Study: A Subset of Millennials, Called Gen-Narrators, Are the Most Powerful Influencers Yet


Millennials! They’re so difficult to pin down. We think they’re on Snapchat, turns out they’re not on Snapchat. They’re jaded–no, they’re idealistic. Well, this recent study, conducted by The Economist, presented here via AdWeek, says that millennials “aren’t the lazy, narcissistic, entitled, apathetic parental leeches they’re often described as.”

On behalf of millennials everywhere, let me say: Thanks, guys.

Turns out, millennials are more active and entrepreneurial than some think. The study identified a subset of millennials they dubbed “Gen-narrators.” Gen-narrators are all about curation, consuming, and creating. They’re a powerful group of influencers “whose reach is coveted by not only media companies but also brands.”

Via AdWeek:

“They don’t just take on broad information, they DJ with it. They remix it and send it out,” [according to Nick Blunden, global managing director of The Economist.] And if you engage with them in the right away, and you create content for them but you accept that they’re going to want to customize, curate and remix that content and make it their own and pass it on, then that’s a really interesting opportunity.”

About 19 percent of millennials are gen-narrators, according to the Economist. And they contribute to an overall picture of the millennial generation, which they say also contains more influencers than the Boomers and the Gen-Xers.

Intuitively, this makes sense to me. Previous generations did not have the Internet. Back then, it was impossible to become famous just for having good taste on the Internet–for having a cool Tumblr, for example, or publishing mixtapes. Some have accused our generation of being “all pastiche,” but, one might argue, as this study does, that content curation is special skill our generation, in particular, has mastered.

And, a surprising detail as well, as the Economist finds–this curatorial behavior, paired with fact-finding, paints a portrait of a generation that’s dedicated to truth, and perhaps  its own form of idealism.

Better than “lazy.” Though it is still true, of course, that many of us still live with our parents.

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