Sarah has previously presented at AMSRS Conferences in Australia. She has a forth-coming book chapter on the role of semiotics in brand identity titled The Role of Narrative in the ‘Creation of Brand Identity Reconstructing Identity: A Transdisciplinary Approach’, Palgrave 2017.
Sarah is an experienced qualitative and cultural researcher with a passion for unpicking difficult issues. She works across some of Australia’s most influential brands to create new ways of understanding their world. In her 10+ year career she has worked across Australia, the UK and the USA, on global insight and strategy briefs.
Millennials are receiving a lot of attention in the business and marketing community given their prospective status as the economy’s key driving force in upcoming years. Their distinctiveness as a generation and the consequences of this for business has been described as everything from revolutionary, to overstated and negligible, and everything in between.
To form an objective point of view on the topic, Nature and The Lab have undertaken forward-looking cultural insight and quantitative research to better understand Millennials. Not surprisingly, we have found clear evidence that Millennials differ from their parents’ generations – their behaviour and values are distinctive, noticeable in the way they interact online and with brands. Importantly, they are likely to remain different from their parents (debunking the myth that they will ‘grow up’), because their attitudes towards key life issues – career, housing and lifestyle, are fundamentally different by virtue of the cultural context in which they have developed.
Our research builds on previous views of this generation, by showing via a segmentation that not all Millennials are the same. Four distinct groups within the cohort exist, and this has big implications for marketers, brand owners, and those seeking to align propositions and communication with this generation. Two of the segments align somewhat with the ‘archetypal’ Millennial persona we have all read so much about in the news (albeit there are clear differences between these groups).
However the other two groups (nearly half of the cohort) actually demonstrate values more aligned with Gen X than the ‘archetypal’ Millennial. What this means is that the much of what has been published and discussed about Millennials is potentially misleading. This group cannot be thought of and treated as ‘one’. It’s a diverse group, meaning no single ‘one size fits all’ approach will work. It’s critical to identify which camp a Millennials falls in to truly understand how to engage them.