Ever heard of Phillennials? 5 things you should know

Think you know everything about Millennials?  Think again - especially if you’re a brand in the Philippines.

There a common attributes that unite most Millennials but a pioneering research from Publicis Manila found that Millennials born in the island nation are not all the same with their global counterparts.

Called Phillenials®, Publicis says they belong to same sought-after consumer segment aged 20 to 34 years old and born between 1979 and 1993.

Difference is, the country’s unique socio-cultural climate in the last 30 years, earning potential and strong family ties have influenced Phillennials to think and act a bit differently from the average millennial.

Below are some of the highlights from the Publicis “Phillennials® Report”

When did the Phillennial generation start, exactly?

Social scientists say the personal computer boom in the early 80’s sparked a dramatic shift in human behavior and attitudes that lead to the birth of the Millennial generation.

However, since personal computers did not become widely available in the country until the early 90’s, Publicis says that the Millennial shift in the Philippines started elsewhere.

“The shift is more likely influenced by the lifting of Martial Law in 1981 and the changing socio-political landscape leading up to this event.  Children born before 1981 often referred to as Martial Law Babies and those born around 1980-89 are sometimes called “EDSA Babies” after the EDSA Revolution of 1986.

Phillennials may have an even stronger buying power than global Millennials

While the purchasing power of Phillennials has yet to be fully quantified, Publicis estimates suggest that they could have stronger purchasing power versus global counterparts.

  • Phillennials also comprise only ¼ of Philippine population but are already 50%+ of working age Filipinos (Rough estimates from Geobase population data)
  • Phillennials may already be 50%+ a key consumer target for most brands the country --- mothers with children aged 0-12 years old (Rough estimates from Geobase population data and Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)
  • Phillennials comprise 70%+ of internet users in the Philippines (Rough estimates from Comscore)

In comparison, Millennials in the US account for:

  • 21% of consumer spending or $1.3 trillion (Source:  Boston Consulting Group)
  • about ¼ of US population but already 36% of the workforce.  Millennials are predicted to be nearly 50% of the workforce by 2020 (Source:  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Phillennials earn more than the average Millennial

In countries like the US where the average workforce age is 42 years old, many Millennials are forced to work as unpaid interns or have low-paying jobs, greatly limiting their earning potential.

In contrast, youth is an advantage for Phillennials. Despite their limited experience and training, they tend to be chosen over candidates 40 years old and up because of their relatively low salary demands.

With a sizeable disposable income, they are in best position to buy the latest gadgets and subscribe to the best internet connections.  Publicis notes it has evolved into an “I want ergo I need” spending pattern.

Phillennials are key decision makers

However, innate gratitude or “utang na loob” to their parents and elders compels Phillennials to contribute to the family expenses, making them co-breadwinners or major contributors to the family’s wealth.

This gives Phillennials more family privileges compared to younger non-working siblings.  Their favorite food types and brands are often accommodated when planning the family meals.  And since they contribute to the grocery budget, they also have influence on household staples choices - a privilege previously enjoyed solely by mothers.

In contrast, Millennials who typically go back to their parents’ homes need to adjust to multi-generational families living in the same household or having to defer to parents. Publicis says this is a norm among Phillennials and is not burdened by such adjustments.

Phillennials love tech and YOLO

Being the first Filipino generation to experience personal computers and the internet, they have a high appreciation for all things tech since they can compare this to their earlier analog childhood.

Another generational trait Phillennials clearly share with Millennials is their attitude towards life, guided by YOLO (You Only Live Once). Publicis saw this as a “battle cry for leaving comfort zones such as desk jobs to pursue entrepreneurial dreams or graduate studies,” making wealth only a means to an end.

And as expected, technology provides them with a fast, convenient way to immortalize their YOLO moments and share them with their online network of friends. Even Phillennials from lower socio-economic brackets have been observed to carry premium gadgets, whether original, counterfeit or secondhand and find ways around expensive wi-fi subscriptions and mobile plans by frequenting “piso internet” shops and free wi-fi spots and use prepaid cards.