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Social Dynamics of 18-24-year-olds - US - November 2011

In many ways the social dynamics of 18-24 year-olds represents the future for marketers. As brands rely more on social media and other online and mobile communication platforms to reach current and potential customers, they increasingly enter the social worlds of young adults who have come to rely on the internet and mobile technology to communicate in new ways. As such, the study of social dynamics within the 18-24 year-old segment is also an examination of how communications are evolving and what the future holds for advertisers, product developers and other strategists.

In order to provide insight that can be used to appeal to 18-24s and positioning for the future of digital communication, Mintel addresses the following questions:

  • How have the spending patterns of 18-24s fluctuated in recent years, and how are they likely to change in the years to come?
  • What are brands doing to recognize the unique social dynamics of 18-24s and create communications that invite dialogue and brand loyalty?
  • What are the common living situations of 18-24s, and how should marketers target these unique households?
  • What major life events are many 18-24s experiencing, and what types of events are likely to impact their lives in the near term?
  • What types of social activities and organizations do 18-24s commonly participate in?
  • What are the social priorities of 18-24s, and how do they contrast with those of older adults?
  • How do 18-24s make social plans, and communicate such plans to friends, family and others?
  • How are 18-24s using online and mobile communications, and how does their usage compare with that of older adults?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Data sources
        • Income and expenditures data
          • Consumer survey data
            • Advertising creative
              • Abbreviations
              • Executive Summary

                • Family is at the heart of most 18-24 year-olds’ social circles
                  • Low income and high unemployment common within the segment
                    • However, education expenditures are up
                      • Many live with family in multigenerational households
                        • Marriage less important to today’s 18-24s
                          • Yet, relationships with a significant other are of paramount importance
                            • Volunteering and school-sponsored clubs popular with 18-24s
                              • Extensive social networks both online and offline
                              • Insights and Opportunities

                                • Most 18-24s are family-oriented
                                  • Figure 1: Attitudes toward spending time at home, by all adults and 18-24s, May 2005-March 2011
                                • Cars becoming less important but still an important identity constructor for many
                                  • Figure 2: 18-24s’ attitudes toward automobiles, May 2005-March 2011
                                • Beer decisions often influenced by social network
                                  • Figure 3: Attitudes toward beer choice, by all adults and 21-24s, August 2011
                                • Increases in coffee house spend reflects social nature of the segment
                                  • Figure 4: How coffee houses are used, by all adults and 18-24s, June 2011
                              • Inspire Insights

                                  • Trend: Boomerang Generation
                                    • Trend: Influentials
                                    • Income and Expenditures

                                      • Key points
                                        • Younger households are less affluent
                                          • Figure 5: Income distribution of all households and households headed by people aged 15-24, 2010
                                        • Below-average income for those who are younger than 25
                                          • Housing primary expense for those younger than 25
                                            • Figure 7: Average annual expenditures by all consumer units and consumer units with a reference person younger than 25, 2010
                                          • Those who are younger than 25 decreasing spending overall
                                            • Figure 8: Aggregate expenditures by consumer units with a reference person younger than 25, 2006-10
                                        • Background Factors

                                          • Key points
                                            • 18-24s represent 10% of U.S. population
                                              • Figure 9: Population, by age, 2006-16
                                            • Hispanic growth in the segment outpaces all others
                                              • Figure 10: Population of 18-24s, by race and Hispanic origin, 2006-16
                                            • 18-24s more likely than average to be unemployed
                                              • Figure 11: Unemployment and underemployment, January 2007-October 2011
                                              • Figure 12: Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population, among 18-24s by gender, 2010
                                            • Most live in family households
                                              • Figure 13: Households by type, by all adults and 18-24s, 2011
                                            • 18-24s attending college in record numbers
                                              • Figure 14: Actual and projected enrollment at degree-granting institutions, by age, 2006-16
                                          • Innovations and Innovators

                                            • Overview
                                              • Facebook matures, continues to innovate
                                                • Twitter offers “reply” feature
                                                  • Klout
                                                    • HowSociable
                                                      • Figure 15: Howsociable.com, Mintel, Nov. 6, 2011
                                                    • GetGlue
                                                      • Figure 16: GetGlue stickers, October 2011
                                                      • Figure 17: GetGlue recent activity, October 2011
                                                    • Skanz
                                                      • Figure 18: Skanz band, October 2011
                                                    • Kik
                                                      • Formspring
                                                        • Figure 19: Formspring question of the day, October 2011
                                                      • Red Bull Music Academy
                                                        • Chicago Sport and Social Club
                                                          • Kickball SF
                                                          • Youth Brands and the Brand Landscape

