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Millennial Consumers ARE Buying—But Not What You Think

This generation is buying differently from Gen X and Boomers

The Center for Generational Kinetics’ and our Millennial generation researcher, Jason Dorsey, was recently featured in a MarketWatch article noting the emerging purchasing trends of Millennials (also known as Gen Y). Although there has certainly been an economic shift toward younger people’s renting rather than owning (and there’s almost nothing missing from the list – clothing, shoes, gardens, accessories), three consumer trends demonstrate that the concept of ownership is still alive and well, even among Millennials.


Millennial Consumers ARE Buying-But Not What You Think

Here are three quick takeaways on Millennials as consumers from the article:

  1. If Millennials are still buying and owning things, and they are, perhaps this first trend could best be described as “less is more” with a slight lean toward the intangible. For instance, Millennials are willing to shell out significant amounts of money for unique and one-of-a-kind experiences. These experiences can range from exotic vacations or concerts to social missions across the globe, but the outcome is the same for each. The experience forever belongs to the consumer without any further maintenance or upkeep—and no mortgage!
  1. Another driving force for Millennial consumer ownership is a voracious quest for uniqueness that crosses industries and can manifest itself in everything from exclusive apparel to launching businesses and companies that reflect individual interests and passions. Even owning a pet fits this bill, and Millennials in large numbers have pets. This is because though there may be 30 other dogs at the dog park, there’s only one spotted rescue named Banjo, and he looks great in an Instagram post.
  1. Along the lines of the renting vs. home-ownership trend, Millennials value thriftiness. This extends even into their “splurge” purchases. Luxury goods are still on the radar of thrifty Millennial buyers, but unless they are trying to be the first among friends to attain an item, they expect to get a bargain.

There is more good info in this article on Millennial consumer trends in MarketWatch.

Click here to read the full MarketWatch article.

What are your thoughts on Millennial consumers buying vs. renting? Let us know on Twitter: @whatthegen and @jasondorsey

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