Centennials are officially in the game | DMA

Filter By

Show All

Connect to


Centennials are officially in the game


Baby Boomer, Baby Bust, Xennials, Millennials, these are the generational cohorts that marketers have seen popping up over and over during the last few years on research and analytics reports. However, new players are in town. They are influential and well-informed. They are pragmatic, realistic about the future and ready to work hard. They grew up with a smartphone in hand and social networks. They are Centennials.

Why are we so obsessed with generations?

Centennials, so called as they are the first generation of the new century, are a critically important troop: their daily lives differ across markets but all of them share similar experiences. Born between 1997 and today, reach the 2.57 billion of global population.

Quick note - when you hear “Centennials”, as explained in the Kantar Futures’ presentation “Centennials - Unlocking Global Youth Insights”, the term doesn’t refer to a generation as a static age range. Centennials are today’s “youth” and, as it happened to the often-mentioned Millennials, will quickly be the young adults.

When it is time to understand customers, generation is a factor you want to include in your study, as it does have an important influence on people’s daily decisions and behaviour.

Often, generations are analysed by comparing their members as they look in the present day without looking at where they come from.

However, through generation analysis, marketers can look to both customers’ beginnings and what they are facing today, which is will help them understand where Centennials will go in the future.

The Kantar Futures team has developed a framework for understanding these critical starting points, and understanding the Centennials’ generation.

What’s the Centennials’ fil rouge?

Centennials are growing up in a very different world from those who came before.

These are the main futures of their playground:

  • A VUCA world: Centennials across the globe are sharing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity, and all of these forces are shaping the generation as a whole.
  • An aging global population: The population pyramid doesn’t actually look like a pyramid anymore as people are living longer.
  • A mobile to rule them all: Centennials are living in a time when every person has a mobile in their hands, a super computer that provides them with access to whatever whenever they need it. Moreover, everyone has the opportunity to develop, display and distribute their experiences, wants and needs.

This context is defining the generation’s values:

  • Down to earth: Centennials look and live the future with a dose of realism that definitely didn’t characterise previous generations, particularly at such a young age.
  • Travel and work hard: Success is no longer defined by owning material items but it’s about the journey undertaken. Consequentially, Centennials are learning that hard work and perseverance are the keys to open the success’ door.
  • You do you: Being open to any possibility is a key skill, they give themselves and others permission to be different, and express those differences.

As reported by several models and theories of Consumer Psychology, values shape how people approach the marketplace and brand choices, in this case a generation.

Consequentially, Centennials do prioritise what they buy based on what really matters to them and use their tech skills to determine the best product for the best price. Centennials also don’t want to miss the momentum and see their options disappearing, as well as relying on their own knowledge to develop opinions and perspectives on everything, from social media to social justice.

If Centennials got your attention and you would like to find out more, put on your headphones and listen to Kantar Futures Podcast #2: Centennials where co-hosts Andrew Curry (Director at Kantar Futures) and J Walker Smith (Executive Chairman at Kantar Futures) in conversation with Jo Phillips (Director at Kantar Futures) and Kate Turkcan (Vice President & Head of Youth Insights at Kantar Futures), discuss in more detail.

Hear more from the DMA

Please login to comment.