Researchers at Diego Portales University in Chile and Swinburne University of Technology in Australia were interested in materialism among teenagers. A quantitative analysis found that group dynamics are at play when teens consult with each other about shopping. Since group dynamics get complicated, the findings are not straightforward: When a teen feels dependent on their group for self-identity, materialism is higher. However, among teens who wait for others to approve of specific purchases, materialism is lower. A general allegiance to the peer group had no observable influence on materialism.
The implication is that when you have a group of teens shopping with you together, your sales total will be greater if you encourage conformity instead of divergence in purchases. But I suggest you stay aware that this could work differently in your neighborhood. The study sample consisted entirely of Brazilian 7th through 12th graders, and there’s research evidence that teens in different parts of the world have different value systems.
Syddansk Universitet and University of Southern Denmark researchers, after studying teen consumers in 44 countries, described six market segments. Use the findings as a guide to making sales:
- Thrills & Chills having fun and spending freely. Offer these teens adventure and luxury.
- Quiet Achievers courting approval from adults. Give them reasons for making purchases they can take home with them.
- Bootstrappers rehearsing for their future as adults. Before closing the sale, educate them about the product category.
- Upholders supporting traditional cultural values. If selling innovative items, describe the ways in which the new is a logical extension of the old.
- World Savers wanting to share what they have with others. They’ll respond well to promotions in which a portion of the purchase price is donated to a charity.
- Resigners, limiting their expectations from products they buy. Place more emphasis on protecting against losses than on enriching their current situation.
For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers
Click below for more:
Isolate Loneliness & Materialism
Segment the Teen Market by World View