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Nandini Dias deciphers youth psychology for marketers

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MUMBAI: Youth believes in being fluid, different, and in a way is ‘Never Still’. India has the largest number of youth. 80 per cent of India’s youth are now literate, many of them are affluent and almost all of them are chronically experimental. Indian youth was earlier fighting for literacy but now he is fighting for competition. Also, earlier he was fighting for survival but now he is fighting for identity, for a better life. These were the thoughts of Lodestar UM COO Nandini Dias who spoke at the Youth Marketing Forum here.

Dias pointed out five key aspects of youth that every marketer/brand should understand. They are:

1. The youth needs a cause to champion- Youths need to find their own identity. Brands which give them a sense of purpose find followers. From consumerism to movement, the aim is to drive mass consumer. Good examples are Garnier (go-green campaign with TOI), Whirlpool, Anna Hazare and Jago Re. Because branding is not a fad, its here to stay.

It’s important for brands to find something in which youth can participate. Sheer participation in any social cause makes the youth feel good.

2. Constant change has become a symptom of being young- Change is constant. Youth of today wants different things and therefore loyalty is at an all time low. This reflects in faster switches, whether its job or product usage, youth can’t stay with one for a long time. So, brands depicting fluidity are seen as youthful. Google has over 50 per cent young users. It keeps changing its logo (Google doodle). In 2012, in 40 days, Google has changed its logo 27 times. Youth expects to see change. Brands doing that are attracting youth. They are not making deep changes; surface brushes are done to depict ‘change’.

3. Being focused will get you to your destination but being multi- faceted can take you to places- Youth today believes in doing multiple things. Since childhood they want to learn different things, get involved in different activities; they are multi-faceted. They are more optimistic and the fearless optimism comes from the factors that they believe in – failure can’t kill you, there are many chances to bounce back, nothing is make or break and there is a correction possible.

Brands are more than products. They are expected to be multi-faceted and provide more than product for consumption. Coke Studio is a great example. They know that youth of today are driven by passion. They are more interested if the brand engages and interacts with them rather than simply being advertised.

4. ‘And Also’ is better than ‘instead of’- Youth today believes in ‘The more I do today, the more times and space I have tomorrow’. The good life is about feeling happy, but a richer life is about feeling a whole range of emotions as well. Doing more doesn’t mean living less. Information overload is a myth today. Youth is consuming multimedia in a big way. He is surfing net, texting, playing video games, talking on phone, reading. Depending on the need, brands can easily move across touch points. Brands now have more occasions, places, contents through which they can talk to a consumer than just mass media.

5. Brand now engages as friend rather than products- There is a need of external friend while modern lifestyles make room for more of media. The real world of young is shrinking. Social networks, the digital interface, are making a large number of passive relationships possible. Youth today is open to imperfection. Permitting negative feedback in social media makes a brand more honest and more human.

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