FoM18: 5 things you need to know
Contrary to popular belief, Hong Kong millennials are pragmatic, ambitious individuals who shun the superficiality of celebrity lifestyles in favor of entrepreneurialism.
Millennials have been described as “lazy,”“narcissistic,” “entitled”—and those are just the repeatable adjectives. Not since the flower children and hippies of the 1960s has a generation of young people been the subject of such intense scrutiny and debate.
On the one hand, they are applauded for being ambitious, connected self-starters who defy expectations and pursue their dreams. On the other hand, they are accused of rampant fickleness and reckless disregard for societal norms. Young people today, it seems, can’t win.
Digging deeper into the Post-80s generation
Millennials have become something of an obsession for marketers as they struggle to understand the buying and social habits driving Gen Y. From social networks to smart devices, millennials not only connect with one another through an increasing array of channels, they also do so with brands.
The result is an increasingly fractured landscape of channels, mediums, networks and influencers serving an almost infinite array of interests, behaviors, habits and personalities. We sought to discover some of the driving influences on millennial shoppers across Asia—or more specifically, to drill down even further under the skin of this demographic by scrutinizing the youth of Hong Kong.
Millennials there, better known as Post-80s Hong Kongers, have a mixed reputation. They are sometimes seen as private, frivolous individuals who live at home but prefer friends’ opinions over their parents’ advice. They are often seen as less ambitious than their parents, happy to avoid climbing the corporate ladder while spending what little money they have on luxury items. The perceived wisdom is they covet celebrity over working hard to achieve success.
Hong Kong millennials by the numbers
Our research shows that, contrary to popular belief, Hong Kong Post-80s are a generation of pragmatists who reject self-righteousness and arrogance. The majority (58 percent) identify themselves as liberal and tolerant, with a similar amount (57 percent) claiming to be trusting and open.
As with millennials in the U.S. and U.K., Post-80s Hong Kongers admire the opinions of parents and peers and respect the ideas of professionals such as doctors, scientists and teachers. They hold practical and business-like aspirations. Many of those surveyed (26 percent) would prefer to be successful entrepreneurs than celebrities (4 percent).
The Post-80s generation in Hong Kong loves smart devices, with nearly all (94 percent) saying they use a smartphone, which is similar to numbers in the U.K. (89 percent) and more than the U.S. (74 percent). The majority of Post-80s in Hong Kong (71 percent) mostly access the Internet from a smartphone or tablet, which suggests that marketing aimed at these millennials should include a mobile strategy.
Unsurprisingly, social media sites are a key part of the typical Post-80s Hong Kongers’ online life, with Facebook and YouTube being the most popular platforms. While this matches up with results from the U.S. and U.K., Instagram is almost twice as popular with Post-80s in Hong Kong as it is in western countries, indicating that imagery is an important part of millennial life in the city. Discuss.com.hk is also a key local platform, with 55 percent of Post-80s spending time on it, making it the third most popular social media site ahead of Twitter. In fact, almost half of the Post-80s in Hong Kong spend no time on Twitter, another key point for marketers to remember when planning digital campaigns.