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WBUR's Generation Stuck: The Struggling 20-Somethings

AMP Agency's 'Generation Stuck'? Methodology AMP Agency wanted to take a deeper look at the impact the economy has had on the perceptions, opinions, beliefs and attitudes of recent college graduates. Primary research was conducted with a focus on understanding how the economy may be impacting their educational, vocational, financial and personal lives. In order to gauge the impact on males and females, ages 22 to 29 who have at least some college education, AMP gathered information from a broader audience in order to compare results across different generations. In total, AMP gathered responses from 516, 18-49 year old males and females that live in the United States. The survey was fielded online in September of 2012. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 4.31 %. Findings from this study contributed to Generation Stuck, a radio series and a blog produced by WBUR 90.9 FM, Boston's NPR News Station, which highlighted the life experiences of 20-somethings in wake of the economic recession. AMP Agency's 'Generation Stuck'? Key Findings AMP Agency's 'Generation Stuck'? research took a look at males and females, ages 22 to 29 who have at least some college education, to understand how their lives have been impacted by the economic downturn. AMP looked at aspects of their educational, vocational, financial and personal lives in order to understand how their life experience are different from younger and older generations. This research gained insight into topics across a broad range of topics. Key areas of interest were employment, education, debt & finance, spending, relationships, obtaining 'the American Dream'? and the future. Below are key findings from each of the categories. Overall, recent graduates are facing many short term financial challenges. They are not where they want to be in life, but they have the motivation and optimism to make their dreams come true. Their current spending may also be limited, but they have the goals of obtaining better, higher-paying jobs that will give them the lives (and spending limits!) they desire. Employment: Key Finding: Over half of 22 to 29 year old respondents report that they are overeducated and overqualified (57% and 56%, respectively) for their current positions. Implication: Historically, there has always been a sense of entitlement among younger generations. Despite the economic downturn, recent college graduates still feel that they are entitled to have higher paying or more powerful jobs than what they currently hold. Aspirations among the segment remain high, and that's a good thing for employers! Education: Key Finding: The vast majority of 22 to 29 year old respondents believe that hard work (88%) and education (81%) lead to success. Implication: Despite the challenges of obtaining a preferred job or earning the salary that they think they deserve, recent graduates are still proud of the hard work that they have put into themselves and their education. They remain optimistic on their views of themselves and what they may be able to achieve in the future. Debt & Finance: Key Finding: 78% of 22-29 year old respondents have student loan debt. Of those, 40% owe $40,000 or more. The majority feel 'burdened' and 'overwhelmed' by their debt (70% and 63%, respectfully). Implication: Recent graduates will need to hone their financial responsibility skill set to avoid not only feeling worse about their debt, but also avoid ruining their credit at a young age. If many recent graduates end up hurting their credit, this could have negative future implications for the financial and housing markets. Spending: Key Finding: They key areas where 22-29 year old respondents are spending less money are clothing (79%), dining out (79%), and entertainment (77%). Implication: Many manufacturers and retailers have suffered from the economic downturn, but the impact will be felt hardest among those that target younger consumers. Younger consumers typically have high discretionary funds, and the research shows they are watching every penny as they try to make smarter financial decisions. Relationships: Key Finding: The economy has had an overall positive impact on 22 to 29 year old respondents' relationships, with 40% citing a positive impact on their relationship with their parents, and 37% citing a positive impact on their relationship with friends and coworkers. Implication: Recent graduates are living at home longer, as well as borrowing money or staying rent-free with friends and family. One benefit of this behavior is that they are growing closer to those people who are helping them through this financial crisis. Obtaining 'The American Dream'?: Key Finding: 70% of 22-29 year old respondents believe that they can attain the American Dream. 68% feel optimistic about their futures. Implication: The economic crisis has had a major impact on the short term experiences of recent graduates, but their outlook on the future remains optimistic. They believe that their recent struggles will not hurt their ability to achieve their own definitions of achieving 'The American Dream'? (typically defined as financial stability, the ability to raise a family comfortably, and living without debt). The Future: Key Finding: 80% of 22 to 29 year old respondents agree that they will make enough money for themselves in the future, and 51% feel that their economic situation will end up better than that of their parent or guardian. Implication: Although unsure of when their economic situation will improve, recent graduates have a positive self-image and a positive outlook on their future. They feel that they will be able to achieve the type of financial independence they desire. They are willing to put forth the hard work and effort it takes to get to where they want to be. The findings are based on 158 surveys conducted with 22-29 year old males and females. This subset was a part of a larger research initiative that gathered responses from 516, 18-49 year old males and females across the United States. Margin of error for the 22-29 year old segment is +/-7.8% and the margin of error for the entire study is +/-4.8%. Did you enjoy this post? If so, you can view more proprietary research on millennials here.  

