A new book, Gen BuY: How Tweens, Teens, and Twenty-Somethings are Revolutionizing Retail, details how today’s younger generation shops differently from the older generations.  They are a generation that is empowered, engaged, demanding, but also influenced by their parents and materialism.  Since Gen Y is very technology savvy they expect top-notch customer service from their websites, including bonuses like free shipping or other discounts. Experts believe that while Gen Y’ers are drawn to lifestyle brands, as a way to project who they are, and they tend to buy the latest gadgets and clothes, not so much because they are materialistic, but more so because they are a generation of an abundance of choices.

The book details two major ways Generation Y consumers differ from their parents, including technology and confidence.  Generation Y grew up with technology, so its embedded in their psychology, which is why they get bored more easily and tend to be attracted to higher levels of stimulation than older generations.  In the consumer sphere, this means that Generation Y wants a faster product turnover and more personally relevant and high impact messaging and promotions.

In terms of confidence, this generation is definitely more confident than previous generations at their age.  These kids grew up in child-centric households with more self-esteem building in the home and at school.  This translates into their expectation that their needs will be considered and if they aren’t, they will find a system that will meet their needs.

Generation Y is eager to engage, they want to design their own products, be involved in the messaging on their terms, rate products and advise companies.  This information can help marketers who are targeting this demographic to make sure they feel like they are involved.  Whether it is reaching out via a social network to help pick the flavor of a new soda, or having the opportunity to enter a contest for the latest 30-second spot, this generation feels like they need to have a say.

This book provides a lot of valuable insight into the mind of Generation Y.  For an inside look into the book from a USNews reporter who spoke to the authors, go to: http://www.usnews.com/money/blogs/alpha-consumer/2009/09/21/gen-y-empowered-engaged-demanding.html as well as, http://www.usnews.com/money/blogs/alpha-consumer/2009/09/22/gen-y-influenced-by-parents-and-materialism.html

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