Youth Marketing : Young for ever

While deciding the ten marketing trends of 2010, the common thread that ran across the nine other trends was the youth. Efforts be it product innovation, communication innovation, retail, luxury, rural marketing, social media marketing, more for less, instant nirvana, brand makeovers, or co-creations – all are ‘youth’ful ideas.

While majority of these efforts are targeted at the young Indian – in the age of 18-25, it wouldn’t be a hyperbole if we said that there ain’t any old in India. The brands want to look young, and even the consumers, defying their age want to look young – be it the 25-year-old (or is it young?) Kotak Mahindra Bank shouting from the roof top that “It’s great to be 25”; or be it the housewife in the Cadbury’s commercial trying a pair of jeans for the first time. BlackBerry is no more only for senior executives in the fifties. It’s for the young brigade, including college students, as well.

The personal care segment was always up with products to bring cosmetic changes to an individual’s ‘aging skin’, and make one look ever-young. The credit to make ‘life’ youthful should go to the
financial sector, particularly insurance, which wants to make believe that life starts after 60 (after  retirement from work) with catch phrases like – Sar Utha Ke Jiyo.

While we’ll see the trend in spurts across the next 20-odd pages, here, let’s focus on the youth itself. Reports suggest that the current proportion of the total Indian population under 25 years of age is 51 per cent and the proportion under 35 is about 66 per cent. According to Nandan Nilekani, Chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), “India will add 1.2 crore young people to its working population  every year for the next  ten years. By 2020, India will  have the youngest income earners in the  world .”

This segment is mobile, aspirational, tech-savvy and impatient for services. A case in point is Airtel, which has reinvented itself time and again since its inception 15 years ago.
According to Manoj Kohli, CEO & Joint MD, International Operations, Bharti Airtel, there are four major

drivers of change and that reflects in Airtel’s evolvement with time. “Consumer is becoming younger. His expectations and aspirations are sky-high.

Technology like Social Media is changing the landscape; and lastly, globalisation is making competition more fierce,” he says. Let’s look at some brands that are taking the route.

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January 2011

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