1. 0 Introduction
In a very conservative and traditional context, businessmen used to focus on the consumers lying between the age group 30 and 45. However, things have changed in the last 2 decades, in the sense that more and more young people are entering the markets as potential buyers (Michman et al. , 2003). One simply cannot accept the fact that consumerism and the material aspects of life are confined just to the older generation. Actually, the young people of today are much more in tandem with the varied areas of consumerism and materialism. In this particular context, it is becoming imperative for the businessmen to understand and also have a pragmatic insight into the buying behaviour of the young people, in order to target their marketing strategies and business plans as per the needs and aspirations of this potent and influential consumer segment. It is a must for the businessmen to understand as to the way the young consumers perceive and value their products and services. Realistically speaking, the greater competition oriented and proactive businessmen already are along the way of narrowing down their give attention to the young consumers. Yes, to a great extent, the teenagers of today will be more receptive of and vulnerable to varied promotional and advertising approaches (O'Shaughnessy & O'Shaughnessy, 2003). Also, the youth in today's times has an access to disposable income, which it prefers to spend on luxury and consumer goods. Still, this by no means justifies the utterly simplistic conclusion that the young individuals are sitting ducks. Actually, the young consumers are not merely lured by the expensiveness of something, commodity or something. The young people, like any informed consumer segment, do intend to desire value for money and are open to only those products and services, which increase their sense of wellbeing and individual identity (Simpson et al. , 1998). While using rise in the numbers and purchasing power of the young consumers, the businessmen not just need to find out about this consumer segment, but must also put in efforts to orient their business strategies and promotional activities, according to the expectations of this consumer base.
2. 0 Mega Trends Shaping Young Consumers
May sound strange, but, the expectations and aspirations of the consumers atlanta divorce attorneys age and time have a tendency to change and alter? Each age has its concept of individuality, family, identity and social status, and the preferences of the consumers do react to these mega trends. 21st century being age information and the internet, the young people of today shouldn't merely be expected to be cognizant of the mega trends unravelling in how old they are, but also that they being young will suit their buying preferences in consonance with these rampant trends (Manolis, 1999). Businessmen who are oblivious of the mega trends influencing the young individuals are much more likely to be left out in the race for survival and sustenance (Rotfeld, 2001). In that context, it'll be really interesting to touch on the mega trends to which the young buyers of today are exposed to.
2. 1 Fading of Age Barriers
Changing consumer values are influencing the buying behaviour of teenagers. So it is necessary for the businessmen to understand as to what ticks the modern-day young consumers. The consumers of today have an 'age defying' approach towards consumption (Fine, 2002). People no more consider age to be always a marker of personal identity. On the main one side the consumers affiliated to the older age groups are receiving more open to the merchandise designed and marketed with the teenagers in mind (Lancaster & Reynolds, 2005). On the other hand, in case there is young people, not only their buying power has considerably increased, however they are being extended a larger autonomy, so far as their buying decisions and aspirations are concerned (Roberts, 2002). Today's young consumers acquire brand awareness and develop brand loyalties at an extremely nascent stage (Lunt, 2002). So, the businessmen who are cognizant of the trend can expand their customer base, by altering their marketing and promotional strategies, so as to make sure they are age neutral and focused more round the values and aspirations that are common to all age ranges. This way then can reap double advantages from their advertising investments. They are able to woo the teenagers, without alienating their mature consumer base. Any businessmen who's competition minded just can't afford to disregard the trends shaping the buying behaviour of the young buyers.
2. 2 Health and Fitness
Going by the augmenting trend towards fitness and mental physical condition, the young consumers today are immensely health conscious (Iacobucci, 2001). The young buyers have a holistic approach towards consumption and do believe physical fitness and mental well being are of paramount importance. It is not a wonder that almost all of the advertisements one results in in media publications and broadcasts feature young and healthy people with a good and entertaining approach towards life. Businessmen do need to take cognizance of this trend, actively moulding the buying behaviour of young people. Today, a significant variety of young consumers in Europe and USA believe their consumption patterns should be such that, they have to insulate them against the life style diseases (Sirgy & Samli, 1995). Consumers groups are increasingly taking steps and measures to make sure that the vendors and companies adhere to the established health standards and regulatory norms (Mazis & Raymond, 1997). Hence, the most logical conclusion will be a businessman who chooses to target this trend towards health and convenience and alters ones manufacturing and promotional strategies to highlight this trend will reap manifold benefits and profits. On the other hand, ignoring such consumer aspirations or just failing woefully to highlight them, are bound to alienate young buyers, who will then chose to transfer their buying potential to the firms that are more sensitive and responsive to their expectations and needs.