College Students' Back-To-School Shopping Behavior, Insights Lab Episode 9

AMP's Director of Brand Strategy, Jason Rivera, shares some insight on college students' purchase intent and shopping behavior. He discusses how brands can leverage these insights to reach this demographic during the Back-to-School shopping season.

Measuring Brand Esteem through Social Media, Insights Lab Episode 2

Hear the AMP Insights Lab perspective on social media metrics and measuring what matters. AMP Agency presents Videos by the Insights Lab- a think tank dedicated to uncovering, understanding and leveraging the best way to connect brands with consumers via the latest technology. To learn more about these metrics, download the Psychology of Social whitepaper at http://bit.ly/z0OQvX

The Psychology Behind Social Media, Insights Lab Episode 1

AMP Agency presents Videos by the Insights Lab- a think tank dedicated to uncovering, understanding and leveraging the best way to connect brands with consumers via the latest technology. Host Jason Rivera discusses this week's topic: The Psychology behind Social Media Connections. Download the Psychology of Social whitepaper at http://bit.ly/z0OQvX    

MP3 Players Are Dead

It's true. There will be no such thing as a single-use device dedicated to playing digital music in 3-5 years. You should save up your old iPods and Zunes (RIP) and keep them in nice working order for the folks that will want to buy them on eBay in 2035. There hasn't been any significant improvements to the MP3 player market since the introduction of the high-capacity flash drive, 3 years ago. The thing that stinks is that there is no current device that makes playing and listening to digital music 8-10 hours a day, a practical habit. Technically, you could use your phone. Technically, you could use your computer. And technically, you could use your tablet. However, none of these are good, mobile solutions with long battery life. Within two years, you (yes, YOU) will have a multi-dimension device that acts as a cloud-based computer, phone/messaging/email device, and as an entertainment hub (think tablet but smaller and multi-dimensional). There will be exponential growth in battery life over the next 18 months with the addition of energy-efficient processors and equipment architecture, giving these multi-purpose devices 7+ days of battery life, instead of a mere few hours. So if you're an MP3 player junkie, you'll have to tough it out for a while until everyone's future devices start arriving on store shelves at the end of 2012. And yes, I already miss the Zune.

Three Awesome Things You Missed at CES Because Everyone Was Too Busy Talking About Tablets

Don't get me wrong, I <3 technology. I am completely enamored by all things plasticy, shiny, button-filled and new. Throw in a blinking light of some sort, and I'll probably fetch my wallet. That aside, I feel that there are several breakthrough technologies that were showcased at CES that the general public will not see for another year until they hit the mainstream. So get your clicking-finger ready to learn about more than tablet computers and 3D everything. These technologies are truly revolutionary and inspiring. Sorry, 10.1Ë? Angry Birds. Etymotic EB1 and EB15 Earplugs; they silence loud noise and amplify soft ones. Perfect for Army snipers or your easily-startled granny. http://goo.gl/wPoew BPG Motors; they've been working on this a long time, but they are finally near completion. It's the world's raddest unicycle. http://goo.gl/4937N Samsung Flexible AMOLED Displays; these too, have been in the works a long time, but have finally become a reality. This will allow everyday items to turn into a very rugged, very awesome display. The jazzy tunes in this clip are free of charge - http://goo.gl/m9Q3 T-Pain Microphone; This. Will. Change. Your. Life. Okay, it won't, but it's amazing to see that someone still thinks autotune is funny and/or a good idea. http://goo.gl/hrh6Q

Three Awesome Things You Missed at CES Because Everyone Was Too Busy Talking About Tablets

Don't get me wrong, I <3 technology. I am completely enamored by all things plasticy, shiny, button-filled and new. Throw in a blinking light of some sort, and I'll probably fetch my wallet. That aside, I feel that there are several breakthrough technologies that were showcased at CES that the general public will not see for another year until they hit the mainstream. So get your clicking-finger ready to learn about more than tablet computers and 3D everything. These technologies are truly revolutionary and inspiring. Sorry, 10.1Ë? Angry Birds. Etymotic EB1 and EB15 Earplugs; they silence loud noise and amplify soft ones. Perfect for Army snipers or your easily-startled granny. http://goo.gl/wPoew BPG Motors; they've been working on this a long time, but they are finally near completion. It's the world's raddest unicycle. http://goo.gl/4937N Samsung Flexible AMOLED Displays; these too, have been in the works a long time, but have finally become a reality. This will allow everyday items to turn into a very rugged, very awesome display. The jazzy tunes in this clip are free of charge - http://goo.gl/m9Q3 T-Pain Microphone; This. Will. Change. Your. Life. Okay, it won't, but it's amazing to see that someone still thinks autotune is funny and/or a good idea. http://goo.gl/hrh6Q

