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  1. 1. INSIDE SPECIAL REPORTFocus onMARKETING TOTHE YOUTH 1Brands and marketers areworking towards offering theyouth the opportunity to Well-connectedshape their identities, share Todays youth are makingexperiences and ways to get the most of the digitalinvolved. empowerment that allowsEngaging this market is them to multi-task withimportant and requires getting their gadgets, television andit right the first time. An the Net that keeps themanalysis. always connected. TRENDS Unravelling the TargetBy Narayan Iyer 04 2 Plugged in, Always TodayÊs youth find it easy to establish their identity amid new worlds of communication, friendship, play, and self-expression in the digital media. THE CONNECT Customised Outreach 10 3 I Love my Brand For the youth, a brand says a lot about who they are and where they stand in life. BRANDS Mindspace War 16 03 A F A Q S ! R E P O R T E R - NOVEMBER 2010
  2. 2. MARKETING TO THE YOUTH UNRAVELLING THE TARGET AUDIENCE Todays youth are making the most of the digital empowerment that allows them to multi- task with their gadgets, television and the Net that keeps them always connected D EEPIKA Gupta is a cute 19-year old who exudes the confidence that only a teenager can. Aware, outgoing, intelligent and cool, she is the kind of girl who spends two hours a day at the local Cafe Coffee Day outlet, not with her boyfriend, but in the company of her mobile and laptop. The free wifi at the coffee joint offers her the hep status that is so sought after for this generation. She spends an average of four hours a day engaging with the tools of her generation. Her mobile phone, laptop, television, her Nintendo game console and the occasional music that she listens to on her music system are never put off, even way past midnight when she dozes off more out of fatigue than lack of company. The iPod is passé, she has the iPad which is full of application that she assiduously downloads and marries into her life to make it that much more exciting. Deepika is a typical example of today’s youth. Tech-savvy teenagers and youngsters who are the current focus of marketers and research because of their adaptability to technology. This is the generation that seamlessly integrates technology in their life that allows them to multitask for hours each day. If the generation gone by is wondering where this generation gets the time and energy for academics and social life; they amaze you with aplomb managing all of that and more. “Today, the youth has the advantage of technology and available options to do much more than many cam imagine,” says Aditya Swamy, Channel head MTV India. People a little older than Deepika have night outs, lounge in pubs, tapping their feet to the rocking music in discs, showing off the latest gizmos, branded clothes that are common lifestyle of the urban youth today. They feel if they do not have all these ‘cool stuff ’, then it will affect their image in the campus or their common hang-outs. This is the generation that thrives on the gang culture with friends who live together and think together. “They are our target and they make sure that we are in tune with their04 A F A Q S ! R E P O R T E R - NOVEMBER 2010
  3. 3. MARKETING TO THE YOUTH youngsters have great ADITYA SWAMY influencing power Channel head MTV India amongst themselves. “They would rather work together and “Young people are always party together,” says Antti Ohrling, looking for fresh forms of Chairman, Blyk entertainment. We are constantly Media. His company connected with this target group is a pioneer on communicating in and get our daily insights on the the mobile phone. latest trends.” For instance, they get their pocket money, but do not spend on THINKING aspirations as well as fantasy,” adds Swamy. it completely; many get into saving and investing. A lot hinges on trust for them. Any loss of trust WISELY Finding their own groove and they will be the most difficult target audience Pocket money is not spent Work hard, party harder is the mantra of the to crack for a marketer or brand. completely. Many put some in youth. Bold, brash, self absorbed, tech- savings and investments. A lot dependent is what they seem to be all about. But Trend spotting hinges on trust for them. Any scratch a little more and you would get to see that This target segment is well clued into the loss of trust and they will be a there is more to them than just the words ‘me, latest happenings, be it in fashion, news or other difficult audience to crack. my, mine’. “The youth do not restrict their forms of entertainment. “We make use of fantasies and dream big,” says Sandeep Singh volunteers from colleges who are part of the Arora, Executive Vice President, Pepsi. They are MTV iSpeak forum to tap into their peer group self dependent and believe they can manage on to get insights on what the youth desires,” says their own. Yes, family dynamics are changing but Swamy. Such intelligence helps MTV work on its the generation gap that always seemed to be a programmes as well as help schedule some of the huge schism between parents and kids is slowly shows. “They are also the first ones to tell us disappearing. when a show is not as exciting as their Parents today are more understanding, and aspirations,” adds Swamy. they want to give the best to their kids. And while The youth wants to fly without ever looking everyone yearns for independence, the youth back at the ground. They want to achieve loves to be independently dependent. Likewise, discontinuous dreams, many of them material WHERE THEIR MONEY GOES IN WITH THE TIMES (The top five average spends on activities, in per cent) (The top five fashion trends adopted by the young today, in per cent) All Data Source: Youth Research - MTV Insight Studio06 A F A Q S ! R E P O R T E R - NOVEMBER 2010
