J.D. Power and Associates Reports:
Generation Y Early Careerists Grapple with "Quarter-Life Crisis" as the Foundering Economy Shapes Their Aspirations and Buying Patterns
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 1 October 2009 - Despite commonly held perceptions that Generation Yers are spoiled and entitled, analysis of their online conversations indicates that they are concerned about the current economic environment, and are becoming particularly value-conscious and focused on finding employers that offer stability and long term growth opportunities, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Teens and Early Careerist Tribe Intelligence ReportsSM released today.
The inaugural reports, conducted using J.D. Power and Associates Web Intelligence Tribe AnalysisSM, examine online discussions of two important subsets of Generation Y: teens (ages 14 to 18) and early careerists (ages 22 to 29). Although both groups are broadly categorized as part of Generation Y, or the Millennials (those born during the 1980s and early 1990s), each subset displays markedly different views, opinions and behaviors from the other. The reports are designed to help brands and marketers better understand these increasingly important consumer segments, which have the potential to attain the greatest spending power of any previous generation. In addition, the reports provide valuable insight into Gen Y consumer perceptions of brands as well as what drives consumers to purchase those brands.
The brands that generate the highest volumes of online discussion among early careerists, relative to other age groups, indicate the increasing popularity of value brands, which are competing with trendy brands for share of mind. For example, among retailers, value brand Old Navy closely follows trendy brands Anthropologie and Bath & Body Works in terms of positive discussion volumes among early careerists. Among quick-service restaurants, fast food chains Arby's and Subway receive particularly high volumes of positive discussion, along with premium ice cream chain Cold Stone Creamery.
Among retailers and quick-service restaurants, the brands that receive the greatest volumes of online discussion among early careerists, relative to volumes among social media users in other age groups, are as follows.
Bath & Body Works
Cold Stone Creamery
Overall, the brands that generate the greatest volumes of discussion among early careerists relative to other age groups are American Idol, Google, Twitter, Yahoo! and YouTube.
In addition, online conversations among early careerists indicate a strong degree of disillusionment among this group, due to current economic conditions. For many early careerists, the idea of moving back in with their parents after college graduation is accepted as a natural next step. Compared with social media users overall, early careerists are much more concerned about the state of the economy.
The report also finds that although early careerists consider job-hopping a necessity for moving forward in a career, they strongly desire long-term stability and security within their chosen professions.
"Early careerists are entering the workforce during particularly trying times, and as a result, many are in the process of reevaluating their educational, career and lifestyle choices," said Chance Parker, vice president and general manager of the Web Intelligence Division at J.D. Power and Associates. "Call it a quarter-life crisis."
Additional findings about teen and early careerist attitudes and behaviors regarding the automotive, financial services, quick-serve restaurants and retail industries will be released in October 2009.
Early Careerist Perceptions of Green Products and Buying Behavior
When it comes to purchasing environmentally friendly products, the two poles of Gen Y exhibit considerably different attitudes. While teens indicate that they will not pay more for green products, they are considerably less likely to consider products that they do not perceive as green. Unlike teens, however, early careerists know they should care about the environment, but like most consumers in other demographic groups, will make environmentally friendly choices only if brands and companies make it convenient for them to do so.
The Teen and Early Careerist Tribe Intelligence Reports analyze more than 300,000 spontaneous online conversations among teens and more than 475,000 online conversations among early careerists that took place in the blogosphere and on message boards between January and August 2009. The Tribe Intelligence Reports also cover consumer perceptions of brands, as well as what drives consumers to purchase those brands.
The J.D. Power and Associates Web Intelligence Division is unique in its ability to assess both what is being said and who is doing the speaking in the online world, enabling companies to understand the attitudes and behaviors of various consumer segments. Its patent-pending technology enables the classification of posts and the ability to estimate the gender and age of a poster, as well as rapid identification and elimination of spam posts. The Web Intelligence Division analyzes voices of the online community by using proprietary Natural Language Processing and machine-learning algorithms to dissect the who, what and why of online opinion, offering in-depth insights for some of the world's leading brands.
About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.
About The McGraw-Hill Companies
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2008 were $6.4 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.