friend 30 days, 8095 respondents have As another example let’s say a Millennial is cooking dinner at home and tries a new purchase a specific product in recommended... recipe with a specific brand of tomato sauce and sends a round of excited texts the following categories: inviting friends to stop by to taste the amazing dish. The tasters send their own rounds of texts praising the dish and following the recipe to the letter. Welcome to reverberation—the impact that Millennials can have on brands by communicating with their extended peer groups in real time. FOOD 54% Reverberation is a more recent phenomenon, enabled and fueled by technology ELECTRONICS 39% and how it’s altering peer interaction. Our research revealed that 76 percent of PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS 37% Millennials believe they are highly depended on for their opinions among friends CLOTHING 35% and family. BEAUTY PRODUCTS 35% And they’re not just talking about their phones and laptops. When asked what CLEANING PRODUCTS 24% products they tend to share with friends, replies from our 8095 Live insights COOKING PRODUCTS 19% community were wide ranging: 32 percent electronics, 19 percent personal care products such as toothpaste and deodorant, 15 percent food, 8 percent clothing, PET PRODUCTS 19% 5 percent cookware, 4 percent personal beauty such as cologne or makeup, and OTHER 13% 4 percent housewares, furniture, or décor. 21
  • 22. 62% of Millennials connect to the Internet It’s no longer just about online and offline— mobile is its own subculture. wirelessly when An important element of reverberation is the nearly constant they are away connection that Millennials have with their peer group. from work or Social media has garnered the bulk of the attention, as companies craft integrated marketing campaigns that seek to tap into this home, and active, expansive network. But beyond social media lies the 88% text uncharted territory of personal communication via text messages and BBM*: it’s instantaneous, potentially global, and currently each other. totally below the radar. Pew Research This form of communication has become a subculture in its own Focus on making an excellent product. If you do so, right, with the ability to inspire action and in the process boost or then all of your marketing will be true and most of the destroy a brand on its own. Incidents that are communicated outside of traditional media channels, riding at breakneck speed on the marketing will be done by us. We are all looking for backs of text messages and Facebook posts sent from smartphones, great products and brands to share with our friends. can build a brand or do lasting damage. The best way to help us spread the word is by first The speed at which a brand can gain or lose trust is increasingly creating a great product.” more rapid, aided by the ease of spreading news and ideas through text messages. Mobile devices have become like an appendage, -Male, 29, US texting is a driving word-of-mouth force. Since there’s no longer a delay between a thought or experience and the ability to communicate it, anyone who has an opinion is able to voice it instantly. And, unlike most digital interactions, mobile- platform conversations are private and untrackable, yet even more personal and powerful. *RIM is an Edelman Client 22
  • 23. Shopping A more extensive network of friends is a social The innovative ways that Millennials communicate with one another has altered experience the makeup of their peer groups—as well as what they expect from their friends. Mindshare’s 2009 poll of 18- to 24-year-olds in the United States found that 51 for Millennials percent agreed with the statement that “social networking sites like Facebook are where brand diluting the quality of relationships.” While some have responded by curbing the recommendations time they spend on social networking sites, these defections pale in comparison to the growth in new users. happen in real-time. Our research found that, on average, Millennials have twice as many core friends An 8095 Live survey online as they do offline. When asked what they typically depend on their friends found that nearly for, our respondents selected general advice, entertainment, and encouragement, all at around 60 percent; perspective on life was significantly lower, at just two-thirds go to the 37 percent. store for groceries, Only 35 percent indicated that they seek camaraderie from their peer group, electronics and perhaps highlighting the limits of online friendships. Around 60 percent of respondents—and more than 80 percent of Chinese participants—said that they clothing with would make a purchasing decision or life choice that their friends didn’t approve someone else. of. Yet, globally, 36 percent of respondents said that they would not likely make a purchase that their friends don’t approve, showing the incredible complexity of the new influence dynamic. What is your first source of information on customer service? My first source of information for customer service is When seeking customer service on a product COMPANY WEBSITE 50% issue, less than one percent of 8095ers SEARCH ENGINE 46% When seeking customer service on a product STORE LOCATION 45% issue, less than one percent of Millennials FRIENDS 30% would actually call customer service. FAMILY 22% SOCIAL NETWORKS 20% CALL CUSTOMER SERVICE < 1% 23
  • 24. Avoiding the potential downside of reverberation However, loyalty can also pose real risks for companies that don’t deliver on their promises, and the impact is rarely easily contained or reversed. According to our research, once Millennials lose faith in a brand, it’s nearly impossible to win them back. Almost 40 percent of respondents revealed that they had written about bad experiences online, possibly representing a large percentage that had turned away from a brand but didn’t register their disappointment. In fact, fully 71 percent of our sample said they would express their negative feelings about brands in some way, In the past week, 36% from telling a friend not to purchase the brand and boycotting the company to posting a video online. of 8095 Live respondents have For companies, recognizing the impact of reverberation and the purchased a product that was factors that drive it is just the first step. Next, they must move beyond the framework of online and offline to include all modes of introduced to them by a friend. communication. To do so requires a deeper understanding of how specific segments of Millennials use them to interact—a topic we’ll explore in depth in our ongoing 8095 conversation. A greater emphasis on collaboration Our research indicates that Millennials have a strong commitment to When asked what makes collaboration and their choices, actions and brand preferences are them recommend products, amplified by sharing. Indeed, seven out of 10 depend on their friends one 8095 Live respondent to learn about new trends, achieve their personal goals, make life stated, “Quality of the decisions and have a positive impact on the world. product and reputation Consequently, the transition from brand awareness to appreciation to active engagement can occur rapidly, as exposure to a brand of the company. Not the spawns a conversation that results in texting friends or “Liking” a kind of reputation where page on Facebook. they are hip and they’re If they are having a customer service issue with a brand, one-third so cool and so I must of Millennials will turn to their friends for support as their first course of action. One in five will turn to their family and one in five purchase their products, will turn to their social networks for help. Less than one percent but companies that have a of the respondents in our survey said they would actually take the long history of caring for traditional means of calling customer support. their customers.” 24
