Settling into adulthood amid the Great Recession, today’s 20somethings are a practical-minded bunch, according to a J.D. Power and Associates study.
Examining the online discussions of 22-29-year-olds, the research firm found them particularly focused (relative to other age groups) on “value brands,” which are “competing with trendy brands for share of mind.”
This phenomenon is reflected in a ranking of retailers and quick-serve restaurants that get the most favorable online mentions from the 22-29s (dubbed “early careerists” by the report). “For example, among retailers, value brand Old Navy closely follows trendy brands Anthropologie and Bath & Body Works in terms of positive discussion volumes among early careerists,” says the report. “Among quick-serve restaurants, fast-food chains Arby’s and Subway receive particularly high volumes of positive discussion, along with premium ice cream chain Cold Stone Creamery.”
The report notes “a strong degree of disillusionment” among the 22-29-year-olds, with the economy the obvious culprit in this. There’s also an element of resignation in their online chatter: “For many early careerists, the idea of moving back in with their parents after college graduation is accepted as a natural next step.”
With unemployment now especially steep among 20somethings, it stands to reason that they’ve developed fresh respect for the concept of job security. Thus, says the report, “although early careerists consider job-hopping a necessity for moving forward in a career, they strongly desire long-term stability and security within their chosen professions.”