Merry Christmas from McCrindle!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas Australia! Although New Zealand just beats us to experience Christmas, we are among the first 1% of the world to usher in Christmas Day. And a very special shout out to the 302,950 Australian newborn Gen Alpha Oliver's and Charlotte's (#1 baby names for 2015) and their families who will be celebrating their first Christmas this year.

We hope you enjoy unwrapping the experiences, technological and clothing gifts you are hoping for this year. Enjoy hand writing your Christmas cards, which we know more Australians prefer than sending an E-Card, and unwrapping presents from your spouse/partner and mums, who have been dubbed the best Christmas gift givers!

From all of us at McCrindle we hope you enjoy the infographic we have put together, and that amidst the busyness of the season you have time to connect with family and friends, reflect on the Christmas story and enjoy the many things that make this country great.

Have a Merry Christmas, a fantastic 2017 and we hope you don't receive too many unwanted gifts from your extended family members!

- The McCrindle Team

Aussie sentiment towards Christmas 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Our recent survey of 1,001 Australians revealed that while Christmas is primarily about spending time with family/friends and the Christmas food and cheer, experiences top our wish list for 2016. Our research also reveals who Australians have dubbed the worst and best gift givers, and revealed that most Aussies (even tech savvy Gen Y) would prefer to receive a traditional Christmas card in the mail, over an E-card!

Family and food what we most look forward to

Christmas is a season to gather loved ones together after a long year, and Australians are prioritising time with family and friends (70%) over gifts and shopping (24%). Christmas food and celebrations (43%) and the mood/Christmas cheer (34%) is also what Aussies are looking forward to this Christmas. Along with the celebrations, two in five (39%) are also looking forward to Christmas shopping, gift giving and the Boxing Day sales.

Females (29%) are twice as likely as males (14%) to look forward to shopping and gift-giving. Comprising most of our current workforce, it is not surprising that Gen Y (31%) and Gen X (35%) are more likely to look forward to time off work than the Baby Boomers (13%). On the other hand, more Baby Boomers (70%) are most looking forward to spending time with their family, compared to 56% of Gen Y and 52% Gen X.

Experiences top Australia’s 2016 wish list

Experiences (12%) are our top most hoped for gift this Christmas. While technology (11%) closely follows, as the most preferred gift this Christmas, it has dropped since 2013 when it topped the list (18% hoped most for a technological gift in 2013).

Of those who selected ‘other’, two in five (42%) did not want anything in particular for Christmas. 17% also hope more for time spent with family, peace or happiness over Christmas. 10% prefer money or gift cards, giving themselves the freedom to choose their own present.

“The most hoped for present this Christmas for 4 in 10 Australians is…nothing in particular” stated Mark McCrindle. “It seems that Australians feel that they have enough stuff with “experiences” coming in second” he said.

“In an era of technology saturation, even early adopting Australians, while still keen on technology have seen this category drop significantly down the wish list from almost 1 in 5 a few years ago to just 1 in 10 today” Mark McCrindle continued.

The best gift givers … and the worst

It’s official – spouse/partners (28%) and mums (28%) are the best Christmas givers. While dads made the top 3, just 6% of Australians think they give the best Christmas presents.

Extended family members like aunts and cousins have been dubbed the worst gift givers (15%), perhaps because Christmas may be the only time of year when Australians see these extended family members. A lack of personal interaction could be the reason that work colleagues (10%) and boss’ (7%) also made the list of worst gift givers.

So what are the dodgy Christmas we receive? Well previous research has showed that fridge magnets (how many can one use?), ornamental figurines (special mention for the ones that have batteries and make sounds), handkerchiefs (in an era of tissues), soap packs (does anyone actually use those loofahs?) and potpourri fall into the worst present categories. Our previous research has also showed that a quarter (23%) of us would re-gift a dodgy present! That’s a lot of bath salts circulating!

The younger a person is, the more likely they are to consider their mother to be the best Christmas gift giver (38% Gen Y compared to 21% Gen X and 15% Baby Boomers). Conversely, more than one in three (36%) Baby Boomers consider their spouse or partner to be the best present givers, compared to 1 in 5 (21%) Gen Y’s and one in four (26%) Gen X’s.

