Eastern Europe has about 74 mln millennials. According to conservative estimates, they will spend over $27 bln in 2019. The spending habits of millennials in the Western world are well-documented and relatively well understood by marketers, but the same cannot be said of millennials in Eastern Europe. There is simply not enough information available on the purchasing behavior of this group of high-value consumers, and as a result they remain relatively inaccessible to many marketers.
This report presents a deep-dive analysis of that population’s spending habits, based on data from a recent large-scale survey. It identifies distinct groups of consumers based on statistical links between demographic traits, interests, and purchasing choices. The findings it reports are specific, approachable, and actionable.
Marketing to millennials in Eastern Europe means understanding a complex and aggressively modern generation. Given these consumers’ standout traits and significant spending power, brands need to evaluate—and gain a better understanding of — targetable sub-demographics within the broader millennial population.
Eastern European millennials can be categorized into four consumer groups.
To explore attitudinal and behavioral distinctions among groups of Eastern European millennials, a purpose-appropriate dataset was obtained from the predictive modeling and analytics platform Kaggle. The dataset was generated using a 150-item survey distributed to 1,010 individuals, ranging in age from 20 to 35 (as of 2019), by Eastern European students in a university statistics class. The questions dealt with personality, interests, aversions, demographics, and habits, including spending habits, broken down in the categories shown below.
To identify non-obvious relationships among the variables in this dataset, we used R’s poLCA package — a library for Latent Class Analysis (LCA) - to isolate patterns of clustering among the survey respondents.
Each group is defined by demographic characteristics as well as by interests and spending preferences. The groups have here been labelled with names typical of the demographics they represent. The primary traits of each class are given in the main text, and further details are provided in the accompanying figures.
Latent Class 1 “Sasha”. We begin with members of the “Sasha” class of consumer, who are, on the whole, young, active, and have many interests. They are split between men and women almost evenly. About half the class’ members are below the age of 25, and half above. Today, a bit less than three-fifths of them hold a college degree. Sasha’s #1 and #2 interests are competitive sports and adrenaline sports, respectively. Pets are this class’s #3 interest. However, it is important to note here that, in contrast to the other classes, Sasha displays an unusually high investment across all 10 hobby and interest areas. It is therefore to be expected that this class does not save much money. Sasha generally spends the most on items related to looks and appearance and on name-brand clothes, followed by entertainment and gadgets. Members of this class enjoy visiting shopping malls.
Latent Class 2 “Katya”. Members of the “Katya” class are almost exclusively women. Like Sasha, this class consists primarily of twenty-somethings, with half the members below the age of 25 and half above. Today, a bit less than three-fifths of its members holds a college degree. Pets are Katya’s #1 interest, while reading poetry is her second. Her third is competitive sports. Katya has little to no interest in cars or computers, and only slightly more in studying history and geography. Katya thus takes a relatively neutral view of saving money. She is a less enthusiastic spender than Sasha but is not as careful as Olga. In particular, she is likely to be interested in products and services related to her appearance, and to a lesser degree in name-brand clothes. Her spending on entertainment is middling, and she typically spends as little as possible on gadgets. Members of this class enjoy going to shopping malls.
Latent Class 3 “Vlad”. Members of the “Vlad” class of millennial are composed exclusively of men, two thirds of whom are between 25 and 35 years old. Just over half of its members hold a college degree. Computers are Vlad’s #1 interest, and almost three-quarters of the group are interested in computing to some degree. Competitive sports and cars are in a close tie for his second-rated interest, followed by adrenaline sports. Perhaps it is not entirely surprising that Vlad displays almost no interest in reading poetry or going to the theater, and very little in studying psychology. Overall, Vlad - like Katya - holds a neutral view of saving. Both groups are willing to spend only in pursuit of their particular interests. In Vlad’s case, this means being willing to invest in name-brand clothes, entertainment, and gadgets, but spends very little on his appearance. He prefers not to visit shopping malls.
Latent Class 4 “Olga”. Members of the “Olga” class are slightly older and more focused on saving. The majority of members of the class are between the ages of 25 and 35. This group is predominantly composed of women. Today, almost three-fifths of these individuals hold a college degree. Olga’s #1 interest is reading poetry, while pets are her second. Her third is a close tie between going to the theater and studying history. Olga has almost no interest in cars, and very little in computers or adrenaline sports. Olga is a conservative consumer, across the board. Because she believes in saving as much money as possible, she spends only very carefully on name-brand clothes, gadgets, looks, and entertainment. She doesn’t enjoy visiting shopping malls.
About the author:
Nik Kumar is a Partner at Xaxu Consulting, a boutique strategy consulting firm based in New York serving clients across Retail, E-Commerce, Consumer Packaged Goods, Healthcare and Finance. Mr. Kumar is a Yale MBA with a BS in Computer Science who spent his early career in Management Consulting and Investment Banking.