Millennials spread online WOM

18 October 2010

NEW YORK: Over 80% of "millennial" consumers regularly discuss brands on the web, according to a multimarket study released by Edelman and StrategyOne.

The two companies surveyed 3,100 people born between 1980 and 1995 - widely known as "Gen Y"- in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Italy, the UK and US.

In all, 86% would willingly share their views concerning brands on the net, peaking at 90% in China, Italy and the US, but falling to an 81% low for Brazilians and Germans.

Almost 70% had recommended their favourite goods to friends and family, 47% had written about positive brand experiences online and 39% provided critical feedback in the same way.

Fully 71% of the panel generally made uncomplimentary sentiments regarding products known, either offline or through digital channels.

Elsewhere, 70% of participants were typically loyal to firms and offerings they liked, reaching 80% for American contributors, 74% in Italy, 73% in India and 72% in China.

Price was the primary purchase influence for 55% of this cohort, while discounts and free products could stimulate 46% to try something different.

Some 30% cited quality and reliability as the factors encouraging brand trust, and 20% suggested the product range available inspired confidence.

More than a quarter of respondents asserted brands should exert a "positive impact on the world", alongside helping individuals "achieve their personal goals."

Nearly 60% would exchange selected personal information with trusted brands for coupons, samples and exclusive news, passing 60% in the US, Brazil and China, measured against 46% in the UK.

More broadly, 74% of Millennials thought digital media simplified their lives and a majority believed it enabled them to form closer friendships.

Indeed, 65% are truly "disconnected" for one hour a day or less, and 20% had posted a video in which they featured online.

Before buying technology items like mobile phones, 87% of this demographic consulted between one and three information sources, standing at 86% when picking particular brands.

A majority turned to four or more sources while choosing goods and services, a trend especially pronounced in Brazil, China and India.

The average member of this audience seeks to find out further details regarding products 7.4 times a month, hitting 9.2 times for mothers.

Family was seen as the most reliable font of advice on 77%, with friends on 64%, search engines and expert websites on 21%, co-workers on 20% and social networks on 13%.

In terms of specific online activities, 82% of "Gen Y" had joined a brand-sponsored community, 47% frequented at least three such groups and 25% belonged to seven or more.

Volunteering to trial new extensions and creating videos or authoring internet reviews both received interest ratings of 57%.

Environmental matters are also important, as 40% of contributors stated a preference for acquiring products made locally, even if this required paying a premium.

In the 30 days before the survey, 54% recommended a friend or family member buy a certain food brand, sliding to 39% concerning electronics, 37% for personal care and 35% for apparel and beauty.

Over the previous week, 74% discussed a brand they liked with friends, 54% spoke about a product they disliked, and 36% bought something first introduced to them by a close associate.

Data sourced from Edelman; additional content by Warc staff