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Global Millennial Consumer Trends: Sharing, Caring & Editing

November 2015

By Claire Brooks

GlobalCultureBlog® invites our global Millennial contributors to write about trends they feel are important in their lives. This month their blogs highlight the escalating effects of macro-economic trends - including political sanctions, the ‘Sharing Economy’ and other category disrupters - on Millennial relationships with brands. They also point to ways brands can stay relevant and top-of-mind.

The Sharing Economy

Millennials around the world are enjoying the convenience, low cost and freedom of iconoclastic new service models and community approaches, which understand how they live their lives. Breather offers entrepreneurs private meeting spaces for rent, for as little as 30 minutes, in cities like New York. In a huge and diverse metropolis like Mexico City, Uber is making travel feel safer for young women, while the thrifty new ride-share service, Lyft Line reminds our New York blogger of a Cuban guagua (shared ride). Our Milan blogger has established a ‘Social Street’ or community Facebook page designed to facilitate relationships and collective activities between neighbors. In Beijing, yoga brand lululemon taps into yoga communities by sponsoring classes led by local teachers.

Brands Harnessing Disruption

GlobalCultureBloggers® offer proof of new service models are disrupting established categories. In Beijing, privately-held giant Xiaomi has fast established itself with Millennials, by offering very low prices on must-have lifestyle electronics and phones. The easy availability of once-expensive private rides has delayed Millennial car-ownership ambitions according to J.D.Power, at least until parenthood and the move to suburbia provides a reality-check! According to The Economist  magazine, disruptors are not only reinventing categories but also, reinventing the traditional view of how a company creates value for customers and employees. Yet some brands are harnessing disruption to their advantage. In Tokyo, MINI drives consideration with an active presence at stylish outdoor sports events and music festivals; and Bose gains new relevance with high end home streaming devices for the Spotify generation who is now starting to nest.

Curated Health & Beauty

Mass, affordable ‘fast fashion’ has revolutionized fashion retailing, (more on fashion in December). However when it comes to beauty, Millennials prefer a more personal, curated approach. Our LA blogger is drawn to small-batch, art-inspired fragrances by artist Bruno Fazzolari. In London, Frame gym curates a fitness lifestyle including custom printed leggings and healthy gourmet recipes. Our Berlin blogger loves the Philips VisaPure cleansing brush with a choice of heads for different skin types. And in NY, beauty from within brand, HUM, offers an online consultation with a dietician who curates a personal regimen of vitamin blends like ‘Red Carpet’.

Local Food

Local food has long been a category disrupting phenomenon, with strong appeal for Millennials who want fresh, authentic and low carbon footprint. Poke is the new Pacific cuisine in LA. In Bangalore, beverage brand Paperboat is inspired by authentic local confections. In Moscow, however, political sanctions on imported foods have sparked the discovery of local cheeses and wines, creating a whole new focus on local. More on cocktailing in December, in time for the holidays!

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