  4. 4. MARKETING TO THE YOUTH While tattoo and body piercing FUN AND GAMES is the latest fad, time was when colouring hair was the only (The top five entertainment options, in per cent) recourse for those who were greying fast. The young generation colours its hair blond and more and does not have apprehensions with the same. “The youth have the quality to accept whatever comes their way and act accordingly,” adds Ohrling. The trap with youth marketing is that we end up treating youth as a different animal. We imagine this guy with tattoos all over his body, multiple piercing and spiked hair. Youth today, is more mature and able to take and live with decisions taken that are making them moreEMERGING like owning multiple apartments, becoming a and more independent. CEO by the age of 32 and so on. Most of themYOUTH ICONS have entrepreneurial ambitions to start Youth iconsThe youth follow those whom something of their own once they have In the choice of role models, youth are verythey can associate with. So, accumulated just the right amount of experience different. Their role models are achievers from in a regular job or their family businesses. The various walks of life. They follow those whommany often they look up to biggest difference that this generation displays is they can associate with. So, many often they looksports and film personalities an ability to experiment without a fear of the up to sports and film personalities. “We have Lara consequences. Dutta as a youth icon of poise, success, fame and glamour,” says Anup Jain, ANTTI OHRLING Marketing Director, Pizza Hut. Similarly to maintain the youth Chairman, Blyk Media image, MTV initiates activities around itself and its programming to bring in youth “Communication with icons and be treated as the last the youth is cemented on word on music and entertainment. The iconic state trust. The way this is not restricted to brands, even generation is connected, product categories, such as digital camera, they influence each other television and even clothes. high-end immensely.” Encouragingly for 08
  5. 5. MARKETING TO THE YOUTH SANDEEP SINGH ARORA products. In a Executive Vice President, country with a Pepsi (sourcing) median age of 24 years and about 200 million people in the “The first thing that pops up age band of 15 - 24 years, there are no with youthfulness is the can do mainstream youth attitude that this generation lives brands. This gap is being acknowledged on. They live life their own way by media and and need to constantly feel p r o d u c t manufacturers, who empowered.” are working out on their own way to reach out to the marketers, young adults reveal an engaged and youth. interested attitude to brands. Marketers launch The youth in today’s urban-centric India, are products in association with youth icons and this actually a ‘silver spoon’ generation. Not only has helped almost everyone who has taken the have they been born to a time that’s relatively route to find the spike in sale. So, when a Levi’s more affluent and buoyant, they are also making use Priyanka Chopra to push its denims, Pepsi, the maximum of what they have in careers or in uses a bevy of Bollywood stars to endorse their relationships. This generation has no baggage of yesterday and has no gaping need BIG SCREEN OPTIONS gaps as of today. Such a state of its consumer is a nightmare for (Action films score over all the rest by a great margin. Figures in per cent) classical marketing which is designed over the years to identify large need gaps in its consumers and find ways of fulfilling them.SILVER-SPOON Youth, as the popular beliefGENERATION goes, is the most memorable, carefree and fun-loving years in one’s life. The youth is envied butNot only have they been born it is also the most vulnerable andto a time that’s relatively more misunderstood group. Brands andaffluent and buoyant, they are marketers have to constantly bealso making the maximum of on their toes and work theirwhat they have in careers or in minds to understand this group. After all, this is one slice theyrelationships. would not want to let go - whatever be the cost. 09
  6. 6. MARKETING TO THE YOUTH CUSTOMISED OUTREACH Today’s youth find it easy to establish their identity amid new worlds of communication, friendship, play, and self-expression in the digital media T ELEVISION is popular, but it no longer video on other screens such as PC, mobile or commands higher attention than any hand-held gadgets that beam in television other form of media. While just as many programmes. young consumers watch it, they watch for fewer One of the key buzzwords defining youth’s hours each week and are just as happy to do other media consumption is media multi-tasking. TV’s things while the TV set is on. Says Rathin Lahiri, decline as an untouchable medium is illustrated Director, Online, Consumer and Online by the fact that only 1 in 3 young consumers Business, Microsoft India; “Digital media has actually gives TV their undivided attention - the created scope for marketers to directly engage rest watch it while doing something else. For the with the consumer and also get instant feedback most part, this ‘something else’ is using the wherever necessary.” Youth often watch TV or Internet, but may also include reading books,10 A F A Q S ! R E P O R T E R - NOVEMBER 2010
