Generation Y have been around for a while now – and we know them pretty well.

Also referred to as Millennials, the Echo Boomers, New Boomers, Net Generation or Generation Facebook – the exact definition of Generation Y differs, but it can generally be understood to include those born between the early 80s and the late 90s.

As the youngest of this generation move towards adulthood (by 2025 Generation Y will constitute 75% of the global workforce) we’re giving you a summary of what our experience and research tells us about this increasingly significant demographic.

1. Generation Digital

This goes without saying: Generation Y socialise, consume media and share experiences using digital devices more than any before them. Instant messaging, blogging, micro-blogging, podcasts, social networks, photo and video sharing are all a part of daily life all lead to a more socially active cohort. Their virtual and physical worlds are tightly integrated.

They are able to create, search for and share a wide variety of media using several different types of devices where the styles of interaction are short, gestural movements like swiping, flicking and shaking (as opposed to the WIMP model of using windows, icons, menus and pointers).

2. Generation Open

Rather than seeing limits, barriers and obstructions, the world of Generation Y is open-ended. They have grown up in a world where the technological revolution is making their dreams a reality overnight.

They’ve taken the new opportunities provided by the Internet and have run with them. They dive in and don’t feel they need to have experience in order to make things work.

3. Generation Create

This generation have been creating content and sharing it with their networks in one guise or another for at least half of their lives. With easy access to blogging, image and video software – this generation has enjoyed an abundance of creative tools.

Unlike previous generations where content creation required expensive equipment, Generation Y grew up in a world where there is no cost to entry. This accessibility has also broken down the distinction between expert and amateur.

4. Generation Spend

Funded by their parents, this generation didn’t want for much. Robust spending is part of their identity, with long-term saving and planning for the future lost at the wayside. Experiencing the change from store to ‘showrooming’, purchasing has been optimised and is easier than ever.

These guys are sophisticated shoppers not used to delaying their gratification.

5. Generation Status

Going hand-in-hand with mass consumption and early purchase power, being socialised in a materialistic society has led Generation Y to define their status through their possessions.

Through status-driven purchasing, Generation Y are more likely to achieve satisfaction from a display of wealth, and feel the associated respect or envy from others. From luxury coffee shops to limited edition trainers, this generation judge and are judged based on purchase decisions.

6. Generation Society

This generation has a socially-conscious view of the world. With more liberal tendencies than the previous generation, they are more accepting of drugs, alcohol, sex, immigration, homosexuality and non-traditional family structures.

They are idealistic, optimistic and will take ethical considerations into account when making decisions relating to brands, voting and lifestyle choices.

7. Generation Work

Generation Y are characterised by a preference for a better work life than a large salary. They have seen their parents working long hours in stressful jobs to earn bigger salaries, but have decided to take a different route. Flexible working, opportunities to travel, a good work/life balance and a corporately responsible employer are the values that are most important to this generation.

For them, success is defined by achieving goals on their own terms, and remaining true to themselves. They demand a creative environment, and like to think independently. More confident than any generation before them, a huge number have desires to be entrepreneurs, go freelance or head up their own company.

8. Generation Education

Due to the readily accessible nature of knowledge available online, and higher education becoming the norm, this generation has received more education than those before them and are fascinated by the opportunity to learn more.

With a high level of content consumption, cultural knowledge is at an all-time high for Generation Y. At the same time basic skills such as navigation and traditional practical skills have fallen by the wayside, replaced by technology.

9. Generation Celebrity

Generation Y have a closer relationship with celebrities than those seen before – with social media inviting the public in their day-to-day life and 24-hour news ensuring a more frequent coverage of celebrity lifestyle. Word-of-mouth recommendation has expanded beyond peer groups for Generation Y and includes products, services and brands seemingly endorsed by celebrities just in recorded use.

Celebrity also has a broader meaning than ever before – the Internet has made 15 minutes of fame more likely, more democratic. Bloggers, vloggers, and social media celebrities also have an impact on the choices made by Generation Y.

10. Generation Marketing

They have been brought up in a world saturated with brands, bombarded by more marketing messages than any other generation. As a result, they have developed internal filters to block out the noise. Traditional advertising has less impact on Generation Y, with peer-to-peer recommendations being most important when impacting decisions.

Generation Y are disloyal to brands, and easily swayed by new campaigns or trends. The only way a brand can ensure a deeper relationship with their Generation Y consumer is by creating an authentic identity that Gen Y will want to assume as their own, or creating meaningful, emotional connections.