                                                            • Overview
                                                              • Figure 20: Social media presence of selected youth brands, Nov. 29, 2011
                                                            • Family matters
                                                              • T-Mobile
                                                                • Figure 21: Brand analysis of T-Mobile, 2011
                                                                • Figure 22: T-Mobile, Good Plan, TV advertisement, 2011
                                                              • Student life
                                                                • American Eagle Outfitters
                                                                  • Figure 23: Brand analysis of American eagle Outfitters, 2011
                                                                  • Figure 24: American Eagle Outfitters, Since 1977, TV advertisement, 2011
                                                                • Victoria’s Secret PINK
                                                                  • Figure 25: Brand analysis of Victoria’s Secret PINK, 2011
                                                                • Irreverent humor
                                                                  • AXE
                                                                    • Figure 26: Brand analysis of AXE, 2011
                                                                    • Figure 27: AXE Facebook feature, Mutual Satisfaction, November 2011
                                                                    • Figure 28: AXE Facebook feature, Premature Perspiration, November 2011
                                                                  • Red Bull
                                                                    • Figure 29: Brand analysis of Red Bull, 2011
                                                                    • Figure 30: Red Bull, Outlaw on the fly, TV advertisement, 2011
                                                                    • Figure 31: Red Bull home page, October 2011
                                                                  • Hanging out
                                                                    • Starbucks
                                                                      • Figure 32: Brand analysis of Starbucks, 2011
                                                                      • Figure 33: Starbucks TV advertisement, 2011
                                                                    • Pop culture
                                                                      • Kia Soul
                                                                        • Figure 34: Brand analysis of Kia Soul, 2011
                                                                        • Figure 35: Kia Soul, Party Rock Anthem Hamsters, TV advertisement, 2011
                                                                    • Living Situation

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Nearly half of 18-24 year-olds live with their parents
                                                                          • Figure 36: 18-24s’ living situation, by gender and age groups, August 2011
                                                                        • Those from higher-income segments more likely to live with parents
                                                                          • Figure 37: 18-24s’ living situation, by household income, August 2011
                                                                        • White 18-24s more likely to be living with parents plus a partner
                                                                          • Figure 38: 18-24s’ living situation, by white and non-white, August 2011
                                                                      • Number of Dwellings in the Last Three Years

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Many 18-24s change dwellings more often than older adults
                                                                            • Figure 39: Number of dwellings in the last three years, by all adults and 18-24s, August 2011
                                                                          • Women aged 21-24 have moved the most in past three years
                                                                            • Figure 40: 18-24s’ number of dwellings in the last three years, by gender and age, August 2011
                                                                          • Lower-income adults move the most
                                                                            • Figure 41: 18-24s’ number of dwellings in the last three years, by household income, August 2011
                                                                          • White 18-24s are somewhat more likely than non-whites to move
                                                                            • Figure 42: 18-24s’ number of dwellings in the last three years, by white and non-white, August 2011
                                                                        • Life Events

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Higher education a priority among 18-24s
                                                                              • Marriage is a low priority among 18-24s
                                                                                • Figure 43: 18-24s’ life events, August 2011
                                                                              • One quarter of 18-24s are starting their careers
                                                                                • Figure 44: Experienced life events, by all adults and 18-24s, August 2011
                                                                              • 18-24 year-old women more likely to be attending college
                                                                                • Figure 45: 18-24s’ experienced life events, by gender and age, August 2011
                                                                            • Participation in Social Activities and Organizations

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Volunteering and school-sponsored clubs popular with 18-24s
                                                                                  • Figure 46: Participation in social activities and organizations, by all adults and 18-24s, August 2011
                                                                                • Women and 18-20 year-olds are more likely to volunteer
                                                                                  • Figure 47: 18-24s’ participation in social activities and organizations, by gender and by age, August 2011
                                                                                • Non-whites more likely to participate in social activities and organizations
                                                                                  • Figure 48: 18-24s’ participation in social activities and organizations, by white and non-white, August 2011
                                                                                • Single 18-24 year-old women more likely to volunteer and join clubs
                                                                                  • Figure 49: 18-24s’ participation in social activities and organizations, by single and gender, August 2011
                                                                              • Socializing Priorities

