Is Youth A Brand Slave?

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 2617 , Published on 11 September 2012

Brand, in simple words, can be described as a product, service or concept that is publically distinguishable from others. When a product crosses euphoric levels, it becomes a brand. Youth belonging to different strata of society have different preference concerning it. For some it may be Louis Vuitton, for some Levis and for some Ruff N Tuff.

Whatever the brand be, they all have a lust for it. A brand is a reputation and nothing more, a part of a mental picture. As Daryl Travis says, “A brand isn’t a brand to you until it develops an emotional connect with you”. People are crazy about Coca Cola, but is it just the taste? Is the coca cola formula so sacred? Is there really any significant difference between the taste of coca cola and Pepsi? Then what is it? The answer is Brand. If the same coca cola comes up in some different packaging with a different brand name it probably might not sell that much. This is brand slavery.

Brand consciousness has become a weakness of the upcoming Indian youth. Today, the youth in India are willing to shell out big chunks of money for the maintenance of a prolific life style. They prefer to go for brands when it comes to clothes, accessories, shoes, perfumes, eatables, gadgets ….and the list is long. They flaunt their branded underwear like a golden tooth by a millionaire.

Just Jockeying …! I mean just joking…! Call it whatever but the fact remains that the junta of cities and towns is always a game for the trendiest, the latest and the hippest, whether or not there is value-for-money. Brands are after-all an extension to one’s personality. Issues of self-concept and social self –concept come into the picture here. That feeling of being a global citizen is craved for.

But it’s not like anyone can come in as a big company, throw the money and expect the youth to grab it with both hands! He is too wise to fall for it. To win the youth, it must first become part of the culture. Before anything, it should gain respect and trust of the generation.However, young people tend to have one thing in common, and that is lack of loyalty (At least in this context, to say the least.)

They are far more capricious in their consumption habits than the over thirty-five.  The companies have to live up to their expectations incessantly and also outdo their rival brands or else the youth will ditch them!They switch from one product to another far more haphazardly than what a butterfly does from flower to flower. And you can’t blame them for that. After all, ‘a switch is a switch’!! (Remember that famous Ad?). See even the electric appliances have brands now!There may not be a gargantuan quality difference between the so-called branded products and others, but it is all about the REPO.

Youth lunge for the products which they can trust, proudly flaunt and which give them a look out of the crowd. Brands manage to fulfil their gamut of desires and hence strike the chord with them instantly. They are least hesitant to spend a few extra bucks for it. No doubt shopping malls and chic precincts are flourishing with full prowess! The bottom line is THE BRANDS ARE IN..!

This article has been authored by Anshul Khandelwal from IIFT.



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