Welcome to Th_ Clo_d

Have you heard enough about it to fill in the blanks? If you haven't, I'm referring to 'the cloud'? ' the tech industry's newest piece of marketing wonderment. In layman's terms, 'the cloud'? is all about cloud computing ' where storage of all your personal pictures, music files and other tidbits live in a storage 'cloud'? that hovers out in cyberspace and becomes accessible from any device. Those devices could be multiple computers, tablets, smart phones or any other internet-enabled device. In short, cloud computing isn't that much different than the networked nodes of yester-year, but has certainly gained a resurgence in popularity and marketing prosperity. Creating a cloud-based storage system isn't limited to a single manufacturer, but in a stroke of marketing genius, Microsoft is working to quickly own the term. Their latest campaign, which features constant references of 'to the cloud'? cleverly builds ownership of the idea and the term for Microsoft. This is likely to pay off in about 8-12 months when mainstreamers begin building, maintaining and utilizing their own cloud networks. There are many opinions out there that Microsoft is being deceptive by trying to take ownership of 'the cloud'? and showcasing technologies that don't necessarily need 'clouds' to exist. But to that logic, we should also be mad at Coke for trying to own 'happiness'? or Walmart for trying to encourage us all to 'live better.'? These companies are making claims about what their brands can do for consumers ' so who really cares if they step outside the boundaries a little? You be the judge. http://goo.gl/siI2H

Welcome to Th_ Clo_d

Have you heard enough about it to fill in the blanks? If you haven't, I'm referring to 'the cloud'? ' the tech industry's newest piece of marketing wonderment. In layman's terms, 'the cloud'? is all about cloud computing ' where storage of all your personal pictures, music files and other tidbits live in a storage 'cloud'? that hovers out in cyberspace and becomes accessible from any device. Those devices could be multiple computers, tablets, smart phones or any other internet-enabled device. In short, cloud computing isn't that much different than the networked nodes of yester-year, but has certainly gained a resurgence in popularity and marketing prosperity. Creating a cloud-based storage system isn't limited to a single manufacturer, but in a stroke of marketing genius, Microsoft is working to quickly own the term. Their latest campaign, which features constant references of 'to the cloud'? cleverly builds ownership of the idea and the term for Microsoft. This is likely to pay off in about 8-12 months when mainstreamers begin building, maintaining and utilizing their own cloud networks. There are many opinions out there that Microsoft is being deceptive by trying to take ownership of 'the cloud'? and showcasing technologies that don't necessarily need 'clouds' to exist. But to that logic, we should also be mad at Coke for trying to own 'happiness'? or Walmart for trying to encourage us all to 'live better.'? These companies are making claims about what their brands can do for consumers ' so who really cares if they step outside the boundaries a little? You be the judge. http://goo.gl/siI2H

Oh IKEA Mug, You Inspire Me.

There I was, just washing my office coffee mug, minding my own business, when I glanced over at the drying rack and spied someone's upturned IKEA coffee mug. It was so innocent, so green; and then I noticed a little adornment ' a slight depression in the base of the mug. This little depression was something I had seen in the past, but had not remembered until I saw it again this morning. The little depression was a brilliant design enhancement. Anyone who has ever washed a coffee mug knows that when they are wet, there is always a trough of water that rests atop the mug, regardless of how long it sits on the drying rack or in the dishwasher. This little recess in the bottom of the IKEA mug allows the trapped water to drain out ' leaving your mug nice and dry. Crisis averted. All is well in the world. So why am I wasting my time writing about coffee mugs, you ask? Well, this seemingly innocuous enhancement that IKEA (and likely others) made in their mug design was a nice little addition to their otherwise standard mug. It is one of those niceties that goes above and beyond what you expect a company to do and what you expect a coffee mug to do. It is one of those things that makes you feel more proud of your mug and could potentially be a conversation starter with other folks. Now in this day and age of economic apprehension, it would be wonderful for more brands to adopt the 'coffee mug'? attitude and try to determine the small, low-cost niceties that they can perform for their customers to help build loyalty and put excitement back in their products. If IKEA can make coffee mugs exciting for little or no cost ' just imagine what you can do with your brand.

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