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Global Youth Marketing Forum 2009: Young consumers will have extreme reactions about a brand

By Khushboo Tanna , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Marketing | February 04, 2009
The two-day forum aims to understand the young consumers' mindset about brands

The Global Youth Marketing Forum, which will be held over two days at Taj Lands End in Mumbai, aims to understand the psyche of today's young consumer, in a bid to explore marketing opportunities.

During the event, Abdul Khan, advisor to managing director and head, marketing, Tata Teleservices and Anand Singh, director - knowledge and insights, Coca-Cola India were part of a panel of which Paritosh Joshi, president, new ventures, Star India was the chairman.

The panel's focus was how to target and retain the youth segment that a brand is targeting.

Joshi & #BANNER1 & # started the session by pointing out the qualities of a great brand. He said that a great brand always lets the consumer do the talking - if a consumer is happy with a certain brand, he will share it with two of his friends; of the two, one might be convinced to try the brand. He also said that great brands engage in constant dialogue with the consumer and are quick learners as well.

About young consumers, Joshi said that they were skeptical and would not readily believe any information that is pushed to them. They also have extreme responses - they can passionately accept or brutally reject a brand. He pointed out that young consumers also like to personalise their possessions; for instance, changing the case of the mobile phone, adding a keychain or having a fancy mobile pouch.

Singh of Coca-Cola used five parameters - behaviour, identity, icons, dreams and relationships - to define a young consumer's mindset. In all the five parameters, he demonstrated a marked difference between a young consumer from a metro and a young consumer from a small town.

For example, a small-town young consumer may idolise a film star and like everything about him, whereas a metro young consumer may like certain aspects of his favourite film star, such as his acting skills, but criticize some other feature, such as his hairstyle.

Khan of Tata Teleservices began by stating that there are three billion young consumers globally. He said that certain brand characteristics appeal to the young consumer and very few brands are allowed in the inner circle of the young consumer's trusted brands. He also pointed out the trend of several brands, such as Tata Tea, taking a stand on social issues.

Khan shared some details from a campaign they had done for Tata Indicom - a talent contest in the virtual world, Second Life. Second Life users were asked to showcase their talent, be it singing, dancing or music. Their work was then displayed in a specially created TATA Indicom gallery in Second Life itself.

The session reached the consensus that young consumers are not averse to trying out new brands. However, the way a brand is introduced to them will impact their decision making process.