The Pitch-Abacus Youth Brand Survey 2012, presented by iNext, is about reaching the milestone on what it is, that is steering the youth of the country today. Exploring the approach and the way of thinking of the 18-30 year old, 35 per cent of whom were in the age bracket of 25-27 years, the survey looks at brands which have matched the synergies of the youth in being ‘cool’ and ‘iconic’. It speaks the terminology of the youth and is suggestive of potential hiccups that can be tackled with consistent innovation. Assessing the responses of this consideration set, has also provided a conclusive headway, and that is to not underestimate the youth and not take it for granted since their power of differentiating one brand from another goes beyond looks, celebrities and other such associations.
Samsung all the way
In this context, 12.7 per cent of the youth in the age group of 18-30, christened Samsung as the ‘Coolest Brand’ in the Indian market, giving it an edge over Nokia by 2.4 percentage points. Winning by a steady margin in a group that hosts brands such as Levi’s, Adidas and Airtel, the smartphone halo above Samsung’s head has definitely proven to have a strapping appeal. Samsung also stands second on the podium on the ‘Iconic Brands’ list in the Indian market category. This is thus, an obvious indicator of the fact that the youth today care about their gadgets and gizmos and draw differentiation based on experience, following which the affordability factor comes into play. Clearly, the brand which makes you answer the ‘Do you own a Droid?’ question is relevant today and is still strutting up the ladder.
Samsung also finishes at 10th spot with ‘Designed for Humans’ in a question looking at the ‘Coolest Brand Slogan’.
Nokia’s ‘Connecting People’, finding favour with 8.7 per cent of the youth, is the frontrunner as far as favourite brand slogans are concerned. Making way for Nokia are Airtel and Cadbury which with ‘Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai’ and ‘Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye’, respectively lured a meagre 4.4 per cent and 3.6 per cent of the youth. Sitting surprisingly dipped, however, is Mountain Dew at the 17th spot with ‘Darr Ke Aage Jeet Hai’, which one would assume, is an oft repeated and favourite line for many amongst the youth to blare into an encore.
Tata – The global face of India
Sheltering domesticity, Tata tops the charts when it came to the ‘Iconic Brands’ list. With multiple arms and areas of operation, which range from being in steel, telecom, IT, hospitality, energy and FMCG, amongst others, this outcome is only suggestive of the maturity of young audiences who are aware and are willing to extend acknowledgement and appreciation.
Number one, and finding favour with 12.3 per cent, the champion is succeeded by Samsung, Reliance, Maruti Suzuki and Airtel which have 8.3 per cent, 6 per cent, 4 per cent and 3.2 per cent of the youth in their favour.
Penny-wise, pound-wise too
What drives the youth to buy a car? And what is their favourite deodorant ad? The questions try and look into the psyche of the youth. What impact do brands have on their mind and how do they look at the communication with sexual overtones, which marketers dole out in the name of ‘youthful’ spirit. The youth is penny-wise and pound-wise too. Preference to a brand while buying a car is way down on the priority list for the youth. What tops on their list is ‘fuel economy’.
The ‘sex’ factor
The reaction to what their favourite deodorant ad though is surrounded by little more than slight confusion. Thirty per cent of the respondents vote for Axe ads as their favourite. The number two spot goes to Fogg and number three to Wild Stone. The ads for both, Axe and Wild Stone have sexual overtones. However, when asked, in isolation, about whether they found most of the deodorant ads on television ‘offensive and tasteless’ on the whole, 80 per cent of the respondents galloped to an outright ‘Yes’! We can only say that the youth while try and tread the moralistic path, are yet looking out for some voyeuristic pleasure.
The generation gap?
You don’t have to be the Baadshah of Bollywood or one of the superstar Khans to be the favourite of this generation. The question investigating the favourite ‘Male Brand Ambassador’ confirms this inference. The man with the evergreen personality and the deep baritone, who is strangely way beyond the age group that this survey targets, is Amitabh Bachchan. And astonishingly, this grandfather to three is who the youth would want as a celebrity endorser over a Shah Rukh, Aamir Khan or Sachin Tendulkar.
The same, however, does not apply when it comes to narrowing the shutter on a female celebrity endorser. Katrina Kaif sits pretty at the top with 21 per cent of the youth voting in her favour and for many, her ‘girl-next-door’ image is what does the trick. Mother to one and daughter-in-law to the male victor, Aishwarya Rai is definitely ‘worth it’. That said, the ripeness of wisdom of this age group is yet again echoed when they know that the only driving force behind their decision to buy or not to buy is not the brand ambassador.
Trying times for marketers
All these facts are certainly telling a tale of evolution which could very well be occurring because of the immense exposure the youth has today, their power as a huge segment in the spending demographic, the accessibility and all this, leading to a mass that is cautious and critical. This is also thus, a testing time for a marketer who now needs to devise, with no scope of presuming a response, a strategy for this thinking, choosy and adamant mass.
Abacus, the market research firm, has assisted clients in reaching endpoint analyses by asking pertinent questions and directing it towards the right respondents. In its association with Pitch, this Youth Survey is comprehensive and all-inclusive. It also manages to seal the envelope with the message what marketers need to keep themselves posted with.
For the record, Abacus has an extensive nationwide team of field researchers, backed by a KPO division at Noida. They bring forward the real voice of the consumer – their concerns, perceptions, motives behind each purchase-related decision. Sometimes it is not always about knowing why one likes a certain brand, product or commodity. What one does not like too is a differentiator that adds or subtracts from the kitty. Abacus assists its clients in identifying these by asking the right questions and bringing out actionable intelligence for future growth and success.