Study: Which Millennial Mindsets Matter Most to Marketers?

KANSAS CITY, Mo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The rise of millennials has changed what it means to be a consumer—but
brands aren’t sure exactly how it’s changed. New research from
FutureCast, a marketing consultancy and partner company of advertising
agency Barkley, set out to quantify the millennial influence and prove
that the Millennial Mindset affects consumer purchase behavior.

The Millennial
Mindset study
, co-authored with The Cambridge Group, a growth
strategy consulting firm and part of Nielsen, interviewed more than
2,500 millennials and non-millennials. It identified six mindsets that
define millennial consumer behavior. They are:

  • Social circle: Do my friends and acquaintances advocate for a
  • Self: Does a brand’s purpose align with my personal beliefs and
    my sense of self?
  • Innovation: Does a brand constantly improve and reinvent?
  • Trusted: Do I rely on a brand to put consumers first?
  • Purposeful: Does the brand add good to self, society or the
  • Accessible: Is a brand useful and convenient?

Millennials, raised in a digital age, sparked these shifts in consumer
mindsets. But the mindsets aren’t limited to just the millennial
generation, or to 18-to-34-year olds. In fact, Generation X puts almost
equal value on the millennial mindsets. “The Millennials are the first
generation to influence up,” said Jeff Fromm, president of FutureCast
and a partner at Barkley.

What mindsets matter most?

Which Millennial Mindsets matter most? It depends: what respondents said
was important was quite different than what was actually
important. Respondents said that “Accessible” and “Trusted” were the
mindsets that mattered to them when making a purchase decision.

When Barkley and The Cambridge Group mapped the mindsets against actual
spending data, however, they found a different story. “Social Circle,”
the lowest-rated attribute in stated importance, was the factor that
most drove spending behavior when looking at derived importance. “Self”
and “Innovative” were both ranked relatively low in stated importance
but were the next most important factors in spending behaviors
considering actual consumer spend.

Do the Millennial Mindsets matter?

For brands that have been trying to understand where to focus their
efforts in the millennial landscape, the study shows that focusing on
the millennial mindsets can make a big difference. The millennial
mindsets account for up to 50 percent of a brand’s performance.

The study assigns a Mindset score to top brands measured in the study.
42 percent of respondents said that Amazon matched millennial mindsets
closely, followed by 37 percent for Apple and 31 percent for Netflix.
Amazon and Apple were the only brands who scored equally well across
millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers. Brands considered favorites
among the millennial generation, including Uber, didn’t fare as well,
especially with Baby Boomers, at just 21 percent.

About FutureCast and Barkley:

FutureCast is a leading national expert on millennial marketing.
Services include millennial research, millennial consulting and content
excellence. FutureCast is a partner company of Barkley, one of the
largest independent advertising agencies in the U.S.


For FutureCast
Jeff Sweat, 323-327-3069