Gen-Y Consumers and Business Selection

The consensus of the many articles and blog posts about Gen-Y seems to be that the younger generations have a completely different value system than those that have come before them.  As businesses adjust to an increasingly Gen-Y consumer base, the trick seems to be cracking this code of how I – a member of Gen-Y – choose from whom I buy.

Gen-Y consumer choices are based on community and relationships When I need something, I ask my social circle (in person and on social networking sites) and go to my favorite search engine, rarely going past page two.  As a result, often my first impression of a company is its website.  If I do not find the company from one of these two methods, I don't consider it.

With this list of potentials, I (often subconsciously) evaluate them. The atmosphere of the site can make me feel comfortable and welcome or out of place.  I desire to feel a part of the community, a part of something greater than myself.  If a recommendation came from a close friend, my relationship with the brand has already begun before "meeting" them.  This relationship with the company is what creates loyalty.

If a business is active in the local community, has fair employment/purchasing practices and cares about social issues, buying from that company fits into my ethical values.  I am able to be true to the entirety of who I am while buying what I want or need.

All relationships are dynamic.  An annoying commercial can leave me frustrated (wanting to avoid the business), and seeing my cause taken up can renew/deepen our bond.

It is all about relationship and community.

It's still who I know.


Allen J Fuller, III is a freelance writer, photographer and aspiring entrepreneur.  He blogs at and can be found on Twitter @AllenJFuller.

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