Millennials Are Abandoning Heirlooms

Yesterday we showed at length how the trend, which we’ve called “The Allure of Less” is a powerful force in today’s marketing environment. The article discusses how In a world of overwhelming choice, customer journeys that are stripped down to the essentials are a welcome relief and consumers are gravitating toward “simple” products and experiences (even vicarious ones) that are made for the social media age.

By way of another example (and one that fits interestingly with our other explorations on how generations differ in sometimes unexpected ways), the Chicago Tribune has found a curious angle on the trend - Millennials don’t want their family’s treasures.

As many Baby Boomers are downsizing their living arrangements, the things that filled their houses are not being welcomed into loving new homes by their children.

Auctioneers and appraisers, junk haulers and moving companies all seem to be echoing the same thing: The market is flooded with baby boomer rejects.

The article points out a number of reasons that the younger generations are turning down their parents (and grandparents) stuff. These explanations echo our findings, including “They rent rather than own, live in smaller spaces, collect more digital than physical items and tend to put their money toward experiences rather than things.”

While we and our clients are more often focused on selling new things, it’s important to remember that what we learn about people through research is not only related to marketing. These learnings are often fundamental truths that have ripples throughout many aspects of life.