Melanie ShrefflerMember since June 2006 Contact Melanie
- Editorial Director Deep Focus
- 25 Broadway
- New York New York
- 10004 USA
Melanie is a unique combination of trend expert, writer, and researcher with a passion for following youth culture and consumers' ever-changing media habits. As Editorial Director at Deep FOcus, she is a contributor to the Cassandra Report and Cassandra Daily.
Articles by Melanie All articles by Melanie
- A Common Cause in
It's not just adults who are paying close attention to the news emanating from various parts of the globe about recent terrorist activities. Teens are watching, too, having been raised by realist Gen X parents who are less likely than their predecessors to see a need to shelter their maturing children from unpleasant world events. To do so would be quite difficult, as news stories regularly infiltrate their social media feeds. Even the inspirational and usually uplifting sphere of Instagram included references to the recent attacks in Paris and Beirut, not to mention the posts they would have seen on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Snapchat, and the like.
- Gen Z Is Already Misunderstood in
Millennials have taken a lot of flack in recent years for being a self-indulgent generation, absorbed in themselves and their digital devices. They've been a challenge to workplace managers, governments, and marketers alike, as their generational attitudes and behaviors are often misunderstood. As a result, companies are excited to start talking and selling to Gen Z, who are generally hailed as a realistic, conscientious, hardworking group. While these characterizations are true, Gen Z, like every generation before them, also displays traits that worry their elders and will challenge marketers afresh.
- Gen Z Gets Down To Business in
The oldest members of Gen Z are still in college, and most haven't had more serious employment than summer jobs. Yet, the next generation is already on employers' radars. They might be planning ahead and thinking about how they will work with Gen Z because they had such a difficult time adapting to Gen Y.
- Gen Y Perplexed By Teens' Love Of Shop Jeen in
As every young generation grows up, it eventually finds itself on the outside of pop culture looking on in a state of confusion as a new generation rises to put its own stamp on society. Certain signifiers solidify this feeling among the older cohort-think, for example, of Gen Xers' love for Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" that Boomers simply couldn't understand or Millennials' passion for YouTube celebrities that Xers still don't quite get. These inflection points mark the beginning of a changing of the guard among the keepers of youth culture. Millennials, the oldest of whom are well into their mid-30s, may be having such a moment as they hear from their younger counterparts about Shop Jeen, the online storefront and brand that "should come with a seizure warning," according to "New York" magazine.
- The Retail Revolution in
Not so long ago, when a teen decided he needed a new pair of sneakers, the first step in his process would be to plan a trip to the mall. Today, teens' path to purchase for nearly any product, from buying shoes to picking a restaurant, is increasingly diverging from traditional retail processes. Technology has had an obvious impact on young people's shopping habits, but so have key shifts in consumer mindset.
- Gen Z Gets Schooled in
When Millennials were in high school, getting into the best college was paramount in their lives. As the largest generation on record, they knew there would be stiff competition to be accepted into their dream university. For many, the entirety of their secondary education was devoted to achieving this goal. This caused them plenty of stress in the build-up, and, in the end, their reward for achieving the desired result was a heap of student debt-which rose to more than $35,000 for the class of 2015. As Gen Zs have replaced Gen Y in high schools, their approach to college admissions and their perception of the value of a degree are shifting dramatically from that of previous generations.
- Working For A Living in
Summer is just around the corner, and the vast majority of young people will find themselves out of school with months of time to fill before they have to once again set foot in a classroom. In previous decades, most would get jobs or help out around the house, but the job market-particularly for entry-level gigs-has dried up and young people are finding it harder to land jobs that were once reserved for teens.
- Trans(itioning) Societal Norms in
Millennials were the first generation of youth with a majority to openly support gay rights. Through their vocal efforts, society as a whole has become more accepting - most Americans now support gay marriage and current culture is inclusive of the gay community. Today's teens have picked up the mantle; "young consumers see a need to achieve the same degree of acceptance and equality for transgender individuals," notes our Gen Z issue. Through teens' efforts and activism around this issue, societal perceptions are gradually beginning to shift.
- Love & Basketball: Lessons From A Young Fan in
While many American sports fans (and brands) are currently absorbed in the annual ritual that is March Madness, marketers should instead be paying attention to the story of Connor, a 16-year-old former Seattle SuperSonics fan. After losing his hometown team to Oklahoma - but not his unwavering passion for the NBA - he has been in search of a new team to root for. So he did what any young consumer trying to make a decision would do: he researched his options.
- Brands Need To Get Emoji-nal in
Don't be fooled into thinking that the simplicity of emojis means they aren't incredibly powerful tools. Just as previous generations of teens became reliant on text abbreviations and eventually pushed them into the mainstream, the same is true of today's teens and emojis. They serve as a quick way for young people to convey what they're doing and how they're feeling without having to tap out a single word.