Thursday, November 02, 2006

Millenials In The New Millenium

The ‘Echo Boomers’ Are Becoming A Marketing Success Story
By Ashley Wells

The “echo boomers,” also known as “Generation Y” have shaped new forms of marketing and American culture. Echo boomers enjoy living in an individualistic society, which caters to their needs. The nearly 80 million echo boomers were born between 1982 and 1995 and affect the economy immensely.

The baby boomers are the generation before the echo boomers. Many baby boomers are the parents of teenagers today, who grew up in a more collective society. Due to the hard work the baby boomers endured growing up it is no surprise why they want to shower their offspring with many things. A large number of baby boomers started working at young ages and found ways to support themselves through school looking for a brighter future.

But CBS 60 Minutes Correspondent Steve Kroft said in the report, “Echo Boomers”, that “they already spend $170 billion a year of their own and their parent’s money.” This generation has disposable income, which is spent on brand names and popular devices. These items are known as “must haves.”

Although echo boomers have a reputation for playing video games, being on multiple sports teams, create their own websites and bidding on eBay, there are drastic differences depending on demographics. Brands are targeted to different echo boomers. Strategies to target different consumers in this generation are through product location and price. But no matter the religion, sex, race, or location of the teenager they all have been exposed to some form of technology.

An active child can be beneficial because it can drive a child away from crime or boredom, but it can hurt the child as well. Echo boomers have been the generation whose parents planned their daily activates starting in pre-school. The parents’ intentions were positive, once again connecting to their desire to provide their kids with opportunities they went without. But many children never learned to think for themselves and develop their own characteristics. In the report, Nick Summers of Columbia University, an editor for his college newspaper, said, “I would say that my generation tends to be very overachieving, over-managed.”

The pressure comes from society. Because there are many opportunities arising each day it requires every individual to work harder and become competitive. Even the baby boomers that are in the workplace still have to prove themselves in their careers each day.

Marketing has been forced to restructure its method to reach the echo boomer generation. Old mediums for advertising such as print ads, and television commercials are not reaching as many young adults and teenagers like in the past. Today people want to test the products, have free samples handed out to them, and catchy slogans to remember each time they are reminded of the brand name. The echo boomer generation has many options and choices therefore it takes double the effort to catch their attention and win them as a customer. Because echo boomers buy many products each year companies are reaching out to them.

In the report, Jim Farley, head of Toyota’s Scion division, has been brainstorming ways to sell Toyotas new $15,000 cars. He has started sponsoring events like street basketball and break-dance festivals. He describes how sometimes the young adults can test drive the cars. Seventy percent of Scion’s promotion has been spent on events. He has figured out traditional advertising is no longer reaching the mass audience. Echo boomers have the option to fill out a Scion order form and customize their car with 40 different options and then can simply drop the form at the dealership.

Echo boomers have many goals because of the plentiful society they have been raised in encouraging them to want to strive for the best. Companies like Toyota will continue to market to them because they set the trends and determine what sells.

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