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Generation Edge - Understanding the new Young India

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Generational cohorts in India are never homogenous. In such a complex and diverse country, there 
are clear distinctions in the context and attitudes of urban, “small-town” and rural groups, even from the same generation, and understanding that is a story unto itself. However, understanding the attitudes and aspirations of the urban young is a great starting point, as these eventually find reflection in the larger groups throughout the rest of India.

India’s urban young aren’t the same as their western counterparts. Yes, living in an increasingly globalised world engages them in similar debates about geopolitics, draws them towards the same content and even leads them towards the same social and environmental causes. But that’s only scratching the surface.

To truly understand this generation, we must understand the context they come from….

Published in: Marketing
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Generation Edge - Understanding the new Young India

  1. 1. UNDERSTANDING THE NEW YOUNG INDIA The world is about to getGENERATION www.thesoundhq.com
  2. 2. ALMOST 1 OF EVERY 5 YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE WORLD TODAY IS INDIAN 2 GENERATION EDGE INDIA THE SOUND That’s more than the combined populations of USA and Canada. Or the 5 biggest European countries put together. WHY READ THIS? 65% of India’s total population of 1.3 billion is under 35, that means a total about 845 mn people. GENERATION introducing… Of this, over 50% are under the age of 25. That’s well over 400 million people. 1 million enter the workforce each month, giving them greater spending power and agency.
  3. 3. 3 GENERATION EDGE INDIA THE SOUND WHY GEN-EDGE? Because they cannot be defined merely by age, and clubbing such a large cohort under a single label would be doing them (and ourselves!) a disservice CALLING THEM ‘INDIA’S YOUTH’ OR COMPARING THEM TO WESTERN MILLENNIALS isn’t enough BORN 1994 ONWARDS ATLEAST 400 MILLION STRONG Generational cohorts in India are never homogenous. In such a complex and diverse country, there 
 are clear distinctions in the context and attitudes of urban, “small-town” and rural groups, even from the same generation, and understanding that is a story unto itself. However, understanding the attitudes and aspirations of the urban young is a great starting point, as these eventually find reflection in the larger groups throughout the rest of India India’s urban young aren’t the same as their western counterparts. Yes, living in an increasingly globalised world engages them in similar debates about geopolitics, draws them towards the same content and even leads them towards the same social and environmental causes. But that’s only scratching the surface To truly understand this generation, we must understand the context they come from….
  4. 4. THE SOUND 4 GENERATION EDGE INDIA A GENERATION THAT GREW UP ON THE EDGE OF BIG CHANGES GENERATION WHO IS GEN-EDGE?
  5. 5. 5 GENERATION EDGE INDIA THE SOUND WHO IS GEN-EDGE? BORN INTO A chaotic, fledgling nation… In 1995, India was less than 50 years old, had already been through 3 wars, and was turbulent – battling terrorism, communal riots, and even a brief lapse into a police-state during the ‘70s Economic uncertainty had been the norm so far, with rationing and shortages part of everyone’s life. In 1991, the country had been on the brink of bankruptcy, saved only by drastic liberalization measures to open up the economy All of this had made previous generations of Indians (including their parents) fearful, under-confident and stability seekers. Traditional values were prized because they brought comfort, and reassured them of their place in a highly volatile world However, things were about to change, and faster than anyone realised… During its short life since independence in 1947, India had been through considerable turmoil…
  6. 6. 6 GENERATION EDGE INDIA THE SOUND WHO IS GEN-EDGE? …BUT GROWING UP IN ONE THAT STARTED TO come into its own In 1991, economic liberalisation forced an opening up of the economy, giving rise to India’s middle class and pulling a large mass of people into relative comfort and prosperity The early ‘90s were watershed years, and combined with the internet boom, changed the economic and cultural context drastically LIBERALISATION Television and media content opened up along with the economy, exposing everyone, especially the young, to new content and different ways of thinking DIGITALIZATION A NEW NORMAL WESTERNIZATION The rise of the internet and mobile phones towards the end of the ‘90s brought in unprecedented connectivity and access and acted as a leveller of opportunities
  7. 7. 7 GENERATION EDGE INDIA THE SOUND WHO IS GEN-EDGE? IN A LITTLE OVER 2 DECADES, INDIA WENT FROM BEING NEARLY BANKRUPT, TO BEING ONE OF THE WORLD'S fastest growing economies It’s Facebook’s 2nd biggest market after the US, with nearly 150 million users, over 70 million of whom log on daily It is the third largest automobile market in the world already, and yet, only 4% of households own a car, and only 25% own a motorbike In 2016, it beat the US in mobile app market growth, with the most Google Play downloads. App downloads grew at 71% (the global average was 15%). And this, when mobile penetration is only 30% of the total population! This, combined with the sheer size of its population, makes it one of the most important consumer markets. One that’s going to be driven by its Generation Edge
  8. 8. THE SOUND 8 GENERATION EDGE INDIA A GENERATION MOVING FORWARD WITHOUT A MAP GENERATION WHAT THEY VALUE?
