This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

November 23, 2011

Young Buyers attract Market Attention

Characterized as the new "Big Spenders", youths, 8 to 24 year-olds, are "extremely engaged in all aspects of technology and media". They exert a tremendous influence on their families' purchases---211 billion dollars, to be exact. Moreover, they have huge spending power of their own.

Children are making buying decisions at increasingly earlier ages. According to the 2012 Harris Poll YouthPulse℠ study, the purchasing power of today's youth is substantial. Large percentages of children make their own buying decisions, beginning at the age of eight, and over half of teens 13 to 17 buy their own candy, 42 percent buy clothing, and 33 percent spend their own money on entertainment.

While the purchasing power of today's youth is strong, it is even stronger when combined with their influence on their parents' purchases. Over one-third (34 percent) claim they influence their parents' purchasing decision on mobile phones---almost 8 million teens in the United States, alone.

We believe that teens have this influence because they begin interacting with technology at a very early age. This early engagement fosters a curiosity that the Internet is ready to satisfy. Having the time to conduct the online research, young people across the globe are often better informed about the leading edge of technology than their parents.

One interesting fact is that we are finding that young people are not as brand loyal as their parents. This fact is not surprising, given the tendency to research reviews and experiences online. They want to invest in the best value and they do not care as much as their older counterparts about brand names.

This study also reinforced their accessibility to the Internet. In fact, over three-quarters of 8-9 year olds (76 percent) and up to nine-in-ten 16-17 year-olds (91 percent) are on the Internet an hour or more a day, excluding email.

Interestingly, most of them expect to be doing something "meaningful" with their lives when they are 30 years old (82 percent). This encouraging news bodes well for society. In addition, though this study was conducted in the United States, we see similar trends around the globe---particularly among educated populations.

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