  7. 7. MARKETING TO THE YOUTH newspapers or magazines, texting friends on mobiles and so on. The increasing use of activities when MEN ARE FROM... supposedly watching television is (Men chat more compared to women, who prefer mailing. Figures in per cent) actually watching less television. It, in turn, means that advertising can no longer guarantee reaching audiences in its intended context or time slot. New media and medium Social network sites, online games, video-sharing sites, and gadgets such as iPads and mobile phones are now fixtures of youth culture. It is common to come across young consumers who have their antennae up and are hungry for the hottest information through any and all sources. The world is just too exciting, and theconstitutes social media varies by country, and through time, especially now that connectivity free flow of information from the internet, radio, and even mobile phones is too irresistible to increasingly involves mobile devices rather than ignore. All this makes it impossible for brands desktop and laptop computers. “Social media, and marketers to ignore the medium that is most blogs, micro-blogs, mobile applications are all suited to reach the target audience in the most personalised form of communication which effective way. makes digital media powerful and effective,” says What exactly Tushar Goculdas, Director Marketing and Sales, Adidas India. With RATHIN LAHIRI technology allowing a seamless Director, Online, Consumer and connectivity across Business, Microsoft India Pvt. Ltd devices, the youth can be found always plugged into someTHE NET “The online medium form of digitalGAINS media. That they are reaches close to 40 million able to continue withSocial network sites, online consumers, of which 50 per cent their usual task while remaining connectedgames, video-sharing sites, and are under 25. It is the most throws challenges atgadgets such as iPads andmobile phones are now fixtures effective medium to reach marketers to get their out to the youth.” engagementof youth culture. Though using the 12
  8. 8. MARKETING TO THE YOUTH SHALINI SETHI important for one to Head, Corporate Communications, understand the medium and explore Aircel it to the fullest. The digital medium has all the “The youth is connected 360 necessary ingredients degree and its integrated to emerge as a powerful global communication to them that digital marketing works best. But, mobile phone system designed to deliver personalised with applications is a powerful i n t e r a c t i v e touch point.” commercial messages wherever we are. “Advertisers and Internet is not an isolated activity for young marketers are collaborating to work towards a people, they also have the radio or TV on at the media and marketing ecosystem, which will same time. Even with these caveats there’s no harness the interactive capabilities of social denying that the Internet is the key medium for networks,” says Aditya Swamym channel head, this audience, and the one they rely on the most. MTV. This interactive model can be a great As we’re often told, this is the first generation to source for customer feedback and will go a long grow up with broadband Internet, and they’re way in product development and service used to turning to it for everything. “The youth enhancement. makes great use of staying connected on the With new social platforms fast emerging, phone from our experience. This will only lead even the digital medium needs to catch up and to more engaging ways that needs to be explored compete with others. The micro-blogging and tapped,” says Shalini Sethi, Head, Corporate platform Twitter shot to prominence in late 2008, Communications, Aircel. and by early 2010 it had more than 100 million registered users and was generating an average of Non-intrusive 55 million tweets a day. What’s particularly “The digital media space is cost effective and significant about the Twitter statistics is that 37 the best way to reach your target audience. We percent of its users use their mobile phone to have a fairly strong fan following on the web,” tweet. According to digital marketing intelligence says K Ramakrishnan, President – Marketing, company comScore, social networking is by farSHORT AND Café Coffee Day. In an era when every Indian has the fastest-growing mobile activity, with 20 access to at least one digital screen be it the percent of mobile users now accessing socialSWEET mobile or a computer, the medium’s non- networking sites via their phones. intrusive platform is a boon for both customers Now Twitter, too, is being eclipsed in theSignificantly for Twitter, 37 per and marketers. “With the digital media, especially headlines. Newer social media services based oncent of its users use their social networks, all one needs is to get started, the geolocation allow users to register their physical rest will fall in place by itself,” adds location digitally, in cyberspace, and connect upmobile phones to tweet. Ramakrishnan. Digital is the way forward and it’s physically. The numbers of people using such 13