  9. 9. 9 GENERATION EDGE INDIA THE SOUND WHAT THEY VALUE? GENERATION EDGE’S VALUES VARY STARKLY FROM THOSE AROUND THEM Knowledge-orientated Brahminical values were traditional ideals, but this generation favours the more ambitious and action-orientated Kshatriyan way of living. They are the first liberals in a comfortably conservative society, and believe in individualism while their families and communities idealize putting the collective above the self. While they wish to chart their own path, society expects differently, putting them squarely at odds with the world around them.
  10. 10. 10 GENERATION EDGE INDIA THE SOUND WHAT THEY VALUE? Collective Individual Contentment Ambition Resist change Negotiate change Modesty & restraint Self acceptance, pride & display Scarcity Choice TRADITIONAL VALUES GEN-EDGE VALUES THE TENSION BETWEEN TRADITIONAL VALUES AND GEN EDGE VALUES LEADS TO CONFLICT AROUND IDENTITY, ASPIRATION, IDEALS, CHOICE AND LIFESTYLE
  11. 11. 11 GENERATION EDGE INDIA THE SOUND WHAT DEFINES THEM? WANT TO OWN THEIR IDENTITY BUT don’t really know how TO GO ABOUT IT Generation Edge are among the first to have the chance to build individual identities, but the norms of a collectivist society leave them uncertain about how much to build and curate their identities. They believe in individualism, but families and communities idealize putting the collective above the self. The growing influence of western culture pushes Gen Edge to deviate from this path and build their own identity, and the digital age gives them access to media that allows them to express their identities independently But living in a collectivist society means that they need to balance social expectations even as they express uniqueness. They often end up trying to monitor multiple identities, expressing only what’s appropriate for different social groups COLLECTIVE - INDIVIDUAL “I have some photos on my cell which I can’t post on Facebook because I have my family on Facebook. If I post a picture hugging my male best friend then they will take it in the wrong way. My parents don’t say anything but relatives start pointing it out”– Amina
  12. 12. 12 GENERATION EDGE INDIA THE SOUND WHAT DEFINES THEM? DREAM BIG BUT reined in BY PARENTS AND SOCIETY Brought up in a digital world, this generation has the means to explore –  ideas, choices, and their identities. However, they struggle to do so, caught constantly in trying to live up to parental and social expectations Generation Edge prefers to be given the space to explore. They have access to information and opportunities that they believe will help them find their true calling However, having grown up in an era of extreme scarcity, parents of this generation value stability and push their children to make predictable and ‘safe’ choices. When they try to do something out of the ordinary, constant comparisons and taunts by parents and society build unwanted pressure CONTENTMENT - AMBITION “Yes I want to be the best animator. But I have taken up the science stream. My father wanted me to become a doctor so… maybe later…”– Deepika
  13. 13. 13 GENERATION EDGE INDIA THE SOUND WHAT DEFINES THEM? Higher levels of global exposure and awareness makes this generation more accepting of change and progressive thinking but in a highly conservative society they often face resistance Highly exposed to western ideals in the form of media, Generation Edge gravitates towards adopting them. They are far more tolerant than previous generations and accept people and their choices with less judgment However, they can’t publicly espouse their ideals as they still live in a largely conservative India which expects them to remain collectivist in their mindset, modest and humble in their behaviour while conforming to acceptable boundaries set by society EMBRACE PROGRESSIVE THINKING BUT afraid TO DISPLAY IT IN A CONSERVATIVE SOCIAL LANDSCAPE CONSERVATIVE - LIBERAL “Remember there was this incident where one of the high court judges said that if you have sex with your partner you will have to marry that partner. So posting an opinion of mine about this issue would be a bit of a challenge because I have too many people on Facebook who would judge me”– Karuna
