Brand loyalty: Young women changing more than young men in recession
A new study of teen and young adults between 13 and 21 has found that consumer behavior among females in this age group has shifted more than that of males in the economic recession.
The study by North American data analytics, CRM and behavioural marketing agency Euro RSCG Discovery, also found brand loyalty is increasingly important among this age group, as a majority of teenagers and young adults (73%) shop at a set group of stores.
“There is an immense opportunity for gender-specific behavioral marketing that will engage teens and young adults in this recession, especially when it targets those that spend their own money,” said Zain Raj, CEO of Euro RSCG Discovery and Global Practice Leader, Retail Brands of Euro RSCG Worldwide. “Although the economy is impacting teen consumers, and particularly young women, loyalty patterns indicate that marketers stand to benefit most from advertising brand value and finding new ways to become part of this age group’s brand rituals.”
According to the survey, female teens and young adults are more worried about the economy (92% v. 87%) and are more likely to engage in money-saving activities (41% v. 35%) than males. Compared to one year ago, nearly half of females in this age group are looking for sales (48%) and staying home (51%) more often, compared to fewer than 43% of males in both categories.
The males surveyed were more likely to report not being affected by the economic slowdown (15% v. 7%) and that the relationships they have with the stores they shop at have grown stronger over the last year. In fact, significantly more males than females always (6% v. 3%) or usually (26% v. 17%) buy brand name clothing at full retail price. Almost half (48%) of the males polled buy high-end brands just as often, and nearly one-third (29%) spend money on entertainment more often.
However, males are more likely to shop for one item at a time (42% v. 33%) and to think of clothing as seasonal (19% v. 13%). They are also far less likely to seek information from media, catalogs and the Web for their purchase decisions.
“Now more than ever, it is important for brands to capitalize on the relationships they have with this younger audience,” said Raj. “While young consumers are becoming more conscientious about their purchases, they still return to the stores and brands they are familiar with when it comes time to buy.”
The survey revealed the best opportunity to target the younger generation of consumers is in stores, despite a high proliferation of internet and social network use among this age group. The study found that more than 70% of teenagers and young adults research and make purchases in stores. In addition, stores were the most prominent source of fashion purchase information, compared to word of mouth (53%), catalogs (37%), magazines (23%), online (20%) and TV (17%).
The study, based on an online survey of 1000 teens aged 13 to 21, was conducted in partnership with American Student List, the nation’s leading provider of student and youth marketing data and part of the Euro RSCG Discovery network. Data was weighted to be geographically representative.