Wednesday, January 19, 2011

No McMansions for Millennials [WSJ.com]

Last year I attended a conference called "Chief Culture Officer," during which author Grant McCracken discussed not only cultural trends but how you could apply them to innovation. One example that I remember is the concept of the "great room"—this trend toward having an open-concept combined kitchen and living room space. McCracken suggested that there are many untapped innovations here—for instance, "throwable food," because you often have people in the kitchen interacting with people in the living room.

Enter this article from the Wall Street Journal: "No McMansions for Millennials."

There are a number of elements in this article that could inspire innovation and creativity. One idea that sticks out: “Consider designing outdoor spaces as if they were living rooms.” The article also mentions the idea that there needs to be room in front of the TV for the Wii (which I would update to the Kinect)-- this concept is one that I take for granted but it is definitely reflected in my (super-millennial) home.

This kind of consumer insight is imperative to strong advertising. Consumers are bombarded with ads that don’t reflect who they are—the spokesperson may dress like the consumer, or the ad may reference the newest slang— but often advertisers miss the mark because they don’t understand deeper motivations and larger cultural shifts that these consumers are not only living but helping to create.

Erica Minton
Senior Strategist

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