Emerging Millennial and Generation Z trends for 2015

Ryan Jenkins is a Millennial speaker, blogger and podcaster. Here he gives us the low down on Millennial trends for 2015.

In 2014, the World Cup, Ebola, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Sochi Olympics, and Frozen captivated the world’s curiosity. In 2015, the world’s curiosity and attention will transfer to the culture shifts spurred by the many Millennials stepping into leadership roles and today’s youngsters—Generation Z—becoming tomorrow’s trendsetters. 2015 will surely be a breakthrough year.

There aren't many areas of life that remain untouched by the influence of the Millennials and Generation Z. Below are some of the pivotal 2015 trends we expect to take shape as the Digital Native’s careers achieve full swing and the “Screenagers" (those growing up with the Internet and social media) begin to make their presence known in the marketplace.

1) Social: Incognito, images, and Instagram will dominate

  • Instagram passes 200 million monthly active users with more than 20 billion photos shared. (The Next Web)
  • 60% of 13-18 year-olds and 47% of 19-32 year-old Millennials are using Instagram. (Ypulse)
  • Generation Z tends to favor the incognito and anonymous social networks - Whisper, Snapchat, and Secret as opposed to Facebook. (Entrepreneur)
  • 25% of Generation Z left Facebook in 2014. (Global Messaging)

2) Work: Company culture infused with innovation and entrepreneurship.

  • 72% of Generation Z wants to start their own business. (Global Messaging)
  • 78% of Millennials are strongly influenced by how innovative a company is when deciding if they want to work there. (Deloitte Millennial Survey)
  • 90% of Millennials think being an entrepreneur means having a certain mindset rather than starting a company. (oDesk)
  • 72% of Millennials still at “regular” jobs want to quit to be entirely independent; 61% say they likely will within two years. (oDesk)

3) Marketing: Create one-of-a-kind experiences and tap into nostalgia.

  • 78% of Millennials would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying something desirable. (Eventbrite)
  • 55% of Millennials say they’re spending more on events and live experiences than ever before. (Eventbrite)
  • 88% of Millennials said they like to watch movies/shows that came out when they were kids. (Ypulse)
  • 66% of Millennials say “I wish I could go back to being a kid.” (Ypulse)

4) Leadership: Honesty and development take high priority.

  • 52% of Generation Z and Millennials state that honesty is the most important quality for being a good leader. (Millennial Branding)
  • In the last 5 years, 87% of Millennial workers took on management roles, vs 38% of Generation X and 19% of Boomers. (Business News Daily)
  • 50% of Millennials believe their organization could do more to develop future leaders. (Deloitte Millennial Survey)
  • 1 in 4 Millennials are “asking for a chance” to show their leadership skills. (Deloitte Millennial Survey)

5) Education: Virtual and mobile learning go into overdrive.

  • 52% of Generation Z use YouTube or social media for typical research assignments. (Mashable)
  • 50% of Millennial college students say they don’t need a physical classroom. (Millennial Branding)
  • 39% of Millennials view the future of education as being more virtual. (Millennial Branding)
  • 67% of young professionals say that online degrees will be as accepted as traditional college degrees. (Fast Company)

6) Lifestyle: The rising revolution for fresh food.

  • Since 2011, McDonald’s has seen a 13% drop in Millennials (aged 19-21 years old) visiting their restaurants. (Business Insider)
  • From 2003-2013, consumption of fresh foods grew 20% to more than 100 billion eating occasions, driven primarily by younger generations. (NPD Group)
  • The “Food With Integrity” restaurant chain, Chipotle, is a top Millennial choice with 40% or more of their customers being Millennials. (Business Insider)
  • 55% of Millennials say they are more likely to buy a product with an organic label. (Ypulse)

7) Financial: Less is truly more, the new minimalism movement.

  • 81% of Millennials say they value experiences over material items. (JWT Intelligence)
  • 25% of Millennials (18-27 year olds) say their shopping behavior has ‘changed significantly’ and another 47% say it has changed somewhat. (Price Waterhouse Coopers)
  • 45% of Millennials believe living frugally puts you on the path to success rather than long-term investing. (Business Insider)
  • 72% of Millennials say they would like to increase their spending on experiences rather than physical things in the next year. (Eventbrite)

What other 2015 trends do you anticipate?

Ryan Jenkins is an internationally recognised Millennial keynote speaker and author.

He equips organisations and leaders with the next generation leadership, communication, and branding skills needed to thrive in today’s multi-generational marketplace.

Ryan spoke at Youth Marketing Strategy New York in May 2015.

Ryan blogs at http://ryan-jenkins.com.

Image: Andrew E. Larsen