Under the title: The Reset Generation, Initiative MENA recently conducted a study across 10,000 millenials, aged between 25 and 34 years, in 19 markets globally, including the UAE, KSA and Egypt – which followed up previous research on the same segment iterated by Initiative globally in 2010. “Millennials are an important segment on a global level, but especially here in the region, where they make up such a large part of the population. They’re no longer kids. They’re approaching what is hopefully the prime earning years of their lives,” says Spencer Moody, regional strategy director at Initiative UAE. The term “reset generation” was coined “after the worldwide recession, when we realized this generation has had to continually ‘reset’ its life expectations,” states the report, while Moody adds: “The most recent global recession has helped shape their [millenials’] attitudes and beliefs about finances, family and even brands. Financial setbacks mean that they had to delay some of the rights of adulthood that preceding generations took for granted.”
This results in three key implications for brands looking at connecting with regional millenials: adapt, collaborate and create. Brands need to adapt themselves to this generation’s socio-economic conditions and price sensitivity. They also need to adopt a more collaborative approach towards social media and technology, as the regional youth’s dependence on the latter is met with disappointment by its lack in relevance and innovation. This is where creativity, rated as the second most admired attribute by survey respondents – trust being the first – can and should come into brands’ service. Simply put, millenials expect of brands what is expected of them: “be adaptable, be creative, never settle and give back,” concludes the report.
UPDATE: The survey was conducted across 19 markets globally including MENA markets such as KSA, UAE and Egypt, and not 19 markets in the Middle East as mentioned in a previous version of this article. We sincerely regret the error.