Youth marketing expert Jeroen Boschma is a month shy of launching the Indian edition of his book 'Generation Einstein - smarter, faster and socially more aware' in India. The book, first launched in 2006, already exists overseas in Dutch, Spanish and English, and now the author is all set to release the India-specific version for Indian audiences. Basically, the contents of the existing English copy of the book have been tweaked for the Indian market.
Youth entertainment brand UTV Bindass has co-authored the Indian edition of this book, along with Boschma, who, with the help of consumer insights provided by the Bindass team, re-wrote the book keeping in mind Indian sensibilities. The entire effort took a year.
Broadly speaking, the book is divided into four parts: The first part, called 'Signs of the Species', addresses the core values of this generation; the second part talks about where this generation comes from; the third part is all about communication, marketing and media strategies; while the fourth part bears all the India-specific examples/case studies.
The book has about 150 pages and contains 20 chapters. The price is not frozen yet.
In a chat with afaqs!, the author talks about the concept of 'Generation Einstein' (a generation that comprises 12-24 year olds), the philosophy behind the book and more.
"It's a positive generation; they think fast and differently. And, be it interacting with new media, adapting to the changing world or self-actualisation, they're smarter than the previous generation," explains Boschma, when quizzed about the title of his book, insisting that 'Generation Einstein' is far from being yet another book that simply raves about how digital/social media-savvy today's youth is.
The book talks about the characteristics of today's youth, the changes that one sees in the current generation as compared to the previous ones and also advices brand marketers on how to communicate with today's youth most effectively. Boschma observes that owing to certain common characteristics, this generation is quite homogenous across countries; all of them want to be happy, not rich.
Tips for brand marketers
So what tips would he give to Indian marketers? "I'd ask them to forget everything they've learnt so far, to be open-minded and understand that they're dealing with youngsters who are more intelligent than them and understand advertising and marketing better than they do," answers the author.
He goes on to opine that the most common mistake today's marketers make is that they think about the youth in the "old world way", that is, in terms of 'How can I get closer to these youngsters?', rather than 'How can I make them invite me into their lives?'.
Boschma further advices that brand marketers should think about the youth the way they'd think about their best friends and treat them the way they'd treat their closest friends. "On social media, too, 'Like' is nothing; think about 'Love' and how you can make the youth love you and your brand," he enthuses.
The book also throws light on a communication strategy called 'Increation', a method of communicating with the youth that involves putting many ideas to test and then trying to zero in on the final idea with the help of the reactions received.
Are there any specific Indian insights that Boschma observed while compiling this book? "One big difference between India and Europe is that while Europe is quickly growing old and grey, India is only getting younger. That's why most brands want to target the youth segment," he says. This generation, he elaborates, is extremely adaptable and receptive to change.
He also shares that though he expected more of a generation gap between youngsters and their parents in India, he was pleased to find that there exists a healthy friendship between parents and kids these days.
Explaining UTV Bindass' role in this book, Keith Alphonso, business head, UTV Bindass, tells afaqs! that his team provided the base-work and consumer insights that Boschma used for this version of his book. These insights were gathered from 2,000 people across six cities in the 16-24 years age bracket.
As found by some recent research done by the UTV Bindass team, Indian youngsters are both extremely confident as well as very anxious, thanks to today's hyper-competitive atmosphere. "We've come up with the phrase 'fragile invincibility' to capture this combined sense of optimism and self-doubt that youngsters feel these days," explains Alphonso.
'Generation Einstein' is Boschma's fifth book in the branding and marketing space. His sixth book titled 'Mind the Gap' is in the pipeline and will be ready for release in a couple of years.