2. 3 Changing Family Values
One more style that is impacting the buying behaviour of young people and of which businessmen need to take cognizance of is the changes in the life span stage cycles and family structures in the modern society (Dizard & Gadlin, 1990). Though it is a fact that the majority of the young people do prefer in which to stay their nuclear families, but there exist a substantial proportion of young buyers who want to leave their own families and live alone, on their own. Also the teenagers of today prefer to spend a significant part with their lives as singletons (Nathan, 2007). Hence, this trend is destined to shape the buying behaviour of teenagers. They will prefer products and services that aren't manufactured, packaged or priced with the family consumer in mind, but are rather custom-made as per the requirements of the single young people. Businessmen do need to keep an alert watch over the altering social trends and must customize their service procedures, manufacturing plans, packaging strategies and pricing policies, with an eye on the mindset of modern-day young and single buyers (Alhabeeb, 1999). May, sound funny, but good businessman by necessity needs to be considered a demography and sociology expert. It is next to impossible to attract the young buyers, with no an insight into the social and cultural trends that shape their buying behaviour.
2. 4 Time Constraints
The young people of today, like the young women are career oriented and do not have enough time and patience to indulge in elaborate household chores and responsibilities. The time at the disposal of the teenagers of today is more scarce and dearer then what it used to be two decades ago. Atlanta divorce attorneys facet of life, be it fitness, entertainment, personal grooming, nutrition, etc, the young buyers place a high premium on convenience and economy of the time (Michman & Mazze, 2001). The complete fast food industry is to a great extent reliant on the patronage of young buyers, who do not have the time and patience to wait long for elaborate meals. So, if an enterprising businessman who's alert to this trend towards convenience and may offer products and services which could extend the desired benefits while assuring convenience and economizing promptly, is destined to own a booming business.
2. 5 Mixing of Gender Roles
The other thing that is bothering the young consumers of today is the fading of the gender roles (Fulton & Maddock, 1996). Just 2 decades ago, the assorted aspects of Western culture, whether it is education, cinema, media, arts, etc have a tendency to focus on defining as to what sort of boy or a girl should look or behave like. However, the role models available to the modern-day young buyers are oft gender neutral. The young women of today by necessity are required to develop male attributes like assertiveness, aggressiveness and confidence (Fulton & Maddock, 1996). Similarly, the teenagers in the modern Western society exhibit female attributes as being conscious about looks and personal grooming, dieting to improve health and spending more time at home rather than being averse to indulging in household chores and duties (Fulton & Maddock, 1996). Thus, the kind of products and services that the young buyers of today prefer a subscription to are not similar that they used be just twenty years ago. Businessmen need to learn out of this shift in the buying preferences of young people and must respond appropriately.
2. 6 Dependence on Connectivity
In the modern times, marked by high divorce rates, breaking families and loosening of social bonds, teenagers do look for products and services that fulfil their need for connectivity (Roberts & Foehr, 2008). If this is not so, then how can one explain the success of social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter (Tassel, 2006). The revolution in telecommunication technology could also be attributed to the necessity of the young people and aspiring professionals to remain connected. At an emotional level, teenagers tend to cherish business organizations, products and services that endow them with a chance or a portal to bond or connect with their friends, loved ones and likeminded people. Therefore any business aspiring to be a rage amongst its young clientele just can't afford to overlook this fact. Businessmen determined to influence and convert the teenagers need to add a connecting component to their products and services. Varied mega brands like McDonalds and Starbucks, to a great extent owe their success to their ability to create venues where teenagers can feel safe to mingle with the people they like. So the businessmen of today aren't only required to know about the buying habits of teenagers, but are also necessary to have the ability to think like their young clients, at least conceptually if not intellectually.
