Born between 1981 and 1996, millennials are subject to all kinds of stereotypes –spoilt, narcissistic, screen and selfie obsessed, impossible employees and so on. They are also well informed, open minded and hungry to make a difference.

And while it’s difficult to assign a set amount of values to an entire generation, what’s true is that millennials are savvy shoppers. Never content to simply swallow a brand’s promise unblinking, they often demand utility in a product and authenticity in a brand story.

To find out if brands play a big role in their shopping decisions, we sat a few of our colleagues down and asked them. Here’s what they said:

When we talk about brands the first ones that come to my mind are streetwear  brands. Nowadays the streetwear scene in Malaysia is quite crazy especially among Gen Ys. Yeah, for me as a Gen Y, it’s quite important for me to choose what brand suits me because every brand has different look and character, besides the good quality material some streetwears brands have their own fanbase like Supreme, Stussy, Bathing Ape, Off White. Although Streetwear began as a niche interest, the tenacity of its rabid fanbase has spread to nearly every corner of our planet. Like with any trend, I’m more interested when celebrities and people that I look up to for style inspirations start picking it up. When artists such as A$AP Rocky, Tyler the Creator and Kanye West use the brand, they inject the brand with a level of swag that people who love the hip hop community aspire to have. The other factors that influence me to choose streetwear brands is because of my age, the influence of friends and social media. For me, it’s not wrong if we spend money on what we are interested in, as long as we know where the limits are. Bak kata orang dulu-dulu “Ukur Baju Di Badan Sendiri, Tepuk Dada dan Tanya Selera”

-Amir Rose, 24


I will buy brands for very practical reasons – durability and design. Usually this applies to clothing, and having said that I do have a few go-to brands which I know fit my style. I also pick wisely where only certain items are bought from certain brands, because not every brand is good with everything they produce. Other than that, I like Muji’s household stuff. As someone working in branding, of course I understand the value of a brand. However, they’re often overpriced. So Daiso is my second option and I can usually get very similar stuff with Muji. I think in the end, it’s important to know what we want, so we will chose to buy in to the quality of a brand, but not the dogma of brands.
– Kit Ying, 27


I wouldn’t consider myself as being heavily influenced by brands. I do believe in buying brands but to a certain limit. I guess what inspires me to purchase something is definitely the quality of the product. I tend to go for brands that guarantee good quality and that are long lasting when it comes to products like shoes and make up and certain types of clothing that I consider a form of investment. Because of that, I hardly ever need to repurchase the same item or if I do, it’s after a couple of years. The other thing that inspire me to purchase brands is based on the social causes that they support. As long as they are championing a cause I care about and  are really taking action on these social causes, I wouldn’t mind considering them.
– Lih Wern, 24


It depends. I’m very selective when purchasing things. But I don’t really purchase branded brands. I don’t mind purchasing cheaper brands, as long as the quality is there. Cause not all of branded brands are really good quality. Plus most of it costs a lot. Not all branded brands are good, and not all unbranded brands are not good. Cause from my experience, take clothes for example. Cheap brands have more variety, more sizes, surprisingly well hand-crafted, and easy to take care of. Yes, I must say, lots of people could be wearing the same dress or shirt as you do, but you can style it your own way and be different from everyone. Make yourself unique and be you. Shop wisely and you can save a lots of money too.

Quality over quantity. That’s all that matters to me.
– Sizzie Daud, 30


I realize that I buy when I have a purpose to achieve; therefore, I make more informed decisions when buying. I am aware of brands, of course, but whether I am brand conscious or not, that’s a different story altogether as I don’t think I am. I only hold strong brand loyalty towards certain brands that I believe are functional and have quality materials used in their products, especially when it comes to body & skin care brands such as Aveda and Jurlique. I believe I think long-term when it comes to my purchases, whether it be the usage of the brand’s products or the benefits that come from using the brand. In conclusion, I do know that price, quality & functionality are my biggest factors in purchasing brands.
– Brenda Yew, 24


So there you have it – for millenials (from our office, at least!), the quality and function of a product and how well it fits into heir identity is prioritized over simply getting a branded brand.


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