Generation Y (individuals ages 14-31 in 2008) are in the marketplace with the numbers and the purchasing power to have an unprecedented impact on the economy. Despite the potential of this group as a whole, especially the middle-aged members of this generation (ages 18-22) who are in the highly coveted college-student market, much is unknown about the motivations behind these individuals' consumption behavior and preferences. This study attempts to address this gap in the literature by exploring the antecedents of the consumption behavior of college-aged Generation Y individuals. The findings indicate that issues relating to socialization, uncertainty reduction, reactance, self-discrepancy, and feelings of accomplishment and connectedness drive Y consumers' product purchases and retail patronage. This article discusses these issues as well as their theoretical and managerial implications.
Generation Y Image-oriented purchasing motives Cognitive buying motives
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