Youth Decoded

December 13, 2018

The first edition of the Youth Study demonstrates, above all else, the generational shift currently taking place in Canada. The influence of millennials and Gen Zs is increasing, while that of baby boomers is eroding. Like the Baby Boomers before them, Millennials and Gen Zs will influence those in society who come after them. We are on the cusp of a new generational and marketing phase, and following millennials and Gen Zs means following the trend!

In the summer of 2018, Leger conducted the largest study ever undertaken in Canada among Canadian youth between the ages of 13 and 34 to learn more about these two rising generations. The study covered everything from behaviour, values, self-awareness and favourite influencers, the influence of advertising, purchasing behaviour, both online and in-store, their influence on their workplace, and in particular, a ranking of the coolest (#COOL) companies across ten sectors. In all, 107 companies were interviewed.

The Youth Study offers, among other things, new perspectives on these two generations by confirming, and most importantly refuting, certain seemingly unshakeable myths. Millennials are seen as big spenders? Wrong. According to the study, they are actually pretty cheap, look for discounts, watch their budgets and limit impulse buying. We often hear that, in the coming years, Millennials and Gen Zs will exclusively buy online. Wrong again. Online and in-store purchases go hand in hand. Young people are all on Facebook? Maybe, but for how long? Facebook’s popularity is slipping, and Instagram and Snapchat have taken the lead among 13- to 17-year-olds. In contrast, other myths have proven to be true: these generations seek recognition, follow influencers, prefer streaming online to traditional TV, want to start businesses and are not very optimistic about the future.

To better understand these two upcoming generations, it is essential for companies to acquire new tools to predict upcoming trends. This is exactly what the Youth Study does; it anticipates upcoming trends and provides the tools to maintain their status as a #COOL business in the eyes of Millennials and Gen Zs.

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