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World Family Day- Celebrating the ‘Emotional Arbitrage’ Of Millennials

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A recent commercial by an ecommerce site shows parents discussing their overseas trip and the cold climate at the destination. The son surprises his parents by placing an order with an ecommerce site for thermal wear.  Beyond the larger than life depictions through celebrity endorsements, ads like these not only doff the collective Indian hat at millennials but also reflect the actual mindset of Gen Y.

Perhaps uncharitably stereotyped, millennials to other generations typically mean individuals posing for selfies. Nothing can be farther from the truth. True, the levels of peer dominance are astounding, but that again points to the fact that millennials are not just about “me”, but “we”. The generation that never misses an opportunity to be on top of the best deals, through typical emotional arbitrage, willingly embrace trade-offs that favour family members. Getaways with families are high on the list of priorities, with one half of millennials preferring to embark on a tour with family members of all ages, while 42 percent would love to tour with a spouse or partner, with just 7 percent opting for a solo jaunt.

For all the preconceived notions of narcissistic behaviour, millennials actually seek better childcare, compared to other generations. Sixty-two percent look for better childcare, and prefer telecommuting to work.  This demonstrates the depth of familial ties versus personal growth. Emotional arbitrage, the quality that is most pronounced among millennials, is seen in trade-offs like this all the time.

Reaffirming psychosocial care of parents, eight out of ten millennials in India would prefer to share their roofs with their parents. Saving for the future is a priority, with investments in real estate firmly on the radar of Gen Y who have flummoxed naysayers time and again with complex, individual buying behaviour.  A study that covered millennials in BRICS nations, mined interesting information. For the Indian millennial, staying with family was accepted practice, which actually established strong traditional values. Cultural diversity in India has offered a platform for communities to reinforce traditional beliefs, and take pride in customs and rituals. Emotional arbitrage dons multiple hats as young millennials weigh values against material aspects of purchases and decisions. Which is the reason why local flavour has emerged trumps in products or services that combine utility with tradition.

Emotional arbitrage triggers activism among millennials unseen in other generations. For instance, millennials hold strong opinions about the society and community they live in, and will take it upon themselves to spread the word (negatively, of course) about a specific product or service they feel has let down their society. Though preferences are based on individual choices, they have also been somewhat incongruously swayed by peers to boycott en masse a certain product or service. Studies reveal that 42 percent will unabashedly prod extended family members and extended circle of friends into boycotting brands.

With significant purchase power, owing to the sheer numbers and the proactive role played by millennials, the social and environmental commitments of companies often go under the millennial scanner before the brand receives a thumbs up. This purchase power is amplified with secure and convenient mobile wallets such as MobiKwik, which for digital savvy millennials, has become an essential part of their families. MobiKwik makes spending quality time with family a breeze. Whether it is eating out, going for a vacation, shopping for an occasion or watching a movie, a payment wallet like MobiKwik becomes invaluable. It even comes in handy as it offers instant transfer of money to family and friends.

World Family Day probably holds more significance, as the common denominator of the millennials—emotional arbitrage, has greater meaning among one of the world’s most powerful collective influencers of buying behaviour. There is cold logic behind what is often wrongly perceived as illogical, and it certainly is not impulsive, but a well-balanced and finely nuanced thought process.

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