Christmas cards are (still) in

Australians are twice as likely (41%) to prefer receiving a traditional Christmas card in the mail than a Christmas E-card (21%). This is even true for tech-savvy Gen Y, with more than a third (36%) preferring to receive a Christmas card in the mail, than an E-card (26%).

The sentimental value of receiving a traditional Christmas card in the post is reflected among the Baby Boomers, with almost half (48%) indicating that they would prefer receiving a Christmas card in the mail than an e-card when compared with Gen Y (36%). On the other hand, tech-savvy Gen Y Australians indicated that they would somewhat or much prefer Christmas ecards (26%) than their older counterparts from the Baby Boomers (15%).

Merry Christmas from McCrindle!

The Future of Shopping

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

As Christmas approaches, so does the urgency of shopping. So what will shopping in the future look like - and will we even need shops? It is interesting to note than in an era of online shopping, we actually visit the shops more now than a generation ago. In a survey this year we found that the main connection point Australians have with their local community is not the community centre, park, school or club but the local shopping centre. A visit to the shops is not just about getting groceries- it is a social experience, an entertainment destination, a café stop-off and of course an opportunity to see, try, and experience what’s new.

The shopping experience of the future will start much earlier than the moment we enter a store. It will begin at the time we make decisions about items we buy. Increasingly, these decisions will be socially informed by recommendations made by family and friends as well as our digital communities with whom we share common interests and even available nearby shoppers.

Shopping will become a hybrid of online purchasing through mobile devices and personalised shopping apps, and real world shopping in-store. By 2026 our in-store shopping will be guided not only by our shopping list but also by applications which facilitate our shopping experience. They will be able to detect when and where we are in store and provide recommendations and discounts in real-time based on our lifestyle, our purchasing habits, household demographics and our electronically-enabled shopping trolley as we fill it. At home, intelligent appliances in our smart homes will monitor our consumption of grocery items, automatically detecting items we are running low on and based on past behaviour and clever predictions this shopping list will be automatically set up for payment and home delivery or available at convenient collection hubs.

Payments will not only be cashless but card-less - a quick swipe of our phone or device will pay the bill and receive the receipt. And best of all, in an era of driver-less cars, car share drop-off points and streamlined public transport, getting a good parking spot may even be achievable!

McCrindle Research; A finalist in the Optus My Business Awards

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Earlier this year, our team at McCrindle Research were pleased to be acknowledged as a finalist for the Optus My Business Awards, Professional Services Business of the Year award.

The Optus My Business Awards is a prestigious national awards program recognising the best businesses and individuals from across Australia. In 2016, there were 188 finalists across 24 categories. 

Each category acknowledged best practice within a particular industry sector, as well as individual business leaders, excellence in customer service and achievements in innovation and workplace culture.

Our Team Leader of Communications, Ashley Fell and her husband Michael represented the McCrindle team at the black-tie gala dinner on Friday, 18 November 2016 at Sydney’s Four Points by Sheraton, where the winners were announced.

At McCrindle, we pride ourselves on the professional and innovative services that we provide to our clients. Our team is comprised of research and communications specialists who are innovative thinkers and solutions focused. As professionals in the fields of research, sociology, demography, communications, design and data visualisation, our team acts as an advisory to assist organisations in strategic planning, consumer insights, community engagement and effective communication.

We love what we do, and it was a privilege to be acknowledged as a finalist in the Optus My Business Awards alongside some other excellent businesses in Australia.

Click here to find out more about the research and communications based professional services we provide. If we can be of assistance in any of these areas, please get in touch with us at

Mark McCrindle on Google For Education

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Social researcher and author Mark McCrindle recently shared his research on understanding and engaging with Generation Z on Google for Education, speaking about the insight of the trends in our schools and how the education system could be changed for the better. Below is a transcript of his session, which can be watched by clicking on the below photo.

Where does Generation Z fit into our learning communities?

Well, we’ve got the senior leaders, the grandparents in our society, the grandparents of Generation Z. They are the Baby Boomers, and they have had many impacts on education over many decades. You’ve got the emerging leaders in our educational facilities, Generation X, and then the parents of the older students. You’ve got Generation Y as the new parents and also the key and emerging generation of teachers. And of course you’ve got Generation Z themselves, born since the mid-1990s, the students of today. We need to understand them to be able to connect with them, to be able to educate them, and they have been influenced in different times. Clearly, understanding their world of technology is key to engaging with them.


