Coca-Cola India and NFO-MBL, leading market research agencies, has undertaken a study to understand the consumption, behaviour, habits, moods, aspirations, dislikes, preference and prejudices, attitudes, etc of teenagers.
The NFO-Coke Teen Perspectives, is a study conducted in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore among SEC A, B, C between 15-19 year olds. The study will be updated every year covering the youth from other parts of the country as well as widening its scope.
The findings of this study reveal that the teens matter as consumers and they are considerably “richer” than they were last year, with personal durable ownership going up. The presence of a teen in the home accelerates as well as influences purchase of entertainment durables. Food and beverages account for the largest proportion of the teenagers’ pocket money.
This is the best time of their lives, the study says, with friendship and freedom being the essence of teenagehood worldwide. It reveals that with the bridging of the generation gap, the rebellious attitude has given way to empowerment. “Teenage stands for empowerment — the growing up of the child into a consumer with actual discretionary income. Partying and interactions with the opposite sex matter, but unlike in the US, they are not the most defining aspects of Indian teenage fun.”
As to what’s important to Indian teens, the study states that qualification is a passport to a better life and money is a definite component of it. Further, peer popularity lags these overriding concerns, and so does looking good or being cool. However, there is significant variation between cities, with looks mattering most in Delhi, value character for the Kolkattans and respecting hard work for the Bangalorians.
Today’s teens are more aware about issues like AIDS. Pollution and population impact their lives, and so they matter. Corruption, poverty and communal violence are passe. This is not an idealist generation working towards making the world a better place. Their concerns revolve around themselves and their families.
‘Cool’ is certainly beyond the visible — it is multi-dimensional, being smart, being funny, sporty and nice looking. Popularity with friends matters but not as much as in the US. It is, however, not about being rebellious or frivolous. For the teens as consumers, quality of a product is integral, packaging and retailing matter too.
Groups play a key role in the Street Corner in development of personalities, attitudes, likes, dislikes and consumption. NFO-Coke Teen Perspectives segments teens on their needs for status, success, money, self-expression, decision-making, control, looking good, confidence.
The study says that the vibrant vanguards are early adopting, trend-setting consumers. Comfortable with their self-image, optimistic and confident, they enjoy easy popularity with friends. They are also the most privileged with the highest pocket money, high personal ownership of durables, strong influence in the home.
The eager beavers, on the other hand are desperately seeking cool. This adoption of trends and brands is undiscerning driven by what the leaders do. The individualistic idealists in contrast do not care - they don’t really know what’s IN or OUT and it does not matter to them. They represent brand loyalists, stay with the established. The plain passives are the laggards. Left out of the mainstream, they have yet to evolve into serious consumers.
It also reveals that health is clearly a major driver in the teens’ lives and in their consumption behaviour.