Only 15% of Australian youth can recall a brand, research reveals

Younger shoppers are recalling individual brands less despite searching and shopping through a growing number of online channels, a new report by youth communications and media company Lifelounge Group has revealed.

And businesses need to start creating a consistent message across all their advertising methods – including social media – if they hope to win allegiance from the market, which accounts for 13% of total household expenditure.

Only 15% of Australians aged between 16 and 30 could recall an individual communication from a brand that actually resonated with them – that’s down 12% from the previous survey in 2010. The most recognised brands were Coca-Cola at 9%, Bonds at 7% and Nike at 4%.

The survey interviews more than 1,000 Australians every quarter.

Lifelounge chief executive Dion Appel said the latest report, part of the company’s new Urban Market Research release, shows businesses are trying to market across a number of different channels but aren’t maintaining a consistent brand, or “voice”.

“The main challenge the market is facing at the moment is that you have a finite amount of marketing budget funds, and the channels to distribute are becoming even more fragmented than they have been in the past,” he told SmartCompany this morning.

“So do you put a little bit across all channels or a large amount into just a few?”

This market is hugely attractive for business. It accounts for 13% of total household expenditure at $62 billion, and 68% of that is discretionary.

The survey found 16-30 year olds value “experiences” above everything else, including friends, music, and health and wellbeing. Appel says if businesses don’t tap into this need for an experiential marketing fix, they’ll lose younger shoppers.

“What’s fascinating is that out of those respondents who recalled a brand, 44% said they saw it on television.”

“So businesses need to remind themselves there is a mix of communication here. The brands recalled the most were able to send out a message, and then invite the viewers into a bigger conversation on social media and other platforms.”

This is where the “experience” becomes important. Brands are able to send out an initial message, and then offer something a bit more interactive elsewhere.

But the problem, as Appel sees it, is that not enough businesses are maintaining a consistent message across all these channels. That’s why the recognition rate is so low.

“It’s almost like businesses need a tone or personality guide, and it needs to be updated consistently across all the different mediums.”

“Consistency and relevance is more critical than it has ever been. Brands need to have a voice, because the recipients of your message definitely have one too.”

Appel says he can’t give a description of how that works – it’s different for every company. But he says combining both traditional advertising with a digital interactive component is a good start, and that the conversation needs to maintain the brand’s “voice” and feel.

And that includes advertising across multiple channels, while avoiding a fragmented approach at the same time.

“I think you’re going to make a ripple in the ocean if you just use a scatter approach, and you’re not going to be able to cut through what you need.”

“Certainly for the youth market, there is a relevance with television and outdoor advertising as well, they’re responding to that. But you still need that experience.”

This article first appeared on SmartCompany.


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