Thursday, September 1, 2011

Does Generation Y Want More? Or Less?

Tuesday, I posed the question, will Generation Y abandon ownership, but an Op-Ed from the Huffington post argues the opposite: Echo Boomers want more of EVERYTHING!

The author argues that Echo Boomers want to "feel good" about what they're doing, and they desire more control over what they're doing. Neither of these behaviors should surprise anyone, as Echo Boomers have access to technology which provides more control to its users. Likewise, the Millennial generation experienced constant praise in school for even average accomplishments (does anyone remember 8th grade graduation? REALLY?).

From a business perspective, control and praise should be the primary focus. Creating products, which earn praise (think social networks), will offer solid profit and success. But on top of that, creating products, which give users more control, will also trump limited products that restrict users.

Of course, these views can overlap to a certain extent. For instance, praise and control don't necessarily come from the big ticket items. Echo Boomers may not want the large house that former American generations wanted, but they want a smaller house that comes with more opportunities (for instance, a smaller home that consumes less electricity, but can still perform many of the same functions of a larger home).