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‘Teenagers today strongly connect with their parents,' says study by Times Research Foundation

20-December-2002
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‘Teenagers today strongly connect with their parents,' says study by Times Research Foundation

A study by Times Research Foundation shatters the existing beliefs of the marketers. It found that the teens consider their parents to be their support systems, and their friends don't mean everything to them.

For this category, life is known to be more about design of the choli worn by Nicole Kidman in 'Moulin Rouge' than their career graphs. In their lives, downloading new ring-tones for their not-so-old mobile phones happens simultaneously as the numbers are exchanged with one more Neha or Nishant in city chat rooms. These 15-20 year olds- teenager category has been one of the toughest categories to analyze for marketers in India.

Time Research Foundation recently commissioned AC Nielsen and ORG Marg to do a study on the teenagers in India. The findings of the study questions the insights marketers have about teenagers in India. The study covered teenagers in the age groups 15-20 years, SEC A/B/C. With a total sample size of 6,683, and teenagers were interviewed across 4 zones, in metros, mini metros and Class I towns.

The results shattered the myth that teenagers do not try to connect with their parents. It was found that teens not only admitted but also seemed proud stating that their parents were their support systems. They understand that if their parents are saying something, they are saying for their own good only. One teenager responded by saying, "Yes we hate it when they don't let us go for parties in the night but we know that it's for our own good only."

Also, if the marketers think, the friend's in the same group influence each other, think again. The study breaks that myth too, it found that while the teens admitted that their friends were important, they didn't meant a world to them. About 45% of the teens in the study said that their friends had no influence on them in purchase of cosmetics or toiletries.

In terms of career choice, it was found that the choice of the medium of study greatly influenced the kind of course the teenager wanted to pursue. It was found that 62% of the teenagers which had English as their medium of education, wanted to pursue a professional course with 73% wanting to pursue a postgraduate professional course. If we compare that with teenagers who studies in non-English medium, the comparative figures were 38% and 27% respectively.

The study also found that Internet was fast becoming the space for youth to explore and express themselves. It is becoming their answer to the adult world.

Through in depth analysis, it identified few 'clusters' in the group of teenagers studied. The largest among these being the 'family oriented types', who constituted 41% of the group. They are traditional, share experiences with their parents and families, and are less accepting of western ideals and values.

The 'In controls' are the next largest segment at 24%, a balanced mix of being responsible, pragmatic and cool. They did value Indian culture, but have modern outlook as well. Majority of these fall in the 18 to 20 groups.

The 'Social climbers' formed 20% of the sample, they were found to be career oriented, ambitious and having a high need to prove themselves. 'Solitary reapers' were found to be loners not very happy with life and not sure about their future. They represented 12 % of the entire group, and it was found that they did not get along well with their family and friends. They generally belonged to younger age group of 15-17 years.

The last segment of 'Pseudo cools,' which formed 3% of the entire group, were found to be fun loving, extrovert type, but are not morally inclined. This segment has experimented with cigarettes and liquor. They do not confirm to the society but they have a high need for recognition and attention.

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