  • 25. GRAD STUDENT, 26 Chicago, ILLINOIS Born 1984, Single Full-time employed/Full-time graduate student Active on: Facebook, Twitter, Flavors.me Favorite websites, newspapers, magazines or TV shows: The Economist, The Onion, Slate.com, Theoatmeal.com, Xkcd.com, Dexter Who do you trust for brand recommendations? Friends and family whose tastes I know match mine, and whose view on life and morality is similar to mine. How do you discover and research new brands and products? Usually word of mouth and social media. Also at work and through trustworthy news sources. How do you typically give them advice on brands? As it comes up in conversation. We also discuss via text, email or social media. What’s the one misconception that you think companies have about you and other graduate students your age? That we are ADD internet junkies who need everything handed to us in 140 characters or less. While this might be true for some, many of us still want thoughtful, thorough content and will take the time to read/watch something if it’s meaningful. What advice can you share with companies who want to truly reach you and your friends? Take the time to engage your audience: Don’t just push your message, but listen as well. Social media channels make this a lot easier, and they’re oftentimes misused and underused by companies. Prompt a response, discussion, and relate your company to someone’s life—don’t be afraid to step outside of your specific product and go for the bigger message to which your audience can relate and participate. 25
  • 26. Not an end, a beginning to the Exchange
  • 27. Millennials have come of age alongside technology and have Research shows that Millennials are open to new experiences absorbed it into their lives. Their relationship with technology and new brands. They are excited by interacting with brands and has completely changed their relationship with brands and interested in building relationships with them. They have the services. In fact, like the Baby Boomers several generations before confidence to stand up for what they believe but also the confidence, them, Millennials have upended what had become the traditional technology and network to voice their opinions when they feel marketing model and now marketers are playing catch up, trying to they’ve been mistreated. With Millennials, brands know where they understand who they are, what they want, how to reach them, how stand (sometimes minute-to-minute). to satisfy them. The 8095 Exchange isn’t the end of a conversation, but the Brand loyal in a way that brands and services crave, yet with a beginning. We still have much to learn. But what we do know, what what-have-you-done-for-me-lately attitude they fear, Millennials you’ve just read in these pages, is that the future is here. Brands and are forcing marketers to reconsider everything. What used to be a marketers who continue to live in the present (let alone in the past) one-way conversation (which isn’t much of a conversation at all) is will miss out on opportunities that are just too good to pass up. now a multifaceted, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week dialogue All of this means that this new world – one in which Millennials play between brands and their customers, between their customers a central role – is rife with extraordinary opportunity. Marketers and those customers’ entire circles of friends and families. And and brands that understand who Millennials are, how they behave, that’s dicey, too, given the different types of relationships research what they want and how they communicate, will be able to thrive suggests people have with everyday in-person friends and, and flourish. separately, online friends, who may number in the tens of thousands for an especially popular Twitterer. The 8095 Exchange kicks off an ongoing conversation about the future of brands and the people who will make or break them. These Yet, the opportunity for brands is now more clearly defined. are exciting times, indeed. 27
  • 28. Welcome To 8095 Live 8095 8095 To build on our initial survey results, Edelman and StrategyOne created 8095 Live, an online insights community where brands can have an 8095 8095 8095 open dialogue with Millennials about their beliefs, connections, and perceptions. Made up of 500 U.S. Millennials, 8095 Live includes a representative sample of major segments, ages, life stages, locations, and ethnicities. We are engaging with this group through weekly online conversations and have already begun to compile further insights, many of which have appeared in this paper. In an era where communication channels are multiplying and attitudes are constantly evolving, research is more crucial than ever to shape marketing efforts. We believe 8095 Live presents a powerful tool to capture the thoughts and 8095 8095 8095 insights necessary to formulate effective brand strategy. 28
  • 29. REFERENCES “Facebook Teens,” Facebook Market Research, January 2010 “Gen Y Likes Talking About Brands,” Keller Fay Group, August 2007 “Marketing to Millennials,” Mintel Research, March 2010 Steve McClellan, “Is Facebook getting uncool for 18-24s?” AdWeek, November 16, 2009 “Millennials: A portrait of Generation Next,” Pew Research Center, February 2010 Riva Richmond, “A guide to Facebook’s new privacy policies,” New York Times, May 27, 2010 Mike Walsh, Futuretainment: Yesterday the World Changed, Now It’s Your Turn, London: Phaidon Press, 2009 Kit Yarrow and Jayne O’Donnell, Gen Buy: How Tweens, Teens, and Twenty-Somethings Are Revolutionizing Retail, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2009 The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, Funded by Pew Charitable Trusts, “The 2006 civic and political health of the nation,” October 2006 Pew Research Center’s study on “Americans and Social Trust, Who, Where, Why,” February 2007 Pew Research Center’s study on “Millennials: Confident, Connected, Open to Change,” February 2010 Mindshare survey of 1,200 consumers about their social-networking habits, August 2009 www.edelman.com | www.strategyone.net Material may be used with credit given to Edelman/StrategyOne. 29