How will the recession affect global youth spending behaviour? Everyone always talks about young people being free spending, loading up the credit cards with huge debts etc. They’ve been the ‘I WANT IT WHATEVER IT COSTS’ generation. I believe we will see the rise of the ‘Recessionista’ in the coming months as Aussie youth adjust their spending behaviour. It will all be about maintaining their appearance, but doing it for less and wanting more brand experience along the way. Remember, they have the power with all these brands competing for their attention. So instead of buying Diesel or Nudie jeans they will be settling for Industrie. Instead of buying Grey Goose, they’ll settle for Stolichnaya. We’ll also see them becoming ‘hybrid dressers’ as they combine luxury brands with the cheap and nasty. So teens running around with Prada glasses and a pair of Dunlop Volleys. I believe global youth are ‘striving to be more’ as opposed to striving to have more, so brands that help them achieve will win. Value in the eyes of young people won’t just be perceived as a price equation, it’s all about the quality, cultural capital (social currency) that brand gives them as well as brand utility that is provided. The youth brands who focus purely on price will shoot themselves in the foot. The brands who create more perceived value via interesting brand experiences and giving kids shit to talk about will kill it.
Meet the Fluoro Fun Kids. They’re 15-30yr olds who never want to grow up. You know the teens and 20 somethings running around in fluoro coloured singlets and Havianas. Scary thing is that I know a alot of them.They shun responsibility whenever they can, it’s all about living each day to its fullest and a constant need for good times. The Peter Pan syndrome is evident here. Fluoro’s are music festival junkies. Just head to the Big Day Out, V Festival and you will see thousands of them. Girls and guys running around in yellow sunnies, fluoro Bond singlets and tats everywhere. The girls are baked in fake bronze tan. It’s all about looking good for the music festivals where they can get their gear off in the summer sun. They share some trait with the metro-sexual crowd of 2005-2006. They mix and match luxury brands with value brands. So they’ll be wearing Havianas, Bonds singlet with a pair of $300 Nudie jeans and $250 Prada or Diesel sunnies. Hybrid styles are in and guys accessories as much as girls. These kids transcend class boundaries, a passion for music unites them, so you’ll see rich kids from the North and East hanging with kids from Western Sydney. Let’s be real, these kids are all about ‘showing off’, their tribe exists to constantly have fun, and they save their pennies to hit the next dance festival. Marketers wanting to engage this audience need to be loud, provide FUN, and lots of it. Ideas and experiences which allow them to party hard, splash out and express themselves will win.