The Millennial Consumer Study

Elite Daily And Millennial Branding Release Landmark Study on
The Millennial Consumer

Millennials influenced most by blogs, respond to native over traditional ads and family inheritance/students loans have no impact on their spending habits

New York, NY, January 20, 2015 – Elite Daily, the voice of Generation Y, and Millennial Branding, a Generation Y research and consulting firm, today announced the results of a new study entitled, “The Millennial Consumer“. Unlike prior generations, millennials rely mostly on blogs (33% selected them as their top media source) before they make a purchase. Fewer than 3% of millennials rank TV news, magazines and books (traditional media sources) as influencing their purchases and only 1% said that a compelling advertisement would make them trust a brand more. Millennials (58%) expect brands to publish content online before they make a purchase and rank authenticity (43%) as more important than the content itself (32%) when consuming news. Millennials don’t trust traditional media and advertising and are looking for the opinions from their  friends (37%), parents (36%) and online experts (17%) before making a purchase.

The majority of millennials surveyed (77%) agree that the bad economy has impacted their ability to save and spend money, and believe that they won’t get social security at age 66 (62%). Despite the $30 billion inheritance that Accenture predicts will transfer from Baby Boomers to millennials in the upcoming years, 57% said that the money won’t change their spending habits. Furthermore, they are already paying off their students loans with their current jobs (33%) and parent support (23%). Millennials believe that they are already knowledgeable (55%) about managing their own finances and only 8% believe they have no knowledge whatsoever. Men (68%) feel that they are more knowledgeable than women (49%) about managing their finances.

On October 26th, 2014, 1,300 millennials from Elite Daily’s database of readers and contributors were surveyed on various consumer related topics.

Additional highlights from the study include:

Good news for the automotive industry, millennials would rather buy than lease a car. 71% of millennials would rather buy than rent a car and 43% are either very or completely likely to purchase a car in the next five years. 78% of millennials use 10% or less of their income on their cars.

Bad news for the real estate industry, millennials would rather rent than own a house. 59% would rather rent a house than buy one and only one in every four millennials are either very or completely likely to purchase a house in the next five years. Currently, millennials (52%) are willing to spend between $500 and $1,500 on rent per month, and have between one and three roommates to keep their rent costs down (64%). While 61% admit that they can’t afford a house, 26% could spend between $100,000 to $500,000 on a house.

Phone ownership and access to digital media content on mobile apps are important to millennials. 97% of millennials are more interested in buying a smartphone than renting one. 64% would or have spent between $100 and $300 on a smartphone and 89% are either very or completely likely to purchase a smartphone in the next five years. 40% are either very or completely likely to download a mobile app using their smartphones to access digital media content.

Brand loyalty is important and is earned based on product quality, a good customer experience and support for society. 60% said that they are often or always loyal to brands that they currently purchase. 48% said that the quality of the product is the most important attribute they check for before they decide what to purchase, which is more than twice that of price (21%). When asked about what influences them to share information about a brand online, 39% said “a quality product” and 30% said “a good customer experience”. 75% said that it’s either fairly or very important that a company gives back to society instead of just making a profit.

Tech devices are important to millennials for media consumption purposes. 87% of millennials use between two and three tech devices at least once on a daily basis. 39% are either very or completely likely to purchase a tablet computer in the next five years, while 30% are for wearable devices.

They are engaged in current events and believe in equal rights. 97% are either somewhat or very informed of current events and 27% say that equal rights is the most important issue to them, followed by protection of the environment (19%) and access to healthcare (14%). Fewer than 5% said issues like the legalization of marijuana and immigration are important issues to them. Women (32%) cite equal rights as being the most important issue to them versus 16% of men.

They want brands to engage with them on social media and be part of their product development team. 62% of millennials say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer. 43% say that Facebook is the social network that most influences their spending habits, followed by Instagram (22%) and Pinterest (12%). 42% said they are interested in helping companies develop future products and services.


“Millennials are the most diverse generation in U.S. history–not only in racial diversity, but also political opinion. Our first Millennial Survey surveyed 1,300 millennials about employment, government, social issues, and their personal lifestyles. Our findings confirmed that millennials are highly educated, career-driven, politically progressive and–despite popular belief–do indeed develop strong brand loyalty when presented with quality products and actively engaged by brands. As “the most formidable millennial whisperer” of the digital age, Elite Daily will continue to be on the cutting edge of millennial culture and trends.”
 – David Arabov, CEO Co-founder Elite Daily

“If you want to connect with millennials, then you’re going to have to rethink the way you advertise and market your product to them. Instead of traditional advertising, which they ignore, brands have to publish authentic content as a way of building trust and loyalty with this extremely important and influential demographic.”

– Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding and New York Times bestselling author of Promote Yourself

Elite Daily (Spokesperson): David Arabov,
Millennial Branding (Spokesperson): Dan Schawbel,

About Millennial Branding

Millennial Branding is a Gen Y research and management consulting firm based in Boston, Mass. Millennial Branding helps companies understand the emerging Gen Y employee by providing research, training, and advisory services. As representatives of Gen Y and advisers to management, our goal is to provide research and insights that will make you more profitable, grow your market share, help you understand your Gen Y employees, and turn you into an industry leader.

About Elite Daily

Elite Daily proclaims itself to be the voice of Generation-Y and never disappoints. As the premier online destination for aspiring men and women alike, Elite offers a forum of peer-to-peer interaction in an increasingly digitalized world. The site consistently delivers diverse content with a fresh, relevant voice that appeals to the divergent perspectives represented within our ADD generation.

Survey Methodology

Elite Daily and Millennial Branding conducted a public opinion survey among people of the Millennial Demographic. The study was conducted via a web survey utilizing the service Survey Monkey, an independent survey technology service company with “10 years of experience in survey methodology and web technology.” Interviews were conducted from  October 14 to October 19, 2014 among a nationally representative sample of 1,302 Elite Daily readers and contributor respondents age 16 and older. Of those respondents, 1,134 were between the ages of 18-35. The margin of error for the total sample is +/-2.71% at the 95% confidence level. The margin of error for  18-35 respondents is +/-2.91% at the 95% confidence level. This study is designed to capture, from a random sample of Millennial readers/subscribers of Elite Daily, baseline information about the Millennial consumer spending and then a snapshot of their digital media consumption and taste. For this survey, Elite Daily distributed the survey to their newsletter subscribers and 5 Facebook groups who were identified as Elite Daily readers via Facebook polls. The purpose of the study was introduced to potential respondents and the nature of participation explained. The completion rate to the respondents was 60% per cent. Meaning that 60% answered ALL 42 questions and the remaining 40% answered some but not all.  The survey was administered to any person age 16 and older who was  a registered subscriber of the Elite Daily Newsletter and/or a member of Elite Daily’s contributing network. The survey utilized a self administered question to verify the respondent’s age eligibility. An Opinion Poll methodology was used for the survey to be distributed via the internet. We utilized a sample of the Millennial population (Approx 86,000,000 according to U.S. Census).

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