The mind of the Indian youth

Anywhere in the world, whenever there is a mention of the Indian economy and market, people often talk about the demographic advantage this country enjoys. It is a youthful country with high disposable incomes, they say. The oasis for marketing companies across the world! But there are few studies available that give insight into the attitude, behaviour and perceptions of this huge consumer base.

Blyk, which is a youth-focused brand addressing consumers in the age group of 16-29 years, reached out to its 1.68 million members to understand them better. There are three observations that I particularly wanted to share from this study. These observations are key to understanding today’s Indian youth, because it looks at the essential parameters that make them tick.

What comes out very strongly is that the Indian youth is trying very hard to balance modern and progressive outlook with the rootedness in culture and family. They are faced with contradictions of behaviour and mores. It was interesting to note that while 46 per cent admitted to cheating in a relationship, 61 per cent youth thought it was un-cool to be rude!
They are to a great degree driven by perception and are highly aspirational. For example, 3 out of the 4 youth that we spoke to wanted to change the way they look in some way or the other. And there is a significant proportion of young people in India who own more than 5 pair of shoes, use cosmetic products on a daily basis and want to sport branded clothes. Image is everything and they take good care to build a good image.

And finally, the gadget closest to their heart—no prizes for guessing this—is the mobile phone! The youth spend the most time on it. It is the most stated object of desire and used most extensively, which highlights the growing importance of the third screen as a vehicle to reach out to this group.

Having shared these observations, I would still say that this is a very dynamic group. For any brand marketing to them, there has to be a finger on the pulse at all times.

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