2. 7 Redefining of the Concept of Luxury
Most of the aware and astute businessmen do know that so far as the markets for teenagers are concerned, they may be witnessing a fresh egalitarian trend in the demand for luxury goods (Eun-Jung, 2008). Just three decades ago, the young people affiliated to different socio-economic strata desired different goods and products. However, today it is not the same. Along with the rise of the urban middle income, most of the young people hailing from middle income families demand and desire the same commodities as enjoyed by their young counterparts (Eun-Jung, 2008). The premium brands have already taken a hint from this upcoming trends and have started developing product ranges that are affordable to their low-income or middle-class young customers (Eun-Jung, 2008). The young consumers of today across all monetary segments seek products that extend to them, comfort and indulgence. Forget about the notion of luxury or comfort is regarded as an attribute that is affordable and then the rich. The democratization of education and professional training has created a new variety of young professionals, who might not exactly afford a personal Jet or a Limousine, however when it involves their culinary preferences, entertainment avenues and the gizmos they possess, they aren't very different of their rich friends.
Any businessmen just can't ignore these socio-economic developments. If one does so, then one will soon lose to the opponents who are shrewder at deciphering socio-economic trends. The young individuals are as part of your ready to look for new activities and qualities in the products and services they avail. Besides, courtesy the onset of globalization, the young individuals are also immensely willing to try exotic products and services from faraway locations and countries surrounding the world (Lukose, 2005).
It would certainly not be too exaggerated to claim that it's the teenagers who will be the primary trend setters in the modern day markets, and any businessman oblivious of the immense power of young customers in the modern economies, simply could not hope to do well or eventually survive. Take a look at any new innovation or any new product, be it the Apple's iPhone or iPad, first of all it was introduced and tested on the young buyers, before it was geared to the more mature users (Kahle, 2008). Besides, considering the logical conclusion that the young buyers will probably stay in the markets for a longer time, it creates sound business sense to convert them while they are young and hence relatively more impressionable. Also, the well linked young people do have a tendency to spread the news about the products and services they like. Hence, understanding and targeting a young clientele assures ample word of mouth publicity and free promotion.
2. 8 The Advent of E-Commerce
E-commerce is an all natural outcome of the info revolution and the ubiquity of the internet usage. Businessmen opting for e-commerce oriented retail or owning online companies would commit a great blunder if they disregard the buying behaviour of these young clients. However, luckily, most of the e-commerce entrepreneurs do have a fair notion of the obvious advantages a young customer base offers to an internet company. Today's young people are to e-commerce what their parents were to cable. Yet, unlike their parents, they constitute market that still remains largely unexplored, going by the dearth of astute e-commerce entrepreneurs (Siegel, 1999). First and foremost, 16-30 years old constitute the greatest chunk of the individuals who regularly use internet and go online (Rosen, 2001). Not saying, these young customers do have money to invest as well as the discretionary power to freely decide about the merchandise and services they need to avail (Rosen, 2001). A businessman if manages to attract a little fraction of the purchase power at the disposal of the young surfers, it would amount to an incredible number of green backs. However, if the e-commerce entrepreneurs lack an insight into the buying behaviour of the young customers, their websites are as effective as an ugly picture on the wall.
For example, very few businessmen know that young buyers who purchase online do not like to be overwhelmed with options (Youn, 2008). They really want to choose from a tiny assortment of well selected product variations. May sound surprising, but the wired generation is also well aware of the leverage that online product selection and purchase endows them with and hence the uninformed businesses may often commit the mistake of testing their patience. Fortunately that the young online buyers are mostly willing to increase personal information in exchange of freebies (Youn, 2008). Yet, on the other hand they greatly detest it if their vendor is not transparent and straightforward. Also, these consumers are incredibly intolerant of poorly executed websites. Yet, they can easily be attracted by offering small incentives. So, in the realm of e-commerce, the crux of the game is to truly have a grip above the buying behaviour of young people.
3. 0 Conclusion
The generation X of today differs from its predecessors in the sense so it gets the money to invest and the autonomy to make business decisions. Any worthy businessman aspiring to survive and grow simply cannot afford to forget the purchasing power and purchasing behaviour of young consumers. Not saying, understanding the behaviour of young buyers is not as simple as it sounds. The buying behaviour of young people of today can be an outcome of a wide range of mega trends that are influencing and shaping their consumption decisions. Therefore, the best approach for an effective businessman or a corporation is to keep a keen eye on the changes in the buying behaviour of young people and the trends that lie behind these changes. Young people constitute a very flexible and malleable market, and need a lot of patience and understanding on the part of potential sellers.
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