US Insights

Centennials at 21: A Global Look at an Economic Powerhouse

Kate Turkcan

Vice President and Head of Youth Insights

Brands 10.23.2018 / 09:00

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The first Centennials turned 21 this year and have considerable influence.

Failing to connect with the values, beliefs and expectations of Centennials will pose a significant challenge to future brand growth, according to a new report from Kantar. Centennials at 21, examines the behaviours and expectations of this global cohort, and challenges brands and marketers to redefine how they operate and improve their engagement with this increasingly influential customer group.

Representing 35% of the global population, Centennials, the first of whom turned 21 this year, have become an economic powerhouse with a growing influence on spending and brand loyalty. Kantar’s report reveals a generation that are:

Digitally dependent, yet conscious users of technology

  • Centennials pick up their smartphones up to 30% more than over 21s and spend up to 35% longer on their devices during the day. Yet just over a third of global Centennials believe they use their phone too much
  • Centennials across France, UK and US are even more tied to their smartphones than the millennial cohort: on average Centennials spend 2.40 hours daily on their mobile device compared to an average of 2.12 hours by millennials
  • Centennials are quick to move on if a brand experience doesn’t provide what they want or need; 62% will not use an app or website that is hard to navigate, and 63% say they’ve installed an ad blocker on their mobile phone or desktop

Increasingly influential on family purchasing decisions

  • Families are looking to their youngest members to gather product information, compare reviews and advise on the purchase process; up to three quarters of Centennials report influencing major family spending decisions
  • This trend is most prevalent when looking at purchasing decisions made across the food and beverage (77%), furniture (76%) and household goods sectors (73%).

Using social media differently from previous generations

  • The way they use social sites differs from previous generations, with Facebook used by Centennials for on an average of 11 minutes per day, compared to Snap Chat (30 minutes), Facebook Messenger (28 minutes) and Twitter (22 minutes)
  • Online, Centennials are more likely to identify with their social media personas than other generations, with 61% admitting that the things they post say a lot/ something about them, compared to 56% of millennials

As Centennials age into young adulthood, they will reshape categories and upend industries. Brands that know where to look can begin to read the signs and make predictions about how Centennials will influence their future. Understanding this generation’s values and motivations is a key first step in setting yourself up for success as Centennials take the reins and drive global markets.

Click here to download the full report.

Source: Kantar Consulting

Editor's Notes

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