Raymond Morin
February 16, 2016

Generation C: The 12 Online Consumer Trends in 2016

The New Year promises to be one where the Generation C will have a decisive impact on social and digital transformation of organizations. In 2015, there were several trends for connected consumers. We have already seen their immense influence on society. Several of the previously predicted consumer trends have already been seen, and still more will mark the next year. Here are the twelve most important prosumer trends to watch and plan for in 2016:

Ongoing Consumer Trends

1 – Generation C is a major challenge for brands

With the analysis of personal data accessible on the web and social media, marketing campaigns are more targeted towards consumers of Generation C. More recent studies have shown that young people of Generation Y are revealed currently the most important market, and that perhaps surprisingly to some, the Baby Boomer generation has shown the strongest growth over the past two years.

2 – The collaborative economy soars with NATU

In 2015, the market capitalization of over 160 billion of NATU (Netflix, AirBnB, Tesla and Uber) showed the rate of mass adoption of connected consumers in the principles of the collaborative economy. This is a new paradigm that challenges all the concepts of the capitalist economy.

3 – Social transformation is accelerating with the new generations

With the arrival of the oldest of the new Generation Z (born after 1994) on the labor market since 2010, the social and digital transformation of companies and organizations is accelerating faster than ever. For the first time, four generations share the work environments, and now influence the changes. As boomers retire or become mentors, those of Generation X are now giving orders.

4 – Uberisation boosted independent entrepreneurship

The emergence of NATU also fostered a rise in independent entrepreneurship amongst the new digital generation in 2015. In search of greater flexibility to balance their new parental responsibilities, young people of Generation Y are opting more for mobile and self-employment, including the collaborative economy, enabling them to work for themselves.

5 – Users rely more on social networks to inform

Studies published in 2015 also demonstrated that new digital generations are now informed through social networks, and that the established media no longer has the trust of the population. This phenomenon has also contributed to the changes observed in how to teach the new generations.

6 – Training and education will be decentralized

With the open accessibility of the Web and social media, education and vocational training have begun to decentralize. As a result, more people are now involved in participatory and collaborative forms of learning. Teachers and trainers have in many ways already ceased to be the pivot of knowledge, and this trend will only get stronger.

7 – Generation X became the first hi-tech Parents

With the birth of the young Generation Y and Z, parents of Generation X also became the first to be able to share the use of web tools and social media with their offspring, and participate in digital learning. This new dynamic will drastically transform family life.

8 – The digital divide amongst generations fades

The latest research also shows that the gap in the adoption of new technologies of the Web and social media between generations, is fading. New users among baby boomers continue to rise, even as digital natives predictably emerge as the new leaders.

9 – The new generations are more cause-driven

Unlike the false beliefs of employers, youth Generations Y and Z have developed social and community values, and seek more value to their actions than the success of a lucrative career. In this sense, they will not hesitate to leave a stable job to get involved in a cause that best represents their interests.

10 – Digital natives promote real-time sharing platforms

To communicate and interact, new digital generations (Y and Z) promote new platforms for the exchange and sharing of written and visual content. These include Snapchat, Periscope and Instagram. As with SMS, they target interactions in real time, and expect instant reactions.

11 – The new Baby Boom with Generation Z

For the first time since the baby boom of the 60s, new births are surpassing the death rate. With the advent of Generation Z (born after 1994), there was an increase in the birth rate that has since been confirmed as a clear trend. Within five years, digital natives will be in the majority.

12 – The evolution of sociology in the digital age

Over the past 25 years, sociology has also evolved. With the rapid development of new technologies spurring different motivations, we have seen the emergence of micro-generations (also known as cohorts), lasting a mere 3 or 4 years.

What are your thoughts? Did you observe other consumers trends from the Generation C that will influence the changes in 2016? Please share your opinions with our readers. 


Image attribution: Copyright: ‘http://www.123rf.com/profile_iqoncept‘> / 123RF Stock Photo

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Raymond Morin

SMO Senior Consultant, Author/Blogger and Speaker at Virage 2.0
Strategic analyst / consultant for over 20 years, specializing in optimizing Web marketing / social media for businesses and organizations, Raymond Morin is also the author of three reference guides (in French), and co-author of three other books about digital marketing, public relations and human resources management. A recognized professional blogger, in both languages, he regularly presents and facilitates conferences for organizations, as well as in-house training workshops. In English, he contributes monthly to various platforms of professional bloggers and social media influencers. His next book, Generation C - Confluence Marketing at the Era of Connected Consumers, will be published next fall on Friesen Press Publishing.