  14. 14. 14 GENERATION EDGE INDIA THE SOUND WHAT DEFINES THEM? ENJOY ENDLESS CHOICE BUT ARE constantly dissatisfied Unlike their predecessors, Generation Edge has grown up with a plethora of options to choose from in life. But this makes for complex choices on a daily basis, and they’re constantly trapped waiting for the next best thing Connectivity and exposure to global media opened up tremendous possibilities for this generation in terms of career choices, personal relationships and everything in between. However, knowing that this wide range of choices exists, makes them unwilling to choose any. They hate the idea of settling down, viewing it as a compromise They’re constantly waiting for something better around the corner – which makes them dissatisfied and commitment avoidant SCARCITY - CHOICE 72% admit that they would rather be in a fling rather than a complicated relationship and 73% admit avoiding commitment– MTV, Many Me project
  15. 15. 15 GENERATION EDGE INDIA THE SOUND WHAT DEFINES THEM? CONFIDENT ABOUT THEIR OWN FUTURE BUT fearful OF AN UNSTABLE WORLD A growing economy and a secure upbringing boost their anticipation of a comfortable future. However, it remains at odds with the global narrative of chaos and turmoil A financially cushioned upbringing and the safety net of parents helps Generation Edge believe that their life, career, and place in the world isn’t under imminent threat. India’s growth story increases their confidence in a brighter future, with a better standard of living However, connected as they are to the global social fabric, they cannot help but be affected by the fearful and chaotic narrative of terrorism, climate change and political extremes playing out on their screens. This echoes the fear and uncertainty that was part of their parents’ lives before the 1990s, and leaves them feeling helpless, out of control, and cynical about the state of the world “Life is not like sitting in a car. It is actually the people who are outside the car. It is hard to survive in the world and even not only for the people on the street, but even people like me”– Vibhor
  16. 16. 16 GENERATION EDGE INDIA THE SOUND WHAT DEFINES THEM? LOOK FOR INSPIRATION BUT don’t have role models TO FOLLOW Trying to mirror the west’s individualistic lifestyle, Generation Edge does not care much for Indian icons. They want to be different from the rest and they prefer picking attributes from different personalities across the globe to build a unique version of themselves COLLECTIVE - INDIVIDUAL 82% actively seek inspiration in their lives to help make difficult life decisions– MTV, Many Me project “What stands out for me is the absence of sweeping straightforward icons for this generation. They mostly deny wanting to be like someone specific, they pick and choose from different people in different walks of life but mostly want to be the best version of themselves. Their source of inspiration can be Elon Musk, but also their cousin who started something of his own”– Vyom Prashant, Consumer Marketing Lead at Facebook India
  17. 17. THE SOUND 17 GENERATION EDGE INDIA WHAT SHOULD YOU DO? GENERATION WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR BRAND?
  18. 18. This generation is highly motivated but lacks inspiration. They need someone to help them get inspired and show them how things can be done Secure upbringing, abundant choices, and an optimistic outlook make this generation unwilling to compromise on finding their passion/purpose. Unlike previous generations, they are less fatalistic and do not lack motivation, but could use guidance in finding their path What does this mean for you? ‣ Inspire or help them find inspiration ‣ As a brand, you can show them a path to take 18 GENERATION EDGE INDIA THE SOUND WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR BRAND? DON’T TELL THEM THAT THEY CAN, show them HOW THEY CAN DOERS NOT THINKERS ACCESS TO ABUNDANCE AMBITION Titan Raga’s ad pushes them to believe 
 in themselves and not succumb to societal expectations
  19. 19. This generation is the first to experiment with new ideas and new thinking. They need to be supported and told that they aren't alone This generation wants to build individual identities, and make unconventional choices. However, since they are the first to explore this route without having any role models they are hesitant. Being part of a collectivist society with set norms and ideas makes it difficult to walk new roads What does this mean for you? ‣ Talk about progressive ideas and initiate the journey to change by normalising new thinking ‣ Make them feel like they aren't alone in trying to push conservative boundaries 19 GENERATION EDGE INDIA THE SOUND WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR BRAND? MAKE THEM FEEL LIKE THEY ARE PART OF a larger movement LIBERAL INDIVIDUALISTIC ACTION- ORIENTED Dove’s ‘Change the rhyme’ campaign attempts to break conventional beauty standards
