Speech on Challenges Generation Y poses to Marketers in the coming years.

Essay by spudrickCollege, Undergraduate September 2005

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Generation Y includes all those born in the 1980s and 1990s although no consensus has emerged specifying exact dates - from 1976-1994 is widely accepted. Therefore most students at Uni are within this demographic and although our wants, beliefs and thoughts will vary within this demographic, understanding the environment that has shaped this generation is essential for marketers.

We are the children of the Baby Boomers, and while we rival them in size, an estimated 60 million, in almost every other way, we are different. This generation is more racially diverse: One in three is not Caucasian. One in four lives in a single-parent household. Three in four have working mothers. While boomers are still learning to use computers, their kids have been using them since nursery school.

With most Gen Yers just out of high school, it's no surprise that the brands that have felt their disdain so far have been concentrated in fashion, entertainment, and toys.

While some of Gen Y's choices have been driven by the indecision of their age, marketing experts say this explanation is too simplistic. ''Most marketers perceive them as kids. When you do that, you fail to take in what they are telling you about the consumers they're becoming ... It's about the coming of age of a generation.'' says J. Walker Smith, a managing partner at Hannon Partners Inc.

Many believe that behind the shift in Gen Y labels lies a shift in values on the part of Gen Y consumers. Having grown up in an even more media-saturated, brand-conscious world than their parents, they respond to ads differently, and they prefer to encounter those ads in different places. The marketers that capture Gen Y's attention do so by bringing their messages to the places these kids congregate, whether...