Contemporary Consumption and the Millennial in South Africa.
Contemporary consumption as discussed by Barton (2012) places the millennials consumption within a digital and physical space in their own identity. The millennial is a generation born between 1977-1994 that tends to be more responsive to targeted stimuli within Identity Systems and consumer products that can be related to their own preference on identity. According to Barton (2012) the millennial has expectations different from those of previous generations, and companies will need to rethink their Identity, business models and marketing strategies accordingly, she states that studies have shown that old companies still show a dismissive attitude towards the millennial. The millennial generation seems to be more responsive to digital Identity Systems because of the trust they place on technology and digital structures through their interaction with social media and how they shape their being accordingly. This leaves the need to investigate other or combined Identity Systems to appeal to the way that contemporary consumer creates his own identity and choice of product usage.
South Africa carries relevance to my study as the environment for the research of Identity Systems within South Africa must speak over a vast amount of cultures and fields of semiotic systems. The idea of exploring multiple cultures and semiotic systems within a digitized pluralistic South African environment, challenges the mind and understanding. By understanding the millennials online identity versus their real identity within the subcultures that makes up the millennial generation in a multicultural South Africa gives the designer the ability to solve the problem of catering for different cultures and perceptions by still keeping a core message. South Africa has vast moral differences between the millennial and the traditional structures. These factors create a broad market that engages in different ways. The native stands as the person that ties himself to his moral values. The global being shapes his identity via networking and research of own choice. Social stratification in South Africa leads to broken down channels that become closed down to other platforms. Social stratification is known as the hierarchical ranking of social being within a society this can also be seen as the boundaries between social structures that need to be overcome. Some identity creation issues faced by designers when designing for a millennial market in South Africa has shifted into a realm where the consumer sets the identity that needs to be conveyed. The search for identity has moved the new generation away from traditional marketing methods. Technological advances keep changing the design speculations of an effective communicative Identity Systems.