First Millennials, Now Gen Z: How are Oldsters Going to Keep Up?


Those dastardly millennials are killing off everything from beer to diamonds to movies.

Here are 3 areas where millennials are making different choices than Gen Xers or Boomers:

Marriage & Diamonds

  • Millennials aren’t getting married as early – if at all – as the generations before them.
  • 47% of millennial women will be unmarried at age 33.
  • In the 1940’s, only 9% of women were unmarried at that age.
  • This has forced the Diamond Producers Assn, to rethink the role of engagement rings.
  • Their new campaign encourages millennials to commemorate any “real” relationship, not just one that leads to the altar, with a diamond.

Dogs vs. Babies (Source: SunTrust Mortgage)

  • A third of millennials were influenced to purchase their home because they needed space for their dog.
  • Their dog was the third most commonly cited reason for buying a home, coming in above children and marriage.
  • Only more living space and the opportunity to build equity came above the furry companions.
  • 42% of millennials who had never bought a home said their dog, or the desire to have one, would be a key factor in their decision to get on the property ladder.


  • The number of ticket buyers ages 18 to 24 dropped off by more than one-third between 2013 and 2016, reported the New York Post.

But wait. Now that we have millennials figured out, here comes Gen Z (teens).

  • There are Gen Z experts like Connor Blakley who just informed Business Insider that “for the first time ever, young people are defining what’s cool.” Really???
  • Or …. you could check out the nationwide Piper Jaffray survey of 5500 Gen Z’s (average age 16)  for their favorite brands and actual spending. For me, this is where the rubber hits the road, making it the best way to gauge priorities and values.

Read on below for some key takeaways from the Piper Jaffray study.

So what can we come to expect from Gen Z?

  • Overall spending decreased 2.4% year over year
  • Spend on food and video games continued its multi-year increase
  • Food spend was highest for Chick-Fil-A (12%), which edged out Starbucks (7%) for the #1 spot
  • Teen spending continues to shift toward experiences — eating out, video games and leisure.
  • Spend on fashion declined
  • Athletic remains dominant with Nike the #1 preferred brand and Adidas the fastest-growing brand.
  • Amazon takes the lion share of online spending at 43%
  • The #2 spot for online spend is e-commerce from Nike and American Eagle, both at 5%.
  • Preferred social media platforms continue to be Snapchat (39%) and Instagram (23%).
  • Facebook (11%) and Twitter (11%) still popular, though less so.
  • Netflix is #1 in the video category (38% daily).
  • YouTube (26%) nudged out cable television (23%) for the #2 spot.
  • Given that Google recently launched a new Youtube TV service, Gen Z will likely continue the move away from traditional cable television.
  • Networks signing on to YouTube TV could regain some of their younger audiences by bringing content to where they’ll actually watch.
  • 81% expect their next phone to be an iPhone — up from 79% in 2016.

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