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • 18-24s prioritize spending time with significant other, with family
                                                                                    • Figure 50: 18-24s’ socializing priorities, August 2011
                                                                                  • 18-24s interested in making contacts to improve professional network
                                                                                    • Figure 51: Important socializing priorities, by all adults and 18-24s, August 2011
                                                                                  • 18-24 year-old women want to spend time with partners, family
                                                                                    • Figure 52: 18-24s’ important socializing priorities, by gender and by age, August 2011
                                                                                  • White 18-24s more likely to prioritize spending time with a partner
                                                                                    • Figure 53: 18-24s’ important socializing priorities, by white and non-white, August 2011
                                                                                • Frequency of Socializing With Others

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • About half of 18-24 year-olds frequently socialize with their parents
                                                                                      • Figure 54: 18-24s’ frequency of socializing with others, August 2011
                                                                                    • 18-24s frequently socialize with widest variety of contacts
                                                                                      • Figure 55: People frequently socialize with, by all adults and 18-24s, August 2011
                                                                                    • Women more likely than men to frequently spend time with family
                                                                                      • Figure 56: 18-24s’ people frequently socialize with, by gender and by age, August 2011
                                                                                    • White 18-24s much more likely to spend time with significant other
                                                                                      • Figure 57: 18-24s’ people frequently socialize with, by white and non-white, August 2011
                                                                                  • Establishing and Communicating Social Plans

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                        • Figure 58: How social plans are established, by all adults and 18-24s, August 2011
                                                                                      • 18-20 year-olds much more likely to plan on day of activity
                                                                                        • Figure 59: How 18-24s’ social plans are established, by gender and age, August 2011
                                                                                      • 18-24s much more likely to receive texts or posts on social networks
                                                                                        • Figure 60: Sending and receiving communication for social plans, by all and 18-24s, August 2011
                                                                                      • Women aged 18-24 more likely to text, call, post on social networks
                                                                                        • Figure 61: How 18-24s send and receive communication for social plans, by gender and by age, August 2011
                                                                                    • Technology Trends

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • 18-24s a driving force in changes to online socializing
                                                                                          • Figure 62: Attitudes toward lifestyles and the internet, by all adults and 18-24s, May 2005-March 2011
                                                                                        • 18-24s more likely than average consumer to be tech adviser
                                                                                          • Figure 63: attitudes toward technology, by all adults and 18-24s, May 2005-March 2011
                                                                                        • 18-24s more likely to blog and post on message boards
                                                                                          • Figure 64: Online activities and websites used or visited in the last 30 days, by all adults and 18-24s, May 2005-March 2011
                                                                                        • 18-24s tend to have more involvement with cell phones than other adults
                                                                                          • Figure 65: Attitudes toward cell phones, by all adults and 18-24s, February 2010-March 2011
                                                                                      • Health-related Attitudes

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • 18-24s less reliant on doctors for health advice
                                                                                            • Figure 66: Attitudes toward health and medicine, by all adults and 18-24s, May 2005-March 2011
                                                                                          • Attitudes toward health and nutrition
                                                                                            • Figure 67: 18-24s’ attitudes toward nutrition, May 2005-March 2011
                                                                                        • Custom Consumer Groups: Employment

                                                                                          • Working 18-24 year-olds more likely to be saving money
                                                                                              • Figure 68: 18-24s’ experienced life events, by employment, August 2011
                                                                                            • Working 18-24s more likely to participate in a number of activities
                                                                                              • Figure 69: 18-24s’ participation in social activities and organizations, by employment, August 2011
                                                                                            • Working 18-24s often look to co-workers for socializing
                                                                                              • Figure 70: 18-24s’ people frequently socialize with, by employment, August 2011
                                                                                            • Working 18-24s more likely to say spending time with family or friends is important
                                                                                                • Figure 71: 18-24s’ important socializing priorities, by employment, August 2011
                                                                                              • Working 18-24 year-olds more likely to plan in advance
                                                                                                • Figure 72: How 18-24s’ social plans are established, by employment, August 2011
                                                                                              • Working 18-24s somewhat more likely to send texts of plans
                                                                                                • Figure 73: How 18-24s send and communicate social plans, by employment, August 2011
                                                                                            • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                • Social Recluse
                                                                                                  • Demographics
                                                                                                    • Characteristics
                                                                                                      • Opportunity
                                                                                                        • Moderate Socializers
                                                                                                          • Demographics
                                                                                                            • Characteristics
                                                                                                              • Opportunity
                                                                                                                • Social Butterflies
                                                                                                                  • Demographics
                                                                                                                    • Characteristics
                                                                                                                      • Opportunity
                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                          • Figure 74: 18-24s social dynamics clusters, August 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 75: Living situation, by 18-24s social dynamics clusters, August 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 76: Number of dwellings in the last three years, by 18-24s social dynamics clusters, August 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 77: Experienced life events, by 18-24s social dynamics clusters, August 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 78: Not planned/not applicable life events, by 18-24s social dynamics clusters, August 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 79: Participation in organizations and activities, by 18-24s social dynamics clusters, August 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 80: People frequently socialize with, by 18-24s social dynamics clusters, August 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 81: Planning free time, by 18-24s social dynamics clusters, August 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 82: How others communicate plans, by 18-24s social dynamics clusters, August 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 83: Communicate plans, by 18-24s social dynamics clusters, August 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 84: Important socializing priorities, by 18-24s social dynamics clusters, August 2010
                                                                                                                        • Demographics
                                                                                                                          • Figure 85: 18-24s social dynamics clusters, by gender, August 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 86: 18-24s social dynamics clusters, by household income, August 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 87: 18-24s social dynamics clusters, by education/employment, August 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 88: 18-24s social dynamics clusters, by white and non-white/Hispanic origin, August 2010
                                                                                                                        • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                        • Appendix—Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                            • Figure 89: Living situation, by age, August 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 90: 18-24s’ living situation, by gender and by age groups, August 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 91: 18-24s’ number of dwellings in the last three years, by gender and by age, August 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 92: 18-24s’ experienced life events, by gender and by age, August 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 93: 18-24s’ experienced life events, by household income, August 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 94: 18-24s’ experienced life events, by white and non-white, August 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 95: 18-24s’ participation in social activities and organizations, by gender and age, August 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 96: 18-24s’ participation in social activities and organizations, by household income, August 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 97: 18-24s’ people frequently socialize with, by gender and age, August 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 98: 18-24s’ people frequently socialize with, by household income, August 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 99: 18-24s’ important socializing priorities, by gender and age, August 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 100: 18-24s’ important socializing priorities, by household income, August 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 101: 18-24s’ important socializing priorities, by single and gender, August 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 102: How 18-24s’ social plans are established, by gender and by age, August 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 103: How 18-24s’ social plans are established, by household income, August 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 104: How 18-24s’ social plans are established, by white and non-white, August 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 105: How 18-24s’ social plans are established, by single and gender, August 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 106: How 18-24s send communication for social plans, by gender and age, August 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 107: How 18-24s send communication for social plans, by household income, August 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 108: How 18-24s send communication for social plans, by white and non-white, August 2011

                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                        • American Eagle Outfitters Inc
                                                                                                                        • Audi of America Inc
                                                                                                                        • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                        • Groupe Danone
                                                                                                                        • Groupon, Inc.
                                                                                                                        • LinkedIn
                                                                                                                        • Los Angeles Times
                                                                                                                        • Microsoft USA
                                                                                                                        • MTV Networks
                                                                                                                        • MySpace.com
                                                                                                                        • National Football League Inc.
                                                                                                                        • Netflix, Inc.
                                                                                                                        • Red Bull North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                        • Research In Motion (USA)
                                                                                                                        • Starbucks Corporation
                                                                                                                        • T-Mobile USA
                                                                                                                        • Target Corporation
                                                                                                                        • The New York Times Company
                                                                                                                        • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                        • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                        • U.S. Bureau of the Census
                                                                                                                        • Verizon Wireless (Cellco)
                                                                                                                        • Victoria's Secret
                                                                                                                        • Yahoo! Inc
                                                                                                                        • YouTube, Inc.
                                                                                                                        • Zipcar, Inc.

                                                                                                                        Social Dynamics of 18-24-year-olds - US - November 2011

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