What Makes a Brand Appeal to Generation Y? [By Vanessa Teo]

As a broad group, people in Generation Y are well aware of being inundated with brand and advertising messages, yet there are clear differences in how these messages cut through to different segments of 16 to 34 year olds, depending on age and circumstances.

There are three key life stages people naturally fall into – ‘All About Me’, ‘All About Us’ and ‘All About Them’.

All About Me

This group consists of young adults who don’t yet have any firm responsibilities. They are typically 16 to 21 years old and only need to consider brands for themselves, not having to buy for the home or a partner or children. The key brand types that fared well are snacks, while alcohol, fashion and digital platforms make up the majority of those that dominated the most liked brands in this stage.

All About Us

Those who are in this group are in an interesting stage that feels like first true adult independence. It typically consists of 21 to 30 years old and may be moving into his or her own home for the first time, living with a partner or taking the first rung on the career ladder. At this stage, the most liked brands start to include more alcohol, department stores, and household grocery brands such as Colgate. Credit card brand Visa also makes an appearance.

All About Them

The final stage is about having to be open and accountable to other considerations and influences. Typically this group is 25 to 34 years old and may now have a partner, children and mortgage payments. It is at this stage that trading off between brands really starts to speed up. This is because the needs and wants of others trump initial personal preferences. At this stage, young adults are also making decisions about wider categories of products than ever before, and their brand repertoire will have grown considerably. This is evidenced with more family orientated brands such as Johnsons and Kellogg’s appearing in their most liked brands list.

Regardless of life stage, the common denominators in choosing brands still comes down to the perceived quality and performance of their products.

By Vanessa Teo

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