So much has been written about the undeniable economic power of the Baby Boomer Generation, but hold on- there is a new tsunami of insatiable spenders helping to keep our economy afloat and promising to be a larger and more powerful consumer demographic than Baby Boomers… (drum roll please!)
Allow me to introduce you to GENERATION Y!
They are the hardest-to-reach but freest-spending generation. This group of super-consumers has an “always-on” connection to social media and the Web.
Karen Weiner Escalera,
President & Chief Strategist at KWE Partners
Generation Y consumers, born between 1945 and 1964, out number the Boomer gang by about 13 million (Gen. Y’s represent an estimated 83 million potential shoppers.) Über eager to spend on items they see as chic, valuable (lasting) and prestigious, these rabid buyers grew up in the shadow of their Boomer parents’ reverance for all things iconic. Over the past decade, the Y’s have became accustomed to the accessibility of ultra gauche items on private sale internet sites, such as Gilt, Belle and Clive, Rue La La and HauteLook. But the good news for those retailers is that studies show that many of these lux niche worshippers have been converted and now purchase directly (and in store) from the luxury retailers they met in passing, online.
According to Karen Weiner Escalera, President and Head Strategist at luxurysociety.com, “Gen. Y has embraced social media and blogs for information – they are more likely to listen to each other than listen to what marketers and previous generations are telling them. They are the hardest-to-reach but freest-spending generation.”
Ethan Lyon, writer for sparxoo.com, says: “Gen Y’ers rationalize indulgence spending. Lyon goes on to state … “I work really hard, and I need to invest in myself,” is a standard buying rationale for affluent Gen Y’ers.
In fact, Lyon quotes market research consultancy Chatter.com whom, he reports, conducted behavior analysis surveys indicating that Gen Yer’s seek out luxury niche brands.
Their closets are a mash-up of Louis Vuitton handbags, D&G belts, Gucci trousers, Armani suits and Dior perfume, writes Lyon.
Bloggers who study luxury agree that Generation Y’ers are in it ‘for the love of the deal.’ Modeling a mindset learned from Boomer family members, Generation Y appreciates luxury and value, but distinguishes itself from its elders through its profound‘W-IQ’, or what I like to think of as ‘web intellect’. Y’ers truly “get” the enormous capacity of the internet to serve up incredulous deals and steals. After all, these are the kids who grew up with computers in their classrooms and cell phones stashed in their book bags.
Generation Y has a passion for technology and an innate understanding of ‘on-demand’ e-browsing and shopping. They are experts and can pull off deals where they save hundreds or thousands, literally in a New York nano-second. Author Lyon points out that one of the first luxury flash sales brands, ‘Gilt Groupe’ pulled in around”$500 million in 2010.” This writer suspects that Guilt’s sales and growth were funded mainly through an abundance of Generation Y white-knuckle-mouse-clicks!
Which takes us back to the heart of the discussion: how to reach this dreamy group of discerning and decisive Y’ers? Escalera cautions that the way to these spendthrift consumer’s haute lux hearts is through ‘authenticity.’ She suggests that you ‘not talk down to them’… don’t push your brand ‘in their face’… and ‘let your raving fans do the job (of marketing) for you.’ Which are all great suggestions, considering that there is a great deal at stake!
Parting words… when you pursue the ‘Y’ Generation, begin your chase knowing the ‘why,’ but make certain to also determine the ‘how’, ‘what,’ ‘when’ and ‘where’ of your campaign. That’s the ticket, (as we Boomers like to say,) with this ‘Y click and buy’ crowd.
- Appreciation goes out to Microsoft.com, Google.com and istock.com for the royalty free images used in this blog.
http://luxurysociety.com/articles/2012/05/generation-y-luxurys-most-buoyant-market;http://www.sparxoo.com/2010/05/17/tomorrows-luxury-a-look-at-affluent-gen-yers/; http://www.startupnation.com/business-articles/9011/1/marketing-GenY.htm http://luxurysociety.com/articles/2011/12/top-8-luxury-travel-marketing-trends-for-2012