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India's youth embrace change

News, 19 February 2015

NEW DELHI: India's youth are "change champions" and brands need to take account of their concerns if they are to win in the long run according to a new study.

PR firm Genesis Burson-Marsteller conducted a series of brainstorming sessions across India with consumers from the millennial and Generation X age groups for its report TR:OUTH: Trends for Indian Youth 2015 and identified ten trends that marketers should consider in the year ahead.

The pervasiveness of new technology with its capacity to connect and to feed an insatiable appetite for information, entertainment and instant gratification is at the heart of many of the trends highlighted by the report.

Putting it into a wider context, Elaine Cameron, head of Burson-Marsteller's Future Perspective Trend Analysis Group, explained to Exchange4Media: "Expanding global markets, greater connectivity, rich cultural urban environments are making the Indian youth increasingly driven, committed to improving themselves, and impatient about experiencing life."

And she singled out as a key trend youth's role as change champions who no longer unquestioningly accepted the status quo but who were able and willing to share their enthusiasm and knowledge to create new solutions to shared problems.

Consequently, the report said, "Many will be happy to advocate for brands that are socially responsible and produce responsible products and services".

As Deepshikha Dharmaraj, Chief Marketing and Growth Officer, Genesis Burson-Marsteller, observed: "They no longer limit themselves to impressive and lofty platitudes. They act in a manner that leaves a deep impression among the public at large."

There is also a greater obsession with the self than older generations have shown, whether that is making a statement through what they buy or seeking to better themselves, as well as the constant self-promotion through social media.

Amidst all this, however, the study noted that "Being Indian and buying Indian continues to be cool".

The findings echo some of the themes Warc drew attention to in its recentĀ New Perspectives on Indian Youth series, a collection of essays by Indian advertising professionals.

In Harish v Harry, Suman Srivastava of Marketing Unplugged was more nuanced on youth's embrace of change, pointing out that not all young people love change equally.

His research had found a 60:40 split between broad pro-change and anti-change groups among the 15-24 age group.

Data sourced from Genesis Burson-Marsteller, Exchange4Media; additional content by Warc staff