January 4, 2013

Data point: The mobile phone is hugely personal, especially for teens and Millennials

Posted by: in North America

One of our 10 Trends for 2013 is the advent of The Mobile Fingerprint: the idea that our mobile devices are becoming a reflection of identity, given that they hold all kinds of personal information and can double as a wallet, keys and more. Not surprisingly, younger generations are the most likely to see their phone as tied into their identity, as we found in a November survey. (We polled 1,016 adults and 100 teens in the U.S. and the U.K. using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool.) Around half of teens and Millennials see their phone as a “mini-me.” And more than 4 in 10 Millennials say their phone seems to know more about them than they do. Across generations, and especially among teens, people view the phone as exceedingly private—accessing someone’s phone is seen as akin to reading a diary.

As the smartphone evolves into an identity hub, consumers will become more dependent on it, both emotionally and practically. Retailers, handset manufacturers, telecom providers, software developers and other marketers will need to consider how the consumer’s increasingly intimate connection to the phone will change behaviors, sensitivities and mindset.

1 Response to "Data point: The mobile phone is hugely personal, especially for teens and Millennials"

1 | Bill Bishop

January 7th, 2013 at 11:59 am


What a powerful glance into the minds of younger shoppers and an important call to action. At Brick Meets Click, we’ve seen that many older retailers are surprised at the willingness of younger shoppers to order on their phones for delivery tomorrow vs. simply going to the store to pick up something they need today. When this happens, younger shoppers may be showing the trust/confidence they assign to buying on their mobile phones vs. whatever past experience they’ve had shopping the store.

Comment Form


10 Years of 10 Trends

The Future 100

Things to Watch