The Roaring 20-12′s?

Could it have been the French fashions inspired by pioneer Coco Chanel? Or the idea of being in the know of where to go, living life to the fullest and taking risks? Being a flapper in the 20’s and 30’s was really an extreme manifestation of change in lifestyles of American women – promoting new fashions and freedom to do, well, just about anything.

Flapper negativities aside, I can’t help but to compare yesterday’s flappers to the nearly 80 million that make up Gen Y (men and women) – born between 1980 and 1995. They are big spenders, yet broke. Culturally liberal and politically engaged. Socialists. Entrepreneurs. Idealists.  The list goes on.

My research on Millennials and their connection to brands through technology and social media mirrors that of the speakeasy.  Loyalty is created through affiliation, identity and community.  80 years ago, all one had to do was know the password or have a membership to what the speakeasies called a supper club. Today, all you need to do is like, love, pin, tweet and share to become friends of most brands worldwide.

Milennials photo source: CPCC

The National Retail Federation recently published their 2012 Social and Mobile Commerce Study which reports that Pinterest is ‘winning at pinning’.  Consumers are following an average of 9.3 retailers on Pinterest as compared to 8.5 retailers and 6.9 retailers on Twitter and Facebook respectively.

The opportunity for retailers to entice customers through technology, and more specifically, with their smartphones using location-based services is beginning to take off.  Nearly half of all Millennials (46%) have shared their location with a retailer.  Check-ins allow for retailers to tailor their promotions to each customer, at any given moment as they cross the threshold (or peek through the speakeasy grill). Being “in the know” is simply a text message away.  

Add to the retail experience some lively music, a place to gather socially (or virtually), and perhaps a beverage (tea cup optional) – you are three steps closer to unlocking the door to this generation of techy-socialites.

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