Cybertorial* What do youth look for in a brand? Ask Afrika answered this question through its Youth Brands research, the findings of which it recently presented at its Kasi Star Brands and Youth Brands conference.
Sarina de Beer, Managing Director at Ask Afrika prefaced her talk by stating, “One of the biggest mistakes we make in South African marketing is two-fold. We either over-complicate or we over-simplify. We either try to look at big terms and think Millennials are all the same, really go for very big groupings of individuals and we lose out on the granularity. And then in the same breath we focus so much on difference that we miss out on the commonality and the points of similarity.”
Profiles were then given of the different generations with de Beer stating, “Generations are influenced by social contexts and exposure”. These generations range through the following: Traditionalists (the silent generation) who are 70 – 90 years old; the Baby Boomers (the period of causes) who are 50 – 70 years old; Generation X (the latchkey kids) who are 30 – 50 years old and who boast independence as they are the generation that saw the highest divorce rate in the world; Generation Y (Millennials) who are 20 -30 years old; and Generation Z (the newbies) who are 17 years old and younger.
The Millennials were then focused on in more detail, as they are the most researched and talked about generation of all time, with de Beer commenting, “We often are very unfair to the Millennials as a generation because we tend to think about them as selfish and having a need for instant gratification, but that is the way we raised them and socialised them to a large degree.”
The importance of the youth market
With South Africa having 29 million consumers aged 15-34 and two thirds of them living in urban areas the importance of the youth can’t be understated. They hold 55% of the spending power (over R100 billion per annum), which is more than previous generation consumers had at the same age, but less than 20% of advertising budgets are directed at them. Approximately 20% of youth between the ages of 25-34 are heading households and making household purchasing decisions.
De Beer then reinforced her belief that one of the fundamental mistakes marketers make is stereotyping every Millennial together, “We make the assumption that all Millennials are the same. It’s not possible. In one category we’re talking about an age range of 25 years. You can’t be the same if you’re 15 or 35 … If I’m 35, my life, my experience, my exposure, my lifestyle is fundamentally different to someone that’s 24. Sometimes we just group and we use the term Millennials and we think we understand Millennials, but we are not doing justice to the differences within this particular segment”.
Kasi youth vs. non-kasi youth
This comparison was also made during her presentation. For Kasi youth it is about being connected and more social and they become more materialistic as they age. They want to feel mobilised and in the know, almost a sense of independence. Non-Kasi youth generally search for information, are philanthropic, adventurous, with a self-less attitude, are free thinkers and want to be different. “Making sure the life they want to live eventually, they are motivated for bigger things,” de Beer says. Despite these differences, there are similarities across both, particularly when it comes to marketing. “The youth supports brands that stand for something … They are quite vocal and participative.”
A profile of the new generation, Generation Z was also given with the following interesting stats:
- 73% checked social media within an hour of waking up
- 70% want to start a business
- 60% want a job with social impact
- 56% said they were savers, not spenders
What drives brand loyalty?
Brand loyalty fluctuates year to year, so brands have to work even harder to stay relevant in the market and fully understand the reasoning behind these changes. For example, one of the factors at the moment is price, which is starting to play a role as individuals start to feel the economic pinch. The solution is for a brand to be agile and responsive.
Kasi Star Brands vs. Kasi Youth Brands
De Beer also revealed insights into the difference between Kasi brands and Kasi Youth brands, “Kasi Star Brands is all about usage, daily necessities and nice to have products for celebrations and events, convenient shopping and heritage brands. Youth brands were consistently experience related … Experience means tangible experiences that creates meaning to my life; that is going to be the currency or language of the youth market going forward”. Hence, brands must have constant engagement and interaction with the youth, emphasise strong and authentic personalities, and look for innovation and change. “The youth are loyal to their brands until a newer, more innovative product or brand is introduced to the market. So we constantly need to be ahead of the game and make sure we come up with something new and we can’t always rely on heritage,” de Beer concludes.
De Beer’s message was clear, recognise the differences between the different generations, but acknowledge that there are similar characteristics and behaviours across them and that within these generations not everybody is the same.
Get a granular understanding of the youth market
Explore South Africa’s future and loyal usage of youngsters aged 15 to 34 (inclusive of subsets in this range), irrespective of background or living standard. Ask Afrika research reports powerful tools for marketers to measure return on investment (ROI) in the Youth market segment. They are tailored to media and marketing strategies, sharing a complete view of consumer behaviour and unpacking loyalty drivers.
To find out more, or to order Ask Afrika Kasi Star Brands research reports contact (012) 428 7400 and speak to Dr Amelia Richards firstname.lastname@example.org or Mariëtte Croukamp Mariette.Croukamp@askafrika.co.za.
*Cybertorial is sponsored content