The Drum: Baby boomers embrace the gig economy while millennials seek balance, report suggests

By Laurie Fullerton

Mindshare North America's annual Culture Vulture Trends report, released today, looks at the latest consumer shifts and cultural trends forecast to grow over the next year and suggests that its time to reject FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and predicts a shift away from the focus on millennials, as well as the continuing rise of niche brands and an acceptance that brands know increasingly more about our lives.

The annual report also notes that 67% of Americans surveyed are 'tapped out' with productivity and growth suggesting that the focus is shifting back to the baby boomer generation. Boomers are reportedly controlling 70% of the disposable income in the US and now see themselves as 'middle-aged millennials' as they invest more time in social media, the gig economy and e-commerce.

The trends report also suggests that the US now has two definitions of the American dream. For many (e.g. first generation immigrants), the traditional one remains, with such aspirations as going to college and owning a home. For others, success is about time for self-development and the pursuit of personal passions. Further, as people seek out a different type of fulfillment, companies like Amazon and Netflix are testing out 30-hour work weeks and flexible parental leave to help.

The study also suggests there is a widening gulf between people's perceptions of their individual lives (85% of adults say that they're satisfied with their personal life), versus how they feel about the world overall (only 29% of Americans are satisfied with the US's direction). And, as consumers become less trusting of institutions and mass media, brands are finding creative, humorous ways to cut the tension and play in both worlds.

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Posted on January 31, 2017 .