Millennials & Mobility

Crowd DNA’s head of insight and innovation, Dr Matilda Andersson, talked millennials and mobility at Jaguar Land Rover TechFest...

When I was first asked to speak at Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest, I was pretty sure they’d got the wrong person. The truth is I don’t own a car: I can’t even drive. But when I realised the panel was going to discuss millennials and mobility I felt more confident I could contribute to the debate.

As we know, owning a car isn’t the traditional marker of the transition to adulthood that it once was. The same can be said for getting married and having kids. They’re all still happening, just later or in non-traditional ways. Even if cars still play a significant role in the life of today’s millennials, the difference lies in what car ownership means: the values assigned to it, the expectations surrounding it and how it elevates the life of its driver.

But have we reached the end of the road for car ownership? This was the pressing question we were asked to talk about. Beside me on stage were some pretty impressive millennials: online star Daniel Howell, YouTube vlogger Jim Chapman, broadcaster and writer Alice Levine, Neil Sharpe (director of mobility solutions at Bosch), Yihyun Lim (associate director MIT Design Lab) – and Sebastian Peck (managing director Jaguar Land Rover InMotion), who hosted the panel.

While preparing for the debate I summarised mobility into three major shifts which formed my point of view on the day:

SPACE FLEX

Millennials want flexible spaces where they can live, work and relax.

Many millennials live in smaller spaces with fewer rooms than their parents. Most live alone or with flatmates instead of their family. Others save money by living in multi-generational households. They travel more, work more and spend more time outside their homes than previous generations. As a result, millennials crave places to relax, socialise and provide privacy on the move.

As our living spaces continue to shrink and commutes get longer, the car can play its own role in creating a ‘home away from home’ for the millennial cohort.

SEAMLESS

Millennials want products and services that enhance their life experiences more fully by saving them time and reducing hassle through simple design. Technology plays a crucial role in facilitating the idea that every moment counts and that they can accomplish more in less time. Brands that enable drivers to move seamlessly from one space to the next without interruptions to their connected lifestyles are those that will succeed.

LUXURY EVOLVED

It’s not only the concept of time and space that millennials have redefined, but the idea of luxury and symbols of status. In the eyes of millennials, luxury is no longer just about expense or scarcity. A fatigue from too much luxury is driving consumers towards more casual brands and more conscientious purchases that nurture the health of themselves and the planet.

What if as the luxury market shifts, ownership of exclusive goods will increasingly compete against a demand for experiences and digital bragging rights? What if one ride in a luxury supercar posted on social media was preferable for aspirant millennials than owning vehicle themselves?

At the end of the debate, the audience at TechFest voted and – surprise, surprise – 77% of those in attendance didn’t think we’ve reached the end of the road for car ownership. I managed to get the final word: ‘Ownership might still be relevant but it’s going to change. Shared ownership is the future.’

Here’s a short film we made about these trends:

Growing Our Team In NYC

We’re happy to report we're growing our team at Cooper Square in the East Village...

Things are building in NYC. Next to Hollie Jones, our US director, Isabelle Kåge, previously of Insight Strategy Group, joins the team, bringing a great mix of experience, spanning ethnography and depth interviews through to customer journey mapping and segmentation work.

And Tom Eccles is moving from our London HQ to also join the team in NYC. He’ll be making sure our Socialise skill-set of prototyping and creating content to drive engagement with insight is well and truly embedded in the US business.

It’s been a pretty amazing first three months in NYC, with a great mix of domestic and global projects for telecomms, fashion and social media clients to get us started. We’re really excited to find out what’s in store next – though this will definitely include finally buying some potted plants for the office…

Masculinity Report

Another nice download from Crowd DNA...

This week we hosted a Rise breakfast event in Amsterdam which explored changing attitudes to masculinity, and in particular, what being a man means among millennials. For those who missed it – and our earlier session in London – here’s a PDF on the topic. This download looks at the tensions that have evolved around male identity and is designed to help brands harness opportunities – and speak better to men AND women. Once again, there’s a playlist to soundtrack the insights.

Check out the PDF here

How to Speak Man

Meet the CrowdStars

Introducing CrowdStars, our network of thinkers, influencers, creators and culture-shapers...

There are times when the answers to the most pressing questions will not come from consumer research, but from connecting with experts. CrowdStars is our global network, comprising of a diverse spectrum of credible and intelligent minds who bring context, rigour and sparkling new dimensions to our strategic thinking.

