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January 2018

Global Centennials and Consumer Behavior

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Centennials have already eclipsed Millennials as the global cohort influencing trends and driving industries. Research by Kantar Futures examined the consumer behavior of Centennials. Centennials make up 35 percent of the total global population. The highest concentrations of Centennials are in: Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia, and Latin America.

Despite being young, many Centennials spend their own money. Most spend their own money on clothes and shoes—55 percent of the survey respondents reported doing so. Fifty-two percent of Centennials reported spending their own money on books/music (physical copies) and apps. The third most popular category that Centennials spent on was toys and games, reported by half (50 percent) of respondents. Just under half (48 percent) reported spending on events and outings. Other categories in which Centennials reported spending their own money include: personal care (43 percent), electronic goods (42 percent), eating out (42 percent), digital streaming (37 percent) and sports equipment (31 percent).

Centennials also have great influence when it comes to their family’s spending. The category in which they have the most influence was food and beverages, reported by 77 percent of respondents. The second most popular category in which they have influence was furniture, which 76 percent of Centennials reported. Seventy-three percent said that they heavily influence their family’s spending on household goods, while 66 percent said they influenced their family’s spending on travel. Further, 63 percent of Centennials said they had influence on their family’s spending on eating out. Other key categories in which they expressed having influence include: electronic goods (61 percent), clothes and shoes (60 percent), personal care (55 percent), event and outings (48 percent), and sports equipment (47 percent).

Affluent Consumers’ Engagement with Brands

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Global Web Index conducted research on the brand engagement habits of affluent consumers. The sample comprised of 126 affluent male and female consumers. Respondents were between the ages of 16 and 64.

The research revealed that affluent consumers are a highly engaged group. Respondents were asked if they have done various brand interaction actions in the past month. Approximately 15 percent of affluent consumers said they had provided ideas for a new product/design. Another 15 percent said they interacted with a brand on a messaging app. Seventeen percent of the respondents reported using a company’s live-chat service on a website.  Further, 15 percent said they used a QR code provided by a company or brand. And finally, 17 percent of affluent consumers shared a brand’s post on a social network.

The research also revealed that affluent consumers had high levels of brand advocacy. Respondents were then asked about the reasons they would promote a brand. The most popular reason for promoting a brand was receiving great customer service, reported by 37 percent of affluent consumers. The second most popular reason was having insider knowledge about the brand or its products, reported by 23 percent of respondents. Twenty-two percent of respondents said they engage in brand advocacy when they have a personal/one-on-one relationship with a brand. Further, 20 percent said they serve as brand advocates when they have access to exclusive content or services (e.g., music, videos, etc.). And finally, 16 percent of affluent consumers said they promote brands when something enhances their online reputation/status.

Generation Z and Music Sales Decline

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A report by Nielsen Soundscan revealed that Generation Z individuals are not buying music like other generations are. Instead, they are turning to YouTube. Most of these individuals said that YouTube was the “coolest” place to get music. The respondents were asked to rate various music listening methods on how “cool” they are. Approximately 75 percent said that listening to music on YouTube was either “very cool” or “totally way cool.” Only 7 percent said that listening on YouTube was “totally un-cool” or “not cool”. In addition, only 3 percent reported not knowing what YouTube was.

Downloading music was the second most “cool” method of listening. Seventy-two percent of Gen Z’ers said that downloading was “very cool” or “totally way cool.” Nine percent said it was “totally un-cool” or “not cool.” And again, 3 percent reported not knowing about downloading music.

Pandora was the third most “cool” method of listening to music. Approximately 66 percent of respondents said Pandora was “very cool” or “totally way cool.” Twelve percent reported that the service was “totally un-cool” or “not cool.” An equal percentage of respondents (12 percent) said that they did not know what Pandora was.

The two methods of music listening that were the least “cool” were streaming music online and listening to AM/FM radio. Fifty-nine percent of Gen Z’ers said that streaming music online was “very cool” or “totally way cool.” However, 17 percent said that it was “totally un-cool” or “not cool.” In addition, 13 percent of Gen Z’ers reported not knowing about streaming music online. When it comes to AM/FM radio, 55 percent said that it was “very cool” or “totally way cool.” However, 18 percent said that it was “totally un-cool” or “not cool.” Eight percent of respondents said they did not know what AM/FM radio was.