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Reaching China's 'post-millennials'

News, 17 August 2015

SHANGHAI: Chinese "post-millennials", or people born in China after 2000, are already greatly influencing consumer habits and this trend is expected to continue, according to new research into this generation.

Ogilvy & Mather China, the advertising agency network, teamed up with digital research firm WebInsight to interview 115 post-millennial Chinese consumers.

Their study aimed to establish whether attitudes among these 15-year-olds have changed over the past 10 years while analysis of social media sites Weibo and Tieba also formed part of the research.

One of the key findings that emerged was that this generation is markedly more self-confident, self-focused and has a stronger sense of individuality compared to their peers from five and 10 years ago.

These 15-year-olds revealed a 7% drop in "caring about how others see them" compared to their peer group of 10 years ago and living in a more open information environment makes them value their own diversity. They also want to "flaunt" this diversity, the report suggested.

As the first generation to have all kinds of tools of self-expression at their disposal, these post-millennials have the social platforms on which to express themselves.

That, the report said, makes it easy for them to benchmark their successes or failures against others and, because this can be stressful, they often establish their own benchmarks of what constitutes social status success.

With post-millennials revealing such a strong personal sense of individuality, the report went on to advise brands seeking to reach them that they should make best use of data analytics to deliver personalised and smart content.

If brands can also provide tools and data to help post-millennials make better decisions and make them look good among their contemporaries, then once a brand has achieved "social currency" with them, these young consumers will want to identify with it and use that brand to build relationships with others.

Another route for brands to gain the attention of post-millennials is to tap into their own unique vocabulary, the report suggested.

Chinese post-millennials have developed their own colloquial online language called "Meng", which translates roughly as "Cutesy", and this may explain why they are 55% more likely to use emoticons than the post-1990s generation.

Furthermore, different from other generations, post-millennials emotionally bond with their celebrity idols and see them as part of their own personal identity, the report stated.

In advice for brands, the report said: "There will be huge opportunities to explore every aspect of the celebrities' lifestyle and create links between them and their post-millennial fans."

Data sourced from Ogilvy & Mather China; additional content by Warc staff