Teenagers are no more alike than are adults. Teen consumers can be segmented into four attitudinal groups.
Socially driven: They have the highest disposable incomes, are the most brand conscious, and spend heavily on personal grooming and clothing to give them status.
Diversely motivated: They are the most energetic, adventurous, and cultured, and are equally as comfortable in solitary activities as in group ones.
Socio-economically introverted: They like solitary activities and spend money on products and services for use in these pursuits.
Sports oriented: They represent the biggest market for sports and home video equipment.
Young & Rubicam ad agency conducted an in-depth study of teens and found that they all carve peer acceptance and parental non-influence. Beyond this, they were an enigma, Y & R found that teens:
1) Want to learn things but don’t want to be told
2) Want independence yet want to be taken care of
3) Want to be treated as adults but don’t want too much responsibility.
4) Want to be active yet spend endless hours relaxing
5) Want to try new things but only acceptable things.
6) Want to be individuals but also members of the group
7) Can be very critical yet are very sensitive to criticism
Consumer Behavior and Marketing Implications:
This section explores the nature of consumer behavior the youth market of the United States. However, it should be emphasized that many of the findings presented below are teens. Thus, there may be substantial differences between this group and older youths. There three marketing variables to be discussed are product decisions, shopping patterns, and promotion.
Product Purchase Patters:
Marketers are interested in understanding what products will set in he youth market. Moreover, it is important to appreciate the influence which youths exert on purchase by others, such as parents. This secondary influence may be more significant to most marketers than is youth’s role as primary purchaser of certain items.
How do youths spend their income? Both female and male teenagers spend most of their money on clothe, records, stereo equipment, entertainment and travel. Young women spend most on cosmetics, followed by clothes, health and beauty aids, and jewelry. Young men spend the most on dates and autos, followed by sporting goods, cameras, records equipment, bicycles, athletic shoes, jeans hobby up musical instruments and electronic games.
As members of a highly consumption oriented society, teenagers have become increasingly aware of new products and brands. They are natural triers and spend hours shopping for themselves.
In addition to their direct impact on the marketplace, youths exert secondary influence on many of their parents’ product and brand choices. For example research reveals that three out of four teens influence their parents purchasing decisions. For major purchases teens highest influence occurs in the initiation stage of the decision making process and is strongest for aesthetic considerations such as style, color and make or model of the product but weakest for decisions such as where and when to purchase and how much money to spend.
Apple computer’s research showed that teens are influencing family decisions about buying computers. As a result, one of its recent model introductions used contemporary hit radio and youth skewed computer enthusiast magazines to encourage tens to convince their parents to buy the product or, as a joking last resort, to tell teens they can always get a paper route if mom and dad won’t budge.
With the large growth in the number of families of two working parent youths are doing more of the food shopping and other shopping for parents. For example, one study found 80 percent of teenagers were heavily involved in family food shopping.
Kraft has recognized the importance of teenage grocery shopping and is advertising on MTV, in network syndication, in selected teen magazines, and contemporary hit radio emphasizing recipes containing Kraft products. Tied in with the ad campaign is an educational kit on Food Buymanship provided to home economies teachers to distribute to teenagers in schools.
Thus, it is clear that this market also occupies an important position in terms of fits secondary influence on parents buying decisions.