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Bill Gillies - Editor

Teens view brands differently around the world

The research on which Grown Up Digital is based showed that teen attitudes toward brands can differ from country to country. A recently released study of teenagers around the world confirms this. In the U.S. and U.K., brands are used to express individuality and for standing out from the crowd. For many other countries the opposite rings true: brands are used to showcase membership of a certain group.

This is one nugget offered by the  Global Habbo Youth Survey (GHYS) Brand Update 2009 conducted by Habbo, the largest virtual world for teenagers. The study, conducted in April 2009, quizzed 112,000 teens aged 11 to 19 from over 30 countries—including 4,500 teens from the U.S.

“The teenage years are developmentally very important when moving into adulthood,” said Emmi Kuusikko of Sulake, the company that owns Habbo.  “Status is important, being recognised for who you are and what you stand for. Brands provide means to show which group you belong to and which you do not want to be associated with. For the youth, brands play an important part of helping to build their identity and self image among their friends.”

The company says the relationship that teenagers have with brands is complex; the survey indicates a number of contradictions typical to teenagers. The majority of teenagers (63%) will nearly always buy their favorite brand with just over a quarter disagreeing with this statement. However when asked if brands influence their purchasing decisions, while over a third (35%) said brands do, half agreed this wasn’t the case.

Shown are the top five brands for teenage females and males in the 30 countries surveyed.

Tags: Brand


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