Our CrowdStars network consists of over 200 experts, based in 35 markets and embraces fields as varied as academia, psychology, anthropology, design, health, beauty, retail, media, tech, food, celebrity, sport, family, music, fashion and relationships.

We work closely with the CrowdStars network to shake up conventional thinking within businesses; to get to deeper levels of understanding and the breakthrough ideas that offer strong, commercial advantage.

CrowdStars Amanda Rijff & Suzanne Noble
CrowdStars Amanda Rijff & Suzanne Noble

Applications for CrowdStars are diverse, but include:

- Immersive workshops and co-creation sessions, bringing experts and client stakeholders together

- Transferable learnings from out-of-category experts to spark new ideas and innovations

- Expert interviews and roundtables to dig deeper into key themes

- Future forecasting reports

- Use of blogging, mobile and online community platforms to connect with experts remotely

We’ve worked successfully with CrowdStars experts for clients in the tech, alcohol, FMCG, beauty and entertainment categories. Please do get in contact to hear more about how CrowdStars can work for you.

Here’s a short film we made about CrowdStars:

Rise: Agelessness

Crowd DNA’s brand and communications expert Eleanor Sankey tackled the delicate subject of agelessness at our latest Rise breakfast session in London...

At Crowd, we’re well known for our work researching Millennials and increasingly Gen Z, so it seems a little odd to debunk traditional demographics. But as an insights and innovation agency, we know that as the world changes, so do our beloved cohorts. And in fact, understanding consumers by age traits can be a little limiting at times.

Today over a quarter of the people on the planet are over 50. In the UK, the Office For National Statistics (ONS) has reported that there are now more over 60s than there are under 18s. From the Nike ad of 86-year-old Sister Madonna Buder taking part in IRONMAN, to her mum’s Fitbit obsession, Eleanor demonstrated that age appropriate behaviour is becoming a thing of the past. Moreover, Millennials aren’t achieving the traditional markers of adulthood by 30 and Gen Z are favouring coffee over booze. So, a rethink is in order.

But how do brands reach out to this ageless demographic? Eleanor reassured us that we’re not becoming one homogenous lump. Increasingly, we’re finding that people share cross-generational interests – around music and fashion for example.

While we’re increasingly seeing grey-haired models in fashion magazines and marvel at the physique of yogis that don’t look their age, Eleanor warned brands against older person tokenism. When marketing to consumers, she proposes that we look at age-agnostic design, brand partnerships and micro-influencers to speak and engage with consumers in a more nuanced way.

Thanks to everyone who attended, engaged in the debate and ate the croissants. We even gave them all our just-launched bag and notebook to take home. An editorialised Crowd DNA report on agelessness will follow shortly!

Our next Rise breakfast event in Amsterdam sees Crowd DNA's Joey Zeelen set about reframing masculinity...

Date: September 27

Time: 8.15am-9am

Location: Crowd DNA, Sarphatistraat 49, Amsterdam

Brands are increasingly taking political, environmental and social stands. Many are addressing female aspirations and feminism with great effect.

But what are we doing about men?

This session explores changing attitudes to masculinity and, in particular, what being a man means among millennials. Looking at the tensions that have evolved around male identity, we’ll help brands harness opportunities – and speak better to men AND women.

Join us for delicious pastries and even more delicious insights. Contact Judith Lieftink if you and/or colleagues would like to attend.

Watch the trailer below:

Rise: Agelessness

Crowd DNA’s popular Rise breakfast events are back after a summer break. This time brand and communications expert Eleanor Sankey discusses how we can understand consumers in a world where age is just a number...

Date: September 14

Time: 8.15am-9am

Location: Crowd DNA, 5 Lux Building, 2-4 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NU

Consumer trends show that Gen Z is growing up faster than previous generations, millennials are delaying adulthood and Gen X and Boomers are living more ‘youthfully’ than ever before. On top of this, we’re living longer, working past retirement age and achieving major milestones later. As a result, brands are increasingly looking beyond age-based definitions.

In this session, we’ll help marketers understand consumers without age restrictions, moving beyond demographics to explore new ways of segmenting, targeting and making recommendations about how to communicate agelessness.

If you’d like to join us for coffee and croissants while discussing the secret of eternal youth marketing, please contact Jason Wolfe. And feel free to pass the invite onto colleagues of all ages.

Watch the trailer below: