At times the notions of status, success, and money change due to a generational shift, according to luxury marketing research firm Unit Marketing. It happened in the 1960s, when Baby Boomers came of age--and it will happened again soon with the coming of age of the Millennials.
Unit Marketing plans a new report on Millennials, a generation that the firm says will begin to reach peak earning years in 2010. The wealthiest of this generation will enter a window of affluence that, Unity Marketing said, will last for two decades.
The firm said predicting the behavior of the Millennial generation, born between 1978 and 2000, can be difficult. Past studies by the firm has identified four important ways in which Millennials are different from previous generations.
1. Millennials will reject the status symbols of their parents. Millennials will find status in achievements rather than their purchases. Unity research indicates members of this generation find significantly more satisfaction from earning a degree or completing an athletic event than by items they purchase. One example: a Millennial is likely to be more interested in owning a $500 Ironman triathlon watch signifying the achievement than a $5,000 brand name watch?
2. Millennials will trade money for time, and will therefore have less money to spend on luxury items. A Millennials may be willing work less overtime, and see slower career progress and earnings increases, in order to enjoy their time now.
3. Millennials will shift from conspicuous consumption to conscious consumption, guided by social, environmental, and ethical values. These values will guide Millennials' purchase decisions. Unity said this attitude can already be seen in the generation's rent-rather-than-buy tendencies.
4. Millennials think of "luxury" as a marketer's label: Millennials are savvy to marketing techniques and perceive the term "luxury" as a tool to entice them to buy rather than an adjective conveying something important about a product.
"Affluent Millennials will key in on products that help them live the lives they want, rather than looking for luxury or status as traditionally defined," Unity said.
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