  9. 9. MARKETING TO THE YOUTH services are still relatively small, but TUSHAR GOCULDAS several fast-growing Director Marketing and Sales, businesses are vying for the position of Adidas India hottest geolocation service. “The youth is always connected “The advent of social media either through makes the engagement with the mobile phones or being online or on target group intense and one social media. It is cannot ignore its influence. The crucial to have regular updates on feedback on this medium helps REAL VS any media campaign us improve on products as well.” CYBERSPACE targeted at this set,” adds Lahiri. As more young people The youth segment now-a-days is an on- marketers have responded. Several companies simultaneously live their lives demand market, with brands seeking their vivid such as Coca-Cola, McDonalds, MTV, Kelloggs, in both cyberspace and the attention. They want to know what a and Pepsi, for example, have either created or real world, marketers have manufacturer’s product has in the first few promoted products in a variety of virtual worlds. responded well. words, or you’ve lost their attention. The fickle Increasingly, young peoples profiles will be nature of this segment although erratic, their developed by merging the data from their online inclination defines heavy opportunity for and virtual viewing. The new technology that has advertisers. Unlike generations of the past, given birth to Facebook is a defining feature that today’s youth build relationships in communities is changing the way the youth votes. Through a that transcend cultural, temporal and combination of circumstance, timing and geographical boundaries and membership in temperament, this generation is constructing a these communities provides for a civic new type of politics, one that is responsive, engagement that is more connected than ever. inclusive and dialogic. As more young people simultaneously live Playing a role in this new political atmosphere their lives in both cyberspace and the real world, is Facebook, which serves as a digital reflection of real-world social interactions. It has the potential to serve as a CONNECTED? conduit through which a free flow of messages and (While 56.3 per cent answered yes to the question: „have you accessed the net in information from one person to the past three months?‰, 36.1 per cent said „no‰) . another is transforming the electoral process for both the voters and the candidates. Facebook has the power to mobilise, educate and reflect the interests and excitement of its users. Though it cannot be assumed that Facebook is responsible for driving the youth to the polls, its ability to spread messages from person to person has had an undeniable ability to spark an interest in politics among the previously disenfranchised. One cannot isolate yourself from the digital medium, without that, survival will be tough.14 A F A Q S ! R E P O R T E R - NOVEMBER 2010
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  11. 11. MARKETING TO THE YOUTH MINDSPACE WAR remain relevant to this target segment. Most brand managers look for need gaps and fit brands in them. “The truth is that the youth in today’s India don’t really have many big need gaps,” says Antti Ohrling, Chairman, Blyk Media. However, the youth seek trust from brands that target them and A brand says a lot about who they are and where impact their lives. they stand in life. And the youngsters believe in this Branding action wholeheartedly. The struggle of every brand is the urgent need to connect with targeted customers. In a noisy and crowded marketplace with competing images, promotions, and messages how do great Y OUTH love brands. Brands provide a brands break through and create powerful badge of identity. Brands are enablers and differentiation and real preference? Brands need are passports to global culture. Brands are to have a personality, character and positioning to tickets to success and they embody all the good espouse what it denotes. For this, brand values that life has to offer: fun, attractiveness, attributes need to be youth-centric. Take for and opportunity for a better life. The young instance the top 5 brands that are perceived by generation has been brought up to regard brands the youth as entertainment - MTV, Nokia, Airtel, as icons. Brand associations are so compelling Zoom and Pepsi are all targeted at the young. that every marketer worth his salt is looking at Some of these are young brands that have been in playing on the brand attributes that will hold and existence for just a few years. “The world of engage the youth. As brands represent a Indian youth has witnessed fundamental changes fortifying assurance of stability that is both solid especially compared to the previous generations. and ongoing, the youth identify with the values What was sacrosanct till now has been made and image of a brand. fluid,” feels Anup jain, Marketing Director, Pizza Hut. The need is for K RAMAKRISHNAN a brand framework which is designed to President – Marketing, locate the brand into Café Coffee Day the life of the youth than plug into it from outside. “As a brand we play a significant Take for instance, role in the life of