Kuala Lumpur, May 17 — Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living ASEAN (“HILL ASEAN”) a think tank established in Thailand in March 2014 by Japan’s second largest advertising company, Hakuhodo Inc., recently announced findings from its latest research into ASEAN sei-katsu-sha.
Entitled “ASEAN MILLENNIALS: One Size Fits All? A Generation Gap in ASEAN,” the presentation, based upon in-depth qualitative and quantitative research in Malaysia and five other ASEAN markets, highlighted important differences in attitudes to life and work and interactions with digital technology, amongst those who are often categorised together as a single ‘Millennial Generation’ entity, both in Malaysia and other ASEAN countries.
Millennials, or those born in the 1980s and 1990s, have captured the attention of the marketing industry the world over. With their fresh values and high degree of fluency in digital technology, Millennials are very different from previous generations and have been notoriously difficult to reach with traditional marketing approaches.
Millennials are especially prominent in ASEAN countries; whose populations have a high percentage of young people. However, given the dramatic social and economic shifts that have taken place in these countries in recent years, it is difficult to define such a broad age group as a single entity.
In this study, HILL ASEAN studied the perceptions and habits of sei-katsu-sha Millennials in Malaysia and ASEAN, and as a result identified clear differences in behaviour between those born in the 1970s, 1980s and those born in the 1990s. Analysis of the research revealed gaps between them in the way they live and work, their use of digital technology, their shopping behaviour and more.
In general, Millennials born in Malaysia during the 1980’s were shaped by the difficult economic circumstances and political upheavals of the past, which may not have impacted them directly, but certainly affected their parents and extended families.
At the same time, they were also born into a transforming society with high promise for the future. This has resulted in a group of 1980’s Millennials who understand that the world is uncertain and as a result they actively try and minimize risk and maximize opportunity for themselves – and they demonstrate this is many different ways through their work, lifestyle and purchasing habits.
However, Millennials born in the 1990’s were not so impacted by difficult times in the past and were much more influenced by the opportunities offered by a promising future, particularly the rapid development of digital technology and globalization. As a result, this group of Millennials are much more willing to take on potentially risky challenges, which they see as opportunities, and are much more less likely to make distinctions between their professional and personal lives.
The differences between these two groups, who have historically been lumped together as the Millennial Generation, has profound implications for anyone trying to interact and market products to them.
The difference between these two groups of Millennials was particularly pronounced in Malaysia where 77% of 1980s Millennials felt a ‘generation-gap’ between themselves and 1990’s Millennials, as opposed to the ASEAN average of 70%.
Similarly, 70% of 1990s Millennials in Malaysia felt that there was a generation gap with the 1980s Millennial cohort, which again surpassed the ASEAN average of 66%. As a result of this research it is evident that there is a clear divide in the attitudes and lifestyles of Millennials in the six ASEAN countries covered, and that this is particularly marked in Malaysia.