To older generations, the Centennial generation may seem like an impossible enigma. Characterized by speed, innovation, and experimentation, Centennials are a challenging generation for marketers to understand much less successfully reach. The fact that such a complex generation holds so much power and influence in the current marketplace can certainly be intimidating for marketers. However, while Centennials’ interests may seem as varied as the number of apps on their phones, there are several overarching trends that will help marketers successfully reach this powerful audience.
Centennials and Apps
Since technology plays such a large role in the daily lives of Centennials, it is no wonder that apps and social media are noted as being one of the most important aspects of Centennials’ lives, and therefore one of the most crucial for marketers to understand. Throughout the day, it is increasingly common to see the majority of Centennials going about their daily lives on their phones, checking their social media feeds and staying up-to-date with their friends. Such apps as Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are among some of the most popular social media apps for Centennials. However, there is another category of apps that is emerging as a changing force for digital media platforms–supplemental apps.
This new category of apps was not created to replace old, popular apps. These supplemental apps were designed to offer consumers new and better ways to use their existing apps. Since digital content developers realize that they cannot simply outperform or replace such popular apps as Snapchat or Instagram, they are instead developing apps that work alongside these existing apps to provide users a better, more complete digital experience. For example, an app known as Instasize now offers users the ability to resize their pictures in order to fit these photos into the Instagram size parameters. Instasize was not designed to replace Instagram but to accompany it as a complementary digital media platform.
Centennials and Improvement
For Centennials, cutting-edge innovation and continual technological improvements are paramount. Centennials expect emerging apps to be better and more sophisticated than previous apps. When considering how to develop these new apps, marketers should bear in mind that Centennials are not looking for apps that are based off of completely new concepts and offer unfamiliar features. Rather, considering the increasing popularity of these supplemental apps, Centennials want apps that help them enjoy their existing apps more fully. Therefore, marketers should consider how these existing apps could be improved or changed to offer users a better digital experience.
Centennials and Variety
While Centennials do indeed desire new apps that improve existing apps, they also want a variety of apps that offer a wide range of services. Centennials are accustomed to a world dominated by convenience and diversity, and they expect their apps to reflect this. Therefore, Centennials want a variety of apps to choose from, ranging from music apps to photo-sharing apps to gaming apps. When developing new apps, marketers should consider how to best capitalize on this love for diversity by creating different apps that will fit into these broad categories of apps. Creating only one kind of app will leave consumers unimpressed and looking for alternatives.
Centennials and Simplicity
Centennials are living in a society characterized by complexity and confusion. In response to this, Centennials crave simplicity. They want apps that make their lives easier and more convenient. Instead of spending twenty minutes trying to digitally pay a friend, Centennials want to be able to do so with the click of a button. Instead of looking through multiple news platforms, Centennials want the ability to stay up-to-date on world occurrences throughout the day with only one app. Marketers should constantly look for ways to develop apps that make Centennials’ lives more efficient and better organized.
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Reference & Future Reading
Insights and research data provided by Kantar Futures