Brand Attitudes Changing For Internet Users Aged 12-24

brand attitudes changing for teenagers

A study of internet users aged 12-24 conducted across the US, Germany, India, Japan and the UK asked “What features make a brand desirable to you?” To many people’s surprise “good quality,” “trustworthiness” and “usability” were listed as their top three features of a desirable brand. These results were certainly unexpected for an age group traditionally unified behind the “newest,” “coolest” and “most popular” brands, products and services. In fact, “cool image,” “popularity” and “newness” were ranked all the way down in fourth, sixth, and thirteenth places respectively. So what does this mean when marketing to teens and twenty-somethings? It means that being a “cool” brand or having a product/service that is “all the rage” may be out in favor of a more mature campaign aimed at building trust and usefulness with this younger crowd. Here are some tips to help position your brand, products and services along this new mindset:

  1. Exhibit High Quality
    • Look into selling bundled items. If you have products that are traditionally used in conjunction with each other sell them as a set so the customer has everything they need to achieve the maximum potential of the products.
    • Strive for smoothness and efficiency to make the purchase process as seamless as possible from the customer’s initial order submission through order confirmation, fulfillment, billing, shipping, and follow-up. It is likely that you will not get any recognition for doing this all well, but you run the risk of getting a lot of negative feedback and press if any of these steps are delayed or fail for any reason.
    • Always have contingency plans in place for any situation that can arise. What if the customer needs to change the order? What if a customer claims they did not receive their package? What kind of recourse will you have if you get a chargeback? These are just some of the questions that you will want to answer before they actually happen. If your company has already run into issues that you have not been ready for learn from those experiences and make contingency plans accordingly.
  2. Be Trustworthy
    • Let customers leave feedback (via product reviews, company reviews, a message board, testimonials page, etc.) for potential customers to read- they will trust each other more than they will trust you.
    • Clearly spell out your returns policy before the sale is made. Sometimes merchants are afraid to draw any attention to their returns policy because they think that doing so will establish their products as lower quality (i.e. more likely to be returned) but the reality is that an easy to understand clear returns policy demonstrates your company’s commitment to the customer. (For example, the popular clothing and gear manufacturer REI has built their customer-centric reputation around their liberal returns policy.)
    • Be clear with promotions you are running and coupons you are offering so that customers do not have to sift through a lot of fine print. One of the worst things that can happen to a company is running a new exciting promotion aimed at increasing sales only to end up with a lot of negative press over a customer that feels they were slighted as a result of promotional misrepresentation.
  3. Provide Useful Products/Services
    • Explain to the customer everything that can be done with the product being purchased. The uses do not need to be specific to the product your company is selling- they can be for the product in general, but outlining them for a customer can set your company up as a useful brand selling a useful product. (For example, if you are selling a beginner’s multi-purpose racket it may be evident that that racket can be used for squash, badminton or tennis, but actually explaining that to the customer will help them to associate all of the many uses with your company in particular even if they can get that same racket elsewhere.)
    • Have an FAQ on your site so that if the customer is confused before they make the purchase or encounters problems after they have made the purchase they will have a resource to reference.
    • Be specific about how the product is useful instead of just touting it as “cool” or a “must have.” (For example, say “Get an extra 2-4 feet of air on jumps” versus “take jumps with this sick bike.”)

-Kate Pierce eCommerce Specialist

One Response to “Brand Attitudes Changing For Internet Users Aged 12-24”

  1. Jane

    Appreciate the above lists me and the crew over at CostaRicaHQ have being looking for something similar to see what appeals to internet users of a certain age, good blog, thanks.


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