Christian Kurz in the News: Decoding the Millennials – Business Standard

Christian Kurz, vice-president of research, insights and reporting, Viacom International Media Networks, says, “Millennials have a keen sense of responsibility, to succeed they have to fight, different from previous generations. They know they would might have to different things at different times, maybe a job that wasn’t there just five years ago.”

Business Standard by Sayantani Kar

The millennials are defining their success by how happy they are

In a study covering 11,000 millennials, across 40 cities, along with Third Eye Research, Juxt Consult and Ipsos Research had set out to define India’s millennials. Christian Kurz, vice-president of research, insights and reporting, Media Networks, says, “have a keen sense of responsibility, to succeed they have to fight, different from previous generations. They know they would might have to different things at different times, maybe a job that wasn’t there just five years ago.”

The millennials are defining their success by how happy they are. Three years ago, in a similar study, success had more to do with money.

Money is important, but not the end goal. Their happiness is now tied with doing something that they believe in. In choosing such a job, they are now opting for emotional well-being over financial well-being (more than 54% agree that they would rather pursue their interests, than have any job they can get their hands on). (HOW THE CURIOUS MINDS WORK: SELF-IMAGE, INTERNET USE AND SPENDS)

The other interesting find was that respect has come back in fashion. But it is different from traditional show of respect for age, and more about earned respect for something that one is good at. As a result, the yardstick to earn it has moved from competing with others to competing with one’s own self, says Kurz. Millennials are striving to get better at things and if they fail, believe that they have given it their best. Eighty-nine per cent agree that life is good and 28 per cent attribute happiness to their family, friends and own achievements.

To market to youth that is increasingly internalising competition to define achievements and preferring emotional well-being at an early age, over exhibitionism and money, would need brands to relook at common marketing wisdom.

Kurz thinks brands would have to resort to four tenets – brand aid (educate without talking down at millennials), brand love (become part of their inner circle), brand family (be authentic and encourage community), and brand new (millennials know that the world could change in 5 years, and hence, always introduce something new).

MTV has started acting on some of these insights. Hence, for its popular travel-contest show MTV Roadies, it has done away with vote-outs (elimination) as it became more to do with winning on the basis of merit rather than posturing, says Kurz.

Their curiosity cannot be bought, either. “Brands need to get in their inner circle by providing an experience,” says Kurz. Hence, if earlier contests would have trip for two as prize, now it is for the winner and her group of friends.

Though, millennials are a lot more accepting of flaws as marks of a fighting spirit. Kurz says, “Unlike how othersee the millennials – lazy, rude, confused – they don’t feel those describe them at all.” (See chart)

 

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