SINGAPORE: Brands have often articulated aspects of the self when talking to young Asians, but new research suggests that greater value may be found in talking to Centennials about a brighter future for their community.

“By 2030, there will be more than 700 million Asian Centennials”, writes Katherine Diaz, a senior consultant at Kantar Futures Singapore, in a new article for WARC. “That’s 55% of the global centennial population, and more than double the population of the United States”.

Unlike millennials, who have tended towards introspection and self-actualisation, Centennials are deeply engaged in a changing world. “In a world where structural concerns, rather than innate capability or drive, is often what holds them back, their starting point is usually ‘we,’ not ‘me,’” Diaz continued.

For brands seeking to engage with this group, then, it is crucial to have a perspective on how the brand’s benefits and broader corporate action need to adapt for this generation.

The trick for some brands has been to lower barriers to entry. For instance, “Xiaomi is now the top smartphone brand for Chinese Centennials, offering home-grown quality within their reach, while Apple is now only the eighth most popular smartphone brand for them”.

Equally, the changes that Centennials perceive in the world are not only societal but also environmental. Centennial consumers no longer see organic or environmentally-friendly products and stances as the reserve of premium categories. Sustainability and transparency are key.

In terms of digital strategy, brand offerings should help Centennials bridge resource gaps, Diaz says. “Rappler (a Filipino local news outlet) has created Social Good, an annual forum that explores ways to use social media to drive real change.” A recent example saw one girl take to the stage to share coding tools to help teach programming skills.

Finally, Diaz writes, “brands that want to ally themselves with this generation will have to become real agents of change themselves and will need to continue to take a stance on relevant social and political issues.”

Sourced from WARC