our consumers. Pepsi. It has managed to evolve its pro- Brand extensions in the form of motion and branding our merchandise offerings have to suit each passing generation of youth. been welcomed.” Two years ago it introduced the Why are brand names so important to the concept of Youngistaan. And over the past two youth? Because in an age of information overload, years, Youngistaan has become a term that the youth want assurance that they are making the encapsulates today’s youth and is used all across to right judgments that will enhance their identity. identify them. “We work that extra mile to The road to building a brand which really maintain our youth brand attitude,” says Sandeep, connects with the youth from the youth side up is Singh Arora, executive vice president, Pepsi. The ENGAGING THE the way forward. Says K Ramakrishnan, President most recent Youngistaan campaign has been YOUTH - Marketing, Café Coffee Day; “We have moved youth-centric all the way, with younger brand from our erstwhile square logo to one that is a ambassadors. It also espouses celebrates the spirit Brands have a high degree of ‘dialogue box’ after taking into account the way of youth friendship and the way Youngistaanis association and influence our customers perceive us.” stand up for their friends and bail out each other Brands have a high degree of association and through their smart and witty approach. amongst youth. That needs to influence amongst youth that needs to be well “Our brand offers athletes the best sporting be understood well by understood by marketers and brand managers to gear, to protect them against injury and to marketers.16 A F A Q S ! R E P O R T E R - NOVEMBER 2010
  12. 12. MARKETING TO THE YOUTH kothambari vadi stuffed in bread E FIGHTING FOR ATTENTION with shredded salad, cheese and green chutney. This is a suggestion (Despite high television viewing, there is distraction from the net, mobile and other that CCD picked up from its hand-help devices. Figures in per cent) customers, which is a favourite with many. Focus on the attribute In a world without boundaries all kinds of distinctions are blurring. The personal is merging with the professional. Entertain- ment is merging with play and family with friends. Most impo- rtantly, there is need for strong brands to catch the attention of the youth and maintain brand values that are related to the youth. “The need for looking at improve products for the best performance in the youth marketing from a vantage point that’s diffe- sporting field,” says Tushar Goculdas, Director rent from the traditional or even western models Marketing and Sales, Adidas India. For a strong of youth marketing is the key,” adds Goculdas. A brand such as Adidas, it sets new trends in place. young brand needs to be targeting the youth For instance, the fact that they have the lightest through both traditional and digital media. weighing shoes to play soccer makes several Rising affluence and better opportunities have consumers attracted to this product for the value made sure that the youth have the money, the it offers. Adidas has strong brand icons in Sachin relationships and the job options that the current Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag that helps them senior generation could only dream of. “The role get the necessary brand strength. “We are for brands in the life of the youth is not to find associated with several other sports such as tennis unmet needs but to find a way to legitimize at the junior level, we support the players with fulfilment,” says Ramakrishnan. Branding can be equipment and sporting gear,” adds Goculdas. both through offline and online activities that are targeted and focused. That a brand needs as many points of ANUP JAIN engagement with the target Marketing Director, Pizza Hut group is a foregone conclusion. “Value and pricing are also keys for youth “Our brand to stick with brands, especially communication, products at a time when brand loyalty is tough to get,” says Amlan and advertising are Bhattacharya, CEO, designed around the youth Skullcandy India. Young consumers expect and their tastes, preferences very high level of product and attitude.” satisfaction from the brands they use. Today, brands are This way the brand manages to occupy the constantly tracking the popular trends among the necessary space in the mind of the target group. youth, in order to access what products may or In the same way Cafe Coffee Day touches may not work in the market. ON THEIR the lives of its young consumers by extending the Most brand frameworks look for need gaps TOES branding to merchandise that extends the brand and fit brands in them. The truth is that the proposition. “We sell merchandise from our youth in today’s India don’t really have many big Today, brands are constantly outlets. We also customise dishes in some of our need gaps, their love for brands over rides tracking the popular trends outlets,” adds Ramakrishnan. For instance CCD everything else. Considering todays youth is among the youth, in order to in Mumbai has an item in the menu called the trendy and brand conscious, its time brand access what products will work ‘Kothambari Vadi Calzone’ which is basically a owners spend time understanding the needs of innovative version of Mumbai’s famous the youth.18 A F A Q S ! R E P O R T E R - NOVEMBER 2010