Another factor emphasizing the market importance of the youth group is that this is the time when brand loyalties may be formed that could last well into adulthood. For example, a brand loyalty study prepared by the Yankelovich organization for seventeen magazines found that at least 30 percent of adult women were using the same brands they first chose as teenagers. Translated into total market figures, the finding would mean, for instance 6,760,000 women still are using the same brand of mascara and 8,900,000 still are eating the same kind of packaged cheese that they first bought.
During the process of making their buying decision, to what extent are teens influenced by parents, friends, sales clerks, media or other sources? For many product decisions, friends are the most significant influence. Nevertheless, parents are still an important factor affecting many buying decisions. The important point for the marketer is that although per pressure is quite strong, family influences are also significant. Thus, the marketer should attempt to keep up with which group predominates at any period in order to orient merchandising strategies properly.
Teenagers often spend hours shopping especially on weekends. The fact that they are doing more shopping result in their spending more money in stores they patronize. In addition, youths often have a great deal of authority on store selection decisions, which means stores must reach them with an effective appeal. Although the popular belief is that people buy products impulsively and are less rational than the market as a hole, surveys indicate that most respondents aged 14 to 25 compare prices and brands before buying. Research on adolescent shopping behavior produced the following tentative conclusions:
1) Adolescents tend to rely more on personal do sources for information on products of high socio economic and performance risk, and no most media for information on products perceived as low for such risk.
2) At the product evaluation stage of the decision process, price (sales) and brand name are perceived as the most important evaluative criteria, with a relatively low social influence coming from parents and peers.
3) As teenagers mature, they use more sources of consumer information prior to decision making, rely more on friends and less on parents for information and advice in buying and prefer to purchase products without parental supervision.
A final marketing element that is very important in appealing to youth is promotion. There are many effective media available to reach the youth market – radio, television, direct mail, magazines, and newspapers. However, the marketer should be aware that use of these media varies with family socioeconomic conditions. For instance, teenagers in higher income and higher education families view fewer hours of television than those with lower income and education. Let’s examine the media habits of youth and potential promotional strategies that might be successful in appealing tot his group.
Nearly all teenagers own radios, and they spend considerable time listening to them. Surveys show that 75 percent of teens listen on a daily basis and average almost three hours per day – about one fifth of their waking hours. In addition radio reaches more than 90 percent of all teenagers in the course of a week. These listening patterns vary significantly by the time of day, exhibiting heavy nighttime, listening, particularly during winter months when apparently the radio is sued while studying.
Teen radio listening preferences are clearly contemporary or rock music stations. In addition, almost three fourths of all teen listening is to stations on the FM dial. They tend to select one or two favorite stations, and they listen to them repeatedly day after day. Consequently massive ten audiences are available with relatively concentrated station schedules. Hence radio is probably the fastest easiest and most effective way to reach teens.
In contrast to adults who spend much of their leisure time watching television, tens are relatively light viewers, although virtually all have access to sets and 90 percent of them be reached this way during one week.