Teens are the gatekeepers of cool, always willing to try new things and setting the standard for what’s hot and what’s not. They are early adopters and an important barometer for brands.
Here are five trends that appear to be taking off with teens as we look to 2014 and beyond.
1. The End of Oversharing. As teens migrate from Facebook to new social sites like Tumblr, SnapChat, and Vine, the effect is that they’re actually saying much less online. Instead of lengthy status updates that lead to drama, they’re posting an image with a hashtag or a mini video with a brief caption. For teens, social media has become less about their personal lives and more about their personal interests and staying in the know.
2. The Use-It-Then-Lose-It Mentality. Teens have come to prefer when things aren’t permanent, a behavior they’ve learned from apps like SnapChat that erase their old messages. Teens are less attached to possessions (well, except for their phones) because they know they can always find a way to get what they need when they need it. And after an item has served its purpose, they don’t want it cluttering up their lives or becoming a burden of responsibility.
3. Tuning Out TV. Teens are saying there are very few shows they care to watch live, instead preferring to watch shows on Netflix or other online sources. And they’re quite content to watch on a computer or tablet instead of a big screen. Watching TV in the traditional sense seems archaic to teens; they can’t fathom the concept of sitting through commercials or having to wait until the next week to see what happens.
4. Spy-Level Technology. It’s no secret that teens are attached to their phones, but now their phones can literally be attached to them! The wearable tech market has expanded from devices that track athletic performance to iPod Nano watches to Google Glass. These new technologies make it possible for teens to strap their favorite device right to their wrists, bringing social media updates, text messages, and all their favorite music even closer than the palm of their hand.
5. Random is the New Funny. While adults scratch their heads at the latest video from Ylvis, teens (and the rest of the youth population) are cracking up. Random humor has become mainstream and youth marketers are starting to use it to great effect, from Skittles’s long-running campaign to Kmart’s recent commercial puns to the Dodge Durango spots featuring Ron Burgundy. The tactic is key for youth marketers today; with teens’ media saturated lives, it takes random, unexpected humor to grab their attention.
Source: Engage: Teens (Mediapost)