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India’s Evolving Youth Culture: Opportunities For Brands

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The 8th Indian Marketing Summit, held on 14th march 2014, got a great response. It witnessed registrations from marketing amateurs and experts alike and spotted sessions from the top marketers in the Indian industry like Mr. Anurag Batra, Mr. Pradeep Chopra, Mr. Amit Tiwari, Ms. Jessie Paul, etc. It was a learning experience for the audience.

The session focused on how the lifestyles and characteristics of the Gen Y create marketing opportunities for brands and how this section of the population should be targeted by companies. All people born between 1980-94 fall under the category of Gen Y and form an influential part of the population. There are some peculiar characteristics that this generation shows-

  1. Gadget and tech-savvy
  2. Addicted to the internet
  3. Share their social experiences which makes their social life practically visible
  4. Not interactive; involved with gadgets rather than people

However, Mr. Anurag Batra had a different thing to say. According to him, youth is not about age, but the mindset. Statistically speaking, India has a youth population of 460 million and has the lowest median age which is 26 as compared to Russia, Japan, China, UK, etc. and hence, Indian marketers have the opportunity to showcase their products in front of millions of aggressive individuals which will completely accept or reject what they have been offered and help the company improve and keep pace with the changing youth culture.


Why is Gen Y important for marketers?

Mr. Harish Chaturvedi, Director, BIMTECH, in his lecture, threw light on this topic particularly. The youth of today is very aggressive, they are not satisfied easily and are more aware of anything than the older generations. More information is less for them and they are not satisfied with just anything. They demand change. They derive their power mainly from social networks and hence, can be influenced through the same. Gen Y has disposable money and likes spending it on gadgets, clothes, dating, surfing the net, holidaying, etc. Being internet lovers, they rely on it so much so that they don’t visit a place without reading reviews. They are constant consumers of the internet, hence increasing the sales of many a brands.

How is Gen Y influenced?

Gen Y is greatly influenced by and is active towards social causes. They demand change. Although youth culture is heterogeneous, they are all influenced by social media for sure.Out of 98 million Indian users that Facebook has, 88 million are youth. They depend on peer reviews rather than advice given by parents or magazines and newspaper ratings.

Gen Y has the urge to give back to the society even before they achieve something. They didn’t slow down, but already have their future plans ready beforehand. Now it is for the brands understand this urge and create the movement for the youth and give them a chance to initiate. Also, as discussed by Mr. Anurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-in-chief, Exchange4media, there are several budding entrepreneurs when Gen Y is considered. Not one of them does not have the experience of selling anything. They have already sold their ideas, reviews, etc. to people at some point in their life. This creates an opportunity for brands to identify with them, initiate change and fulfill the needs of the youth.

geny2A very interesting remark made by Ms. Jessie Paul, CEO, Paul Writer, was that Unemployment should be created rather than Employment. To support this, she gave her own example and narrated how she aspired to be the CEO of Wipro and was discouraged. Once unemployed, she founded Paul Writer which has earned a great name for itself. The explanation for this, as she states, is that when you’re employed, the creative side of you is dormant and when you’re not being creative, you aren’t enjoying what you do. Once a person has earned a lot of money and is well off when he is unemployed, he is able to give shape to his ideas and innovate.

As discussed by Mr. Pradeep Chopra, CEO, Digital Vidya and one of the most sought after digital marketing speaker internationally, there are 3 key areas to acquire customers: Influence, Lead and Sale. Being an experienced speaker, he was able to brilliantly capture our attention and show us through images, and videos how cleverly companies shape their marketing campaigns around their customers’ happiness and analytic. If you gift a shirt to your customer, he is sure to return to the same store for a pair of trousers to go with the shirt.

He shared the video of the Guiness QR Cup and displayed how wonderfully QR codes can be used

Another interesting case study that he shared was that of Allen Solly

It is important to keep in mind that social media is only a distribution mechanism for your content. Publicize the right content in front of the right audience. Also, a good content is nothing without marketing as it is the precursor to sales.

Below is the presentation shared by Mr. Pradeep Chopra, CEO, Digital Vidya:

  • Digital-Marketing

  • There are 2 comments

    • 5 years ago

      Tarun   /   Reply

      Very well analyzed and researched post. The Gen Y population has a much different consumer behavior. They explore internet widely to reach to a decision. Reviews and peer opinions matter to them more than what a company says. They need to be “pulled” than “pushed”. Above that, with the growing internet penetration and advent of high speed 3G internet arrival in India, Gen Y population is bound to swell.

    • 5 years ago

      Siva Krishna Kota   /   Reply

      Am on the same page Arushi… Gen Y are open in voicing out their opinions. They form the major target group for many brands. They are always connected through mobile/net and do lot of research which influences their buying decision. The point made by Jessie Paul really struck me and its true that the best will not come from inside unless we come out of our comfort zones.

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