Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Gen Y Hipster

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Sociologists, marketers, pollsters and old folks are obsessed with us. We're an anomaly to the species; an entire generation of disaffected, distracted, entitled children in full grown bodies who are both envied and despised for our enduring ennui. Until recently, that was the prevailing wisdom on Gen Y but a new study is recharacterizing those of us who came of age in the aughts as movers, shakers, visionaries, uniters and, most importantly, doers. A new report by trend experts, Outlaw Consulting may change the way companies speak to it's sexiest demographic. Reframing Gen Y characteristics such as entitlement, making them potential positives, not negatives, shows a shift in perception of us cool kids:
“Millennials, or Gen Ys, are definitely different. They seem to feel more empowered – and more entitled– than any generation before them. They have an innate team orientation that makes them excellent collaborators. And the ideas about issues like marriage and career are radically different. Their “American dream” isn’t about the picket fence; it’s a flexible freelance career and a life defined by passion. … Gen Ys see themselves as change-makers. But they’re also busy trying to have a middle-class life, so their protests take different form than youth protests of the past. They see corporation’s as having lots of power but little heart, and they try to create change by using their dollars. The “aha” for corporations is to recognize that values and authenticity are important to this generation — and that directly affects how they spend. American Apparel, for example, has been totally embraced by youth because of its labor practices. Shopping there make them feel like they’re spending money in the right place. Companies that really “walk their talk” about core values will be endeared. If you want to be relevant to Gen Ys, you need to understand their mindset.”
Note, the second to last hipster is called "The Williamsburg". We're so 2000 and late.

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