Statsthought: 69.5

This is the percentage of 14- to 34-year-olds in Canada surveyed recently who do not agree with the statement: 'I don't like to stick out in the crowd.' There are many who live by the Dutch proverb that states, 'The flower that stands above the others gets its head cut off.' But not younger Canucks.

This is the percentage of 14- to 34-year-olds in Canada surveyed recently who do not agree with the statement: ‘I don’t like to stick out in the crowd.’ There are many who live by the Dutch proverb that states, ‘The flower that stands above the others gets its head cut off.’ But not younger Canucks.

Despite their pragmatism (contextualizing value for money as ‘the most important thing,’ researching purchases obsessively, not spending on a whim), this has certainly not been at the expense of individualism. The power these consumers carry as definers and creators of culture has made them more focused on diversity of perspective and experience, and they are in no rush to run with the pack.

Teens are tops at thinking that what they wear ‘says a lot about the type of person I am,’ while teens and young twentysomethings are neck and neck in terms of placing importance on style.

Still, flying your own colours is not the exclusive purview of the youngest sectors, since two-thirds of age groups up to 34 don’t mind ‘sticking out in the crowd.’ It’s yet another example of how individuality and personal customization have become true identifying values of Generation Y and, to a lesser extent, Generation X.

So, while you’re busy making sure to come through on the key ‘so what?’ questions of this new generation of consumers, don’t confuse pragmatism for sameness.

This ‘statsthought’ was gleaned from Ping, Youthography’s quarterly study of Canadians aged 9-34. It was culled from a survey responded to by 1,542 14- to 34-year-olds, regionally represented. Mike Farrell (partner, director of research and strategy) can be reached at mike@youthography.com.