Generation Z in five words; Global, digital, mobile, visual and social.

Generation Z are the world’s first truly global generation, not just through social networking and the friends that they have, but the fashions, the brands, the foods and the technologies are global. They are digital in terms of the tools that they use. We call them “Generation Glass” because its glass, not paper, that is the first medium of interaction and learning for them. They are mobile in terms of where they will live and work and their lifestyles. They’re visual in terms of how they consume content, not just the written forms of old. It’s a world of YouTube and visuals, it’s a world of Instagram and connectivity through the visual means, rather than just the written means. And of course they’re social, in terms of who influences them. It’s not just the experts, it’s not just the authority figures, but it’s the peer groups that influence them more than ever before.

More educated than any generation gone before

The education that is being provided for this generation is going to have to sustain them through more educational years than ever before. They truly will be lifelong learners. Indeed, for us Gen X’s about one in four Australians have a university degree. For Generation Y it’s already one in three. For Generation Z almost half of them will end up with a university degree in their lifetime. This foundational primary and secondary education will sustain them through more education and indeed a longer participation in the workforce than we’ve ever before seen. So what do we need to equip them with to future-proof their lives and careers in these changing times? Well, three words and keys to keep in mind.


Firstly, they need to be innovative. They will need to adapt and adjust in their own roles to remain relevant in these times of change. The average national Australian tenure of an employee in a job is currently three years. Now if that plays out in the lifetime of one of our school leavers today, and based of the trend of them working through their sixties, which will be the norm for Generation Z, it means that they will have seventeen separate jobs in their lifetime. They’ll upskill and retrain every few jobs, they’ll end up with five careers.

They’ll be working in jobs in the future that currently don’t exist, just as now as they start their roles, they’re working in jobs that didn’t exist a decade ago. Some of the jobs that have emerged just in the last couple of years include virtual reality engineers and cognitive computer analysts that can help bridge the gap between technology and humans. Data visualisation experts and drone piolets or UAV operators. It is a fast changing world and we have to equip them therefore, not just with the knowledge, but with the innovative skills to be resilient, to change, to adapt, and to so future-proof their direction.


It’s also about equipping them to be collaborative, because their roles won’t be locked into a hierarchical chart, an organisational chart of old where it was about authoritarian leadership and a chain of command, but rather they’ll need to be flexible and empowered, they’ll need to be entrepreneurial in outlook. Self-directed in their approach. It’s the world of the flat structure, the collaborative leadership model. And so equipping them to be collaborative in style is going to be key. In other words, sure we need to equip them with those cognitive skills, but we need to equip them with the relational skills as well. Yes, we’ve got to teach the eyes of the head, but we’ve got to equip them with the eyes of the heart. I guess I mean from that that it’s not just about the cerebral connection, but the relational and emotional engagement, that’s what a collaborative world needs.


So if we’ve got a generation that are innovative and collaborative, then my third tip is that we need to teach them to be responsive. They will have to learn to adapt and respond to the speed of the changes that they see. We’re all in a nonstop quest for relevance, for adaption, for responding to the changes, and that’s the case for Generation Z. We’ve got to equip them to respond to the changes and lead by an example in that way. The point of course is that we have to model being responsive and adaptive if we want our students to respond in the same way.

So it’s about creating a culture of learning that’s a collaborative, innovative and responsive environment, where we walk the talk, where we model the response to change, where we experiment and innovate to engage with an ever-changing generation. We are really dealing with educational structures like classes and curriculums and examinations that are of the nineteenth century, and we’re often educating in facilities that were built in the twentieth century, yet we’re connecting with a twenty-first century generation. That therefore requires us to be innovative and collaborative and responsive and to equip our students with those skills as well. Keep your eyes on the trends, engage with the next generation and you will equip them to be the leaders of the future.

About Mark McCrindle

Mark McCrindle is a social researcher with an international following. He is recognised as a leader in tracking emerging issues and researching social trends. As an award winning social researcher and an engaging public speaker, Mark has appeared across many television networks and other media. He is a best-selling author, an influential thought leader, TEDx speaker and Principal of McCrindle Research. His advisory, communications and research company, McCrindle, count among its clients more than 100 of Australia’s largest companies and leading international brands.

Visit Mark's website here.

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