Generation Y? Where? Who? Smarter ways to segment populations
We all know that the generational model is imperfect. N+1 magazine communicated its boredom with the whole phenomenon in a piece called 'Meh!-lennials'. But in the absence of better ways of segmenting target groups, clients regularly come to us for a deeper understanding of the generation that launched countless, often contradictory think pieces.
As we see it, millennials are defined by a generational model that’s shaky in the West and downright misleading in the biggest developing markets.
In the West, inequality, political divisions and digital sub-cultures have created far greater divisions between millennials than ever before, as well as closing gaps between them and their forebears.
On the other hand, fast developing Asian markets such as China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar, do exhibit significant generational differences, based on cohorts growing up under radically different socio-economic circumstances. They do not, however, adhere to the West’s boomer, Gen X, millennial timeline or generalised traits.
In this series of essays we discuss why we shouldn't reflexively seek to understand Gen Y, Gen Z, Gen Whatever when a culturally-informed analysis of other factors – including life stage, class, tech savvy and even genetic predispositions – can reveal deeper insights for those willing to think differently.
These essays are discursive pieces approaching the problem of generations from distinct cultural perspectives.
- ‘The millennial bug’ by Josh Dickins, Flamingo London
- ‘End of an era’, by Chris Francis and Deanna Elstrom, Tokyo
- ‘The generational anomaly’, by Adam Nelson, Singapore
- ‘In defence of generations (just not millennials, Gen Y or Gen Z)’, by Sam Gaskin, Shanghai
- ‘Gen-Z are a product of their upbringing’, by Pam Kuzon and Dana Alpert, New York