  20. 20. Managing and shuffling between multiple personalities often becomes overwhelming for this generation, and they could use some support in managing the many facets of themselves While building their identities this generation has to keep in mind social boundaries that exist within their cultural context. Thus they constantly display filtered identities across various social groups What does this mean for you? ‣ Acknowledge the fact that they do have multiple identities and its okay ‣ Help them explore and express their identity in a way that lets them maintain their filters within each social group 20 GENERATION EDGE INDIA THE SOUND WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR BRAND? ACKNOWLEDGE AND SUPPORT THEM IN managing multiple identities INDIVIDUALISTIC SELF EXPLORATORY FLAUNTING/ DISPLAY Forevermark’s “Capricci nose pin collection” ad caters to how the nose pin can be changed based on different moods of life
  21. 21. This generation is well aware that every moment in their lives can be scrutinised and shared. Add to that the fear of an unstable world, and it makes them focus on the importance of NOW This is a generation that has grown up watching the world around them change in a matter of seconds - from play-by-play accounts of terror attacks to a global recessions, to India’s current entrepreneurial boom. A constantly changing, turbulent world also makes them unsure about their own future, and they’d rather experience everything NOW! What does this mean for you? ‣ Provide novel experiences which make them feel special in the present ‣ Amplify experiences to make them larger than ever before 21 GENERATION EDGE INDIA THE SOUND WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR BRAND? HELP THEM MAKE every moment count DOERS PERFORM PURSUING HAPPINESS Cinthol’s “Alive is offline” ad captures the sentiment of living in the moment and enjoying things as they come
  22. 22. India’s Generation Edge are coming of age, and they’re doing so in a very different world than that of western nations They face fewer economic hurdles, but greater social challenges. They’re confident and progressive but scared of being outliers in a conservative collective. They’re raring to go, but unsure of the direction Influencing and partnering with them in the choices they make now is crucial to winning their loyalty. If you’d like to find out more about how, get in touch! info@thesoundhq.com james@thesoundhq.com 22 GENERATION EDGE INDIA THE SOUND WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR BRAND? WANT TO KNOW GEN EDGE better?
  23. 23. V A N C O U V E R | N E W Y O R K | L O N D O N | T O R O N T O | C H I C A G O | M U M B A I W W W . T H E S O U N D H Q . C O M
  24. 24. IMAGE REFERENCES 24THE SOUND GENERATION EDGE INDIA SLIDE SITE 1 http://az616578.vo.msecnd.net/files/2016/07/18/636044138908502794-1393852561_20%20something.jpg 2 http://68.media.tumblr.com/09bb740c43ec7806411a4087f0db6dc6/tumblr_o3jw7suUQw1u3o7quo1_1280.jpg 3 http://data.whicdn.com/images/108688957/original.jpg 4 https://static-ssl.businessinsider.com/image/564def762491f919008b6804-960-720/a-capsule-hotel-in-china-within-the-city-of-qingdao-packs-an-lcd-tv-into-each-of-its-2-by-1-meter-spaces.jpg 6 http://33.media.tumblr.com/766c6f529769a10c7cf1ebab8db552e0/tumblr_ndeivkibmv1qz9u56o1_1280.jpg 7 http://static.tumblr.com/2bac9804fe185e42bdc58f8dc2bd7395/lflhqws/uL5mudhrc/tumblr_static_994629_10200918010364758_287965603_n.jpg 8 http://mommyhastowork.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/138.jpg 10 http://www.hercampus.com/sites/default/files/2016/10/31/mom.jpg 10 http://static.boredpanda.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/tattooed-parents-34__605.jpg 11 https://secure.static.tumblr.com/4effd29a9dcab532113f15ba18326cb5/p4ooxgz/D61n4sm3v/tumblr_static_jj_project_bounce_classroom.png 13 https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/b0/75/d9/b075d9663ac515116418d7072f03ac9d.jpg 13 http://spanish.fansshare.com/gallery/photos/15448160/family-tumblr-photography/?loadimage 14 https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/f5/cf/f4/f5cff498f30569870eaa48e722a56856.jpg 16 http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1417814/images/o-TWEEN-MOBILE-facebook.jpg 18 http://millennialmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Parker-in-the-park.jpg 18 https://www.google.com/search?q=millennials+tumblr&espv=2&biw=1924&bih=872&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwieucjttKbRAhUb0IMKHY7AAPwQ_AUIBigB#tbs=isz:lt %2Cislt:svga&tbm=isch&q=hipster+woman+tumblr&imgrc=L6P3r_RpSxlmfM%3A 20 https://noisey.vice.com/en_us/article/old-hipsters-reviewed-by-new-hipsters will update after images finalized

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