Next Generation
A qualitative study of the next generation

Twenty-somethings behave like veterans of the digital age. Although they are only between 20 and 29 years old and thus naturally familiar with the digital world, twenty-somethings feel much older than teenagers with regard to handling digital offerings. They are already at a stage of satiety and stagnation. They are much more critical of innovations. They are increasingly scrutinising innovations for their relevance to everyday life.

Twenty-somethings see themselves as owners of digital brands. The lives of twenty-somethings are closely entwined with digital brands. However, these brands are considered nowhere near as important to building personalities or forming identity as analogue brands.

The twenty-somethings know that digital services usually need a critical number of users to be really attractive. They are very well aware of this power. That is why they quite naturally see themselves as joint owners of the digital brands they use.

Twenty-somethings are well aware of their dependency on digital devices. Almost all twenty-somethings describe themselves as “dependent” on or “addicted” to smart phones, tablets or other connected devices. They can no longer imagine a life without these devices and their services. At the same time, they are all looking for filters that will free them from the complexity of permanent innovation and the surfeit of information.

Twenty-somethings reject everything that does not promise immediate benefits. In the digital world, everything that does not have a functional value is rejected. The focus lies on real benefits – for companies, this is often the only remaining way of establishing a sustainable brand image. Empty marketing stories and gimmicks are unmasked and rejected by twenty-somethings in a matter of seconds.

Twenty-somethings know that their personal data is a currency. Privacy and its protection are an important subject for young adults. But their attitude to it is completely ambivalent. They are aware of the risks of transparent data, e.g. misuse by third parties, but at the same time there is no way they would go without certain services. This means that they are surprisingly open to offers to simply sell sensitive data for something in return.
© 2015 rheingold