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Daymon Worldwide is out with a new study, "The Next World: How Millennials Will Shape Retail," that describes itself as exploring "the nuances and values of this generation to gain a better understanding of how they will shape the future of retail."

Among the conclusions:

• "Millennials are found to be unstructured shoppers that shop frequently and for a long period of time. When shopping for groceries, Millennials shopping missions are for immediate needs compared to Gen X who shops in order to stock up for a few days."

• "Millennials are less loyal to and are disaffected by brands compared to Gen X. Twenty-nine percent of Millennials and 35 percent of Gen X say they 'usually buy the same brand, but will try others on occasion' and 26 percent of Millennials say they are likely to 'buy whatever brand they feel like at the time'."

• "Millennials seek transparency, connectivity, authenticity and social responsibility. And they chase these persistently. They are not willing to give up these values which are embedded in their consumption habits, and will become increasingly significant as their purchasing power increases."

The research project surveyed more than 7,000 Millennials and Generation Xers in five continents and 14 countries across the globe.
KC's View:
I think there always are a couple of inherent problems with studies like these, though I completely understand that companies - and business leaders - are desperate to understand a generation that in some ways seems completely alien to them.

One of the problems is that millennials aren't in any homogeneous. In fact, they - perhaps more so than any other generation, simply because they've been exposed to far more - are exactly the opposite. Not only are they more diverse, but I think they largely are more accepting of diversity.

Another problem is that such studies have to, by their very nature, look at generational issues within the context of the moment. They are, by necessity, a snapshot ... and yet it seems obvious to me that we live in a world where there constantly are new influences - technological, cultural, political, and so on. These influences will change how millennials see the world and how they behave.