Here’s an interesting article about some recent polling data debunking the notion that today’s youth (18-24) are a bunch of anti-branding anti-capitalists. In fact, it would appear that this crew is actually less likely than the general population to be willing to spend more on ethically produced goods or environmentally-friendly products.
Manufacturers and marketers thus need to understand that there is a serious contradiction between what young adults claim to do and what they actually do. This is of particular importance to note as those manufacturers that regard young adults as a core market have even gone so far as to embark on changing their corporate behavior to cater to the supposed ethical trend in a bid to capture a portion of young adults’ spend. In light of the disparities highlighted, this could be a risky move and the only way to develop and market compelling new products is to keep this point in mind throughout the new product development process.
For what it is worth, this dovetails with my admittedly limited experience with kids today. But my general impression is that a) the most brand conscious people are always the ones who claim the loudest that they don’t care about brands, and b) the consumerist-activism agenda is held strongly but not deeply by most people.
(Thanks to Brand Noise for the link)