VH1 Consumer Insights: The GEN MIX Report

March 24, 2010

Ever wonder where digital sites like eHarmony, Microsoft Bing and big retailers get their information consumer data? Well, we found out.

During the Magic Show in February, Jana Steadman, Senior Manager of Strategic Insights and Research at MTV Networks presented The Gen Mix Consumer Report. In her seminar, Steadman shared qualitative and quantitative research on what drives consumers ages 24-34 to buy in the current economy. The statistics and data from were impressive.

What Is The Gen Mix Consumer Report?

The Gen Mix Consumer Report is a study focused on the lives and spending habits of today’s young adults. The report explores how Gen Mix approaches products and brands and their motivation and influence when making purchase decisions. The report also explores how young adults shop in an economic recession.

Who Are Gen Mix Consumers?

Young adults consist of two major generational groups – Millennials and Gen X. Millennials are confidently anticipating the future while Gen Xers are becoming more settled and comfortable. The study identified Gen Mix (Adults 25-34) as individuals who are straddling between both generations.

Gen Mixers are entering an exciting life stage filled with milestones including marriage, careers, kids, and new homes, which make them a purchase intensive consumer group.

Gen Mix Consumer Shopping Habits

  • Gen Mixers love the designer collaborations with Target and H&M. They want the designer name, just not the price point. Jimmy Choo, Alice + Olivia, Alexander McQueen and Sonia Rykiel top consumer lists.
  • Gen Mixers will never buy collaboration designers at full price. A woman who bought Alice + Olivia for Payless will not pay full price for an Alice + Olivia dress at Nordstrom; she will buy it at 50% off at T.J. Maxx.
  • 68% of women check five (5) or more sites online before they shop and buy; Gen Mixers are price savvy. These women use digital ads for Target, Walmart or Sunday newspapers to price compare.
  • Gen Mixers are concerned about the recession but they’re secretly hungry to shop, and deep sales and discounts validate shopping.
  • Gen Mixers only change their consumer patterns if they lose their jobs. They’ll continue to spend, but now they’ll go into department stores such as Macy’s and bargain with sales people.

Gen Mix Designer & Price Point Preferences

  • Personal identity is important to Gen Mixers. While they say that brands and labels aren’t important, but when you check their closets, they do care. Though Gen Mixers don’t feel the brands they buy are a direct reflection of their identity, the study shows that the brands they buy embody their identities.
  • Gen Mixers are at a stage in their lives where they can splurge a bit, 34% do it whenever they can.
  • 64% don’t think twice on spending on things under $5.00!
  • Gen Mixers are emotional shoppers. Emotions that drive sales are experience, aspiration, empowerment, connection and affirmation.
  • Aspiration is fueled by the lifestyle the buyer wants to live and leads to validation of accomplishments. Connection is driven by their need to be digitally connected; it was in this need that made iPhone sales so successful.
  • Gen Mixers want quality, well-made products, they are three (3) times more likely to purchase if products meet their quality expectations.
  • For Gen Mixers, if you have a product that fulfills a need and makes life easier/faster and the price point is right, they will buy it.

Gen Mixers, Social Networks & Digital Media

  • 77% of Gen Mixers are on MySpace, Facebook & Twitter. They love to post, share and discuss; they also love recommendations.
  • 52% of Gen Mixers use Mobile Phones to check prices in store before they buy to get a great deal.
  • 20% of all Tweets on Twitter have product recommendations and BRANDS included in those Tweets.
  • 30% of Gen Mixers read blogs and news online. Only 21% use newspapers anymore.
  • Online, Gen Mixers LOVE Perez Hilton and US Weekly Magazine.
  • The #1 demographic that Gen Mixers follow on Twitter, MySpace and Facebook are celebrities and tabloids.

Gen Mixers, Celebrity Influence & Television Advertising

  • 30% of Gen Mixers would rather have no furniture than have no TV!
  • 49% of Gen Mixers use TV to disconnect. They will connect with TV ads that engage them and are interesting, meaning that they like ads that offer entertainment.
  • Gen Mixers love televisions ads with celebrities doing interesting, entertaining things. Successful campaigns include Dr. Dre with Dr. Pepper and Carmen Electra with MAC Cosmetics.
  • Gen Mixers love “Celebing”. If their favorite celebrity makes a brand endorsement in an authentic way, they view it as a friend recommendation.
  • Gen Mixers love to hear about celebrity mistakes because it helps validate their own mistakes, causing them to feel better about themselves. This is why reality, celebrity TV is still so popular among Gen Mixers.

Download a two-page overview of the VHI Audience Research Study courtesy of VH1 & MTV. For more information, please contact Jana Steadman at

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