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Nielsen: Innovative Marketing Needed to Connect with Post-90s Consumers

Sue Feng,, 010-5912-9195

Beijing, CHINA – March 20, 2014 – The generation born after 1990 is more affluent and more brand-conscious than the generations that preceded it, and a deep understanding of the distinct characteristics of this group is needed to connect with them, according to Nielsen’s survey on the Life Attitudes and Values of the Post-90s Generation.

Most of the “post-90s” generation are stepping into the job market with a stable income, and these young, mostly well-educated and promising consumers represent significant opportunity for manufacturers, brands and marketers that engage with them early. According to the 6th National Population Census in 2010, the number of people born between 1990 and 2000 reached more than 200 million.

“Young as they are for now, the post-90s generation1 will soon play a key role, not only in workplace and society, but in consumption as well in the next five to 10 years,” said Liu Xiaobin, vice president of Nielsen China.

“Compared with those born in the 1970s and the early 1980s, the post-90s were brought up in an era when both the Chinese economy and information technology developed rapidly – when the door of China swung wide open, letting in a variety of foreign cultures. All of these factors shaped the new way of life for this particular young demographic, as well as the values they hold,” Liu added.

According to the Nielsen survey, these post-90s youngsters’ pursuit for individuality finds its best expression in how they view the brands, and the brands they care most about are those pertaining to electronic products and apparel.

“Among the post-90s respondents surveyed by Nielsen, ‘brand’ is no longer merely a name for a product, but a combination of quality and personality. Most of the time, for this group of people, brands are always viewed as a ‘tag’ that speaks of their life and own tastes,” said Liu.

Enjoying the Feeling of Indulgence

Like most members of the post-80s generation, the post-90s had no siblings and were regarded as a spoiled generation in the family that usually consists of four grandparents, two parents and one child. Meanwhile, the better financial situation of their families made it possible for them to enjoy themselves, and strive for better quality of life.

“While they work hard, they also enjoy the feeling of indulgence as a reward, even at a cost of drawing on the future, if the product is what they desire,” said Liu.

Stay Connected

As a generation brought up amid the rapid penetration of Internet and personal computers since late 1990s, Nielsen’s report shows that Internet, no matter when and where, has become a crucial source of information for the post-90s consumers.

About 86 percent of the post-90s respondents surveyed said they go online at least once or twice every day, while around one-fifth of them say they just stay online throughout the day, through PC, smartphone or mobile tablets.

“Our qualitative analysis shows that the post-90s, thanks to their long hours of exposure on the Internet and all kinds of social media platforms, weigh heavily on the recommendations and comments by either friends of their circle or key-opinion-leaders on social media, which again demonstrates the importance of word-of-mouth marketing in connecting with them,” Liu added.

According to the Nielsen survey, virtual socializing (17%) is the top driver of post-90s’ online activities, followed by self-expression (16%) and seeking new experiences (16%).

Meanwhile, 62 percent of post-90s say their closest relationship is with their parents, followed by close friends (who in most cases share the same interests), at 30 percent; and cousins (32%).

About the Nielsen Report on Life Attitudes and Values of Post-90s Generation

The Nielsen Report on Life Attitudes and Values of Post-90s Generation is a one-year-long mixed methodology survey among consumers aged between 12 and 25 from 2012 to 2013, and covered all kinds of post-90s consumers from China’s Tier 1 cities (Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou), including middle and high-school students, college students, migrant workers and the fresh graduates who just embarked on their career journey. The report, combining both quantitative and qualitative research, is committed to have a complete understanding of the post-90s generation – no matter their characteristics, life attitudes or values – to shed light on how to better connect and resonate with this group of highly potential consumers in the next few years.

About Nielsen
Nielsen is a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy, with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA, and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit

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1The post-­90s here is a broader concept including both those born after 1990 but before 2000, and also those born in late 1980s, in particular, born in between 1987 and 1989.