Genesis Burson-Marsteller has conducted a study called TR:OUTH 2015, Trends for Indian Youth , which forecasts the trends our youngsters are likely to follow in 2015.
TR:OUTH is a result of a benchmark study first conducted in 2013 when we revealed trends ranging from fashion, media consumption habits, music, branding and more. This year’s forecast is a result of extensive pan-India brainstorming sessions that were conducted with a cross section of participants from millennial and Gen X age groups across different industry sectors. The consultancy used a specially adapted version of the Consumer Trend Canvas with the permission of trendwatching.com and in collaboration with Elaine Cameron, Head of Burson-Marsteller’s Future Perspective Trend Analysis Group.
Parekhit Bhattacharjee, a young working professional says, “This is a new world; a world where the young guns call the shots; from choosing their favourite restaurant to buying their brand new car. But this runs through the gates of the old world. Word of mouth was what used to drive preference back then. With social media, it’s back to the same philosophy; the youth talk, engage, discuss and choose what they want and what they don't. It's pertinent for all the consumer brands to know what the youth do, think, eat and sleep.”
Deepshikha Dharmaraj, Chief Marketing and Growth Officer, Genesis Burson-Marsteller says, “The TR:OUTH: Trends for Indian Youth study has become representative of the constant changes that society and the Indian youth in particular, is undergoing. Times are changing at a pace faster than brands can keep up with. And this rapid change is being brought about by the exuberance that the youth of the current generation demonstrates. They no longer limit themselves to impressive and lofty platitudes, they act in a manner that leaves a deep impression among the public at large. Through our collaboration with Elaine, we have identified trends in the youth demographic to help brands target their products and services better.”
Elaine Cameron has provided the guidance and methodology to make the brainstorming sessions more structured and the findings more robust. She says “TR:OUTH is a truly cross border innovative collaboration as it involved a trendwatching.com consultant based in Austria, me in the UK and the Genesis BM team across India. We adapted the trendwatching Consumer Trends Canvas to provide the team in India with an evidence-based framework for the trends.”
Providing an overview of the trends, Cameron says, “Expanding global markets, greater connectivity, rich cultural urban environments are making the Indian youth increasingly driven, committed to improving themselves, and impatient about experiencing life. They no longer believe in the static way of life. Instead they have fun, they allow themselves to be surprised, embrace excitement. One key trend though has been that youth have become change champions – brands that give voice to the concerns of the masses will win in the long run.”
Top 10 TRENDS that reflect the mind-set of the India Youth
I. STATEMENTAL: Mind set to make a statement; look better and stand higher
India’s emerging affluent middle class is eager to try the latest and best. Indian youth derive much of their social status through the goods, services and experiences they consume. Indeed, with so many choices available, consuming becomes as much a statement about who you are, as what you have.
II. NEW-YOUer: Constant need to be a better version of ourselves
Show us a consumer who doesn’t aspire for self-improvement. The drive to improve oneself can manifest itself in a number of ways, such as the desire for better health, for greater knowledge, and the development of new skills. Brands and products that satisfy these needs will therefore simply appear ‘better’ than those that don’t.
III. MYOPIUM: Being intoxicated with yourself
MYOPIUM is each person’s consumption realm, where his/ her preferences and tastes reign. Cater to an individual’s MYOPIUM with brilliantly customized products, by enabling and encouraging personal expression, or by offering protection from harm.
Our online experience is fueling this: profiles (that make it all about the individual) are ubiquitous, personalisation is rampant and effortless, and the expression of one’s likes, dislikes and everything in-between is easy and constant.
IV. DESI COOL: Being Indian and buying Indian continues to be cool
Despite globalisation, despite online connectivity; being desi continues to be cool. Whether driven by a sense of pride, authenticity, convenience and/or eco-concerns, consumers will continue to embrace Indian products, services and knowledge.
V. CHILLS-UMERS: How do you bring some much-needed fun to your daily life?
Surprise. Entertainment. Amusement. People relish brands that bring some much-needed fun to the consumer arena. Introducing competitive and participatory games, embracing humour, or celebrating the unexpected makes life – and consumption – less boring and simply more enjoyable.
VI. NOWians: Indians want it right here, right NOW
Whether to satisfy their ever-shorter attention spans, their lust for the ‘now’, their craving for real, physical interaction, or to free themselves from the hassle of ownership, Indian youth are moving beyond the fixed or static, and rushing instead to collect as many experiences and stories as possible. That’s why ‘time’, and its many dimensions, should be brands’ next innovation frontier.
VII. CHANGE CHAMPIONS: With great power, comes great responsibility and therefore, greater involvement
Younger generation of Indians lead busy, busy lives, yet they are now more involved in driving change. They will not blindly accept the status quo. Instead, empowered by digital technologies and democratised access to information, they’ll collaborate their enthusiasm and knowledge to create new solutions to shared problems. Naturally, therefore, many will be happy to advocate for brands that are socially responsible and produce responsible products and services.
VIII. CONNECTIFY: The eternal desire for connection, and the many (new) ways it can be satisfied
Indians are social beings, and will forever enjoy coming together, making connections, collaborating and sharing experiences. The good news? There have never been more opportunities to cater to, benefit from or facilitate this basic desire. All together now...
IX. OMNI-TECH: The ever-greater pervasiveness of technology
We all love staying connected to technology, round the clock. Well, technology will become ubiquitous, universal and impossible to live without. Why? Quite simply because Indian youth will continue to crave (and build their lives around) the unparalleled ‘superpowers’ that technology offers them: perfect and instant information, absolute transparency, limitless choice and more.
X. INFO-BURST: Why consumers’ voracious appetite for (even more) information will only grow
Forget information overload: Indians’ desire for relevant, useful, timely information is insatiable. Youth will continue to lap up products, tools and services that bring them the right information, at the right time, in an understandable, intuitive and actionable way.