Connecting with the Connected

Written by Victoria Duckworth

Todays’ generation of 16-24 year olds are a group of young people reaching an age of independence in a time of austerity, they are a generation who went through childhood in an age of plenty but are reaching maturity in a time of budget cuts, high unemployment and economic uncertainty.

Our recent self-funded study took at look how brands could win with this age group. Below are 5 key headlines from this research.

1. Having fun now and aspiring to get ahead…

They are young, hedonistic and focused on enjoying themselves. With the economic downturn starting 4 years ago, the recession, for many, feels their norm. They are not having to adapt in the same way other lifestages have had to. They know times are tough and they acknowledge the situation but they are still optimistic about life.

2. Who are their role models?

Needing to belong and feeling secure is important, so it is those who are close to home that really influence them. 70% of 16-24yrs say their parents are their main role models. They enjoy and choose to spend time in each other’s company. It is also evident that parents and their children can have overlapping tastes e.g. music, TV, fashion, bringing them closer together. In addition to parents, 53% consider their close friends as key role models; sharing advice, learning and benefiting from each other’s experiences. and success stories.

3. Money is tight, they think carefully about their spends

75% of this age group have less than £200 disposable income per month. Like other lifestages,16-24s are price conscious, looking for value and scrutinising worth. They limit or cut out spending in certain areas in order to facilitate the most important aspects of their lifestyle – relationships, spending time with friends and having fun! They want to enhance their social connections, fit in and not miss out, and enjoy an experience that brings together their friends.

4. TV is not their central media … it’s all about ‘media meshing’

‘Media meshing’ (engaging with more than one technology at a time) is popular with this audience. 55% use their mobile and 58% are online whilst also watching TV. They are not always watching TV live in real time so ‘catch up’ plays a key role. Catch up ensures they don’t miss out but watch at a time convenient to them. Engaging this audience therefore can be quite a challenge, a 360 degree campaign has never been more important.

5. How to engage with 16-24 year olds…

Today’s 16-24 year olds believe they are knowledgeable and influential in a number of areas, for instance, mobile phones and music. The key is to treat 16-24 year olds as unique, rather than blanket communications approach, brands should